Nashville’s Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival unites fear and artwork

Lone Wolf feature
Bemo Lovelace gets tattooed by Cain Hollandsworth from Straight Edge Tattoo located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (MTSU Sidelines / Emily Austin)

By Emily Austin // Contributing Writer

Nashville’s Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival isn’t just the place of nightmares; this three-day convention became the perfect opportunity for fans of all things spooky to celebrate what they love most about the genre, right next to their favorite tattoo artists and celebrities.

“It’s just the atmosphere of the people, and it’s kind of homey, you know?” said Sid Haig, who played Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses and the Devil’s Rejects. “And then the idea of combining a horror festival with tattoos is a perfect match.”

The festival ran from Friday through Sunday at the Nashville Airport Marriott, where people swarmed the booths of their favorite actors and actresses such as Haig, Michael Berryman, Dick Warlock, Naomi Grossman, Alex Vincent and more.

“Every fan I’ve ever run into have been great people and that makes it so much more fun and enjoyable for me to do,” said Dick Warlock who played Michael Myers in Halloween II. “I may not do too many more of them, ’cause I’m getting up in age. But anyway, it’s the fans that bring me to them.”

Creepy dolls, chilling artwork, monster masks and replica swords are only a few of the dozens of items you could buy from the variety of booths. Zombies and bloody clowns may saunter past, adding to the atmosphere that this festival is all about.

Celebrities at the festival say what they love most about the horror genre isn’t only scaring people, it’s about having fun, which is what make the festival enjoyable for all.

“Now with horror see, I like to get people laughing, because if you get people laughing then you can do anything,” said Haig. “You can take them from laughter to fear, from laughter to crying, from laughter to wherever. But if you start with laughter it loosens em’ up and then bam! You hit em’ with something crazy.”

Naomi Grossman, who played Pepper in American Horror Story: Asylum and Freak Show, agreed, saying, “I was kind of the comic relief, and of course in Freak Show, I got to really kind of stretch my dramatic acting muscles. It was fun. I kind of got the complete experience.”

When eager fans weren’t visiting horror icons, they could also flip through the artwork of different tattoo artists or get tattooed themselves. Booth after booth, a range of different artists showed off their skill.

It’s thanks to Lone Wolf Body Art that all of this came to be. The owner, Ben Dixon, hosted the second tattoo convention ever in Nashville in 1999 as the Old School Tattoo Expo. After that, he began the Full Moon Show that was originally for tattoos only. However, after spending some time in the film industry where he and his wife, Stacey, met Gunnar Hansen from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they decided to combine the tattoo convention with the horror genre. A unique concept, it became the first of its kind and has just celebrated its 15th show.

Slaughterhouse, a revived theater converted into a tattoo parlor, haunted house and smaller theater by Full Moon, also celebrated their new location on 3445 Lebanon Pike in Hermitage, Tennessee, at the festival with a chance to win passes for a special one-night opening on Saturday. These passes included a walkthrough of the haunted house with R.A. Mihailoff who played Leatherface ‘Junior’ Sawyer in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

While this year’s festival may be over, stay updated on next year’s show at Lone Wolf’s website. In the meantime, visit Lone Wolf Body Art’s new location at 1117 Lakeview Dr. Suite 201 in Franklin, Tennessee, or at 3445 Lebanon Pike, Hermitage, Tennessee, in the old Courtyard Movie Theater.

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To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email

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1 Comment

  1. […]… “It’s just the atmosphere of the people, and it’s kind of homey, you know?” said Sid Haig. Edit: The comma between ‘people’ and ‘and’ is not necessary. […]