Inked Out: Darkness Falls Tattoo

I stopped in at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention this past February and ran into the owners of an amazing shop in Clementon, NJ, called Darkness Falls Tattoo. Their names were Mickey Ratt and Karen “Minnie Ratt” Hillmann, and this was their first booth at the annual convention. What drew me to their stand was their incredible artwork and that they were from South Jersey. Mickey suggested that I visit their Clementon establishment to get a better idea of what they do. So I decided to take a ride over to the shop, which was located at 13 Garfield Avenue.

I pulled into a strip mall with ample parking. Speaking of ample, Darkness Falls Tattoo seemed to have “ample” space too. This shop seemed pretty spacious with private rooms for tattooing. Well, I’m not sure how private these rooms are if there’s a window for passersby to watch customers get tattooed. Darkness Falls opened its doors only last April, making this month the shop’s one-year anniversary. When you first enter Darkness Falls, you walk into an aesthetically pleasing waiting room that is painted blood red with paintings on the wall and each artist’s portfolio on the tables for customers to look through.

If you walk to the right, there are a trio of tattoo rooms that are occupied by three of the shop’s extremely talented artists, Mickey Ratt, Marty McFly (I know, right?), and Lous Hansen. Each award-winning artist is a custom tattoo artist that can virtually tattoo all styles. According to Karen, each of her artists will sit down and consult each client so that their customers feel they are getting personal treatment, which is something the shop strives on. When I asked Karen what would lure a customer like myself into her shop, she told me that they treat their customers extra special the minute they walk through their doors.

All machines are autoclave sterilized on a nightly basis, and all needles are single-use only. Okay, their machines were clean, but is the shop? The answer is “absolutely immaculate!” This is something you need to look for when shopping for a tattoo shop. When I asked about prices, I was told that they try to keep the prices affordable for their customers, especially in this rough economy. I was also told that they do not run “come on specials” to get customers in the door because they are fully confident in their artists’ work, and want to make it affordable for each one of their customers. Age limits? Darkness Falls abides by all age laws for tattooing, and anyone 18 and over needs to supply sufficient ID.

One thing that Karen seemed to keep urging is for customers to come in and check the shop out for themselves, and that she and her artists welcome all questions and concerns regarding tattooing and their shop. Appointments are needed, but not always necessary, as walk-ins are always welcome. The shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12 p.m. through 9 p.m. I have to say that after only one year of existing, this shop has many great years in front of them, so stop down there soon if you’re in the South Jersey area. You can call Darkness Falls Tattoo with any questions or make an appointment at (856) 504-6562. If you’re in the Clementon area, stop in 13 Garfield Avenue to take a look. If you’re not from the area but would like to take a look at this shop, log onto Trust me; you want to check this place out!

Well, I’m off to check out my next tattoo spot! Who knows what state it will be in! If you have a tattoo shop that you want to suggest, please email me the name of the place and whom I should ask for at