Here we are again. Monday. A fresh start.
It’s also October, and I haven’t really talked about that yet. I LOVE October. Not only is it the kickoff month to the holiday season, but it’s Halloween month, scary stories month, starting to get a little chilly month, and candy corn month (yes, I know… *sigh*). Since September 30, I’ve been watching a horror movie every night, and in so doing I’ve started to appreciate the actual craft horror stories have to hone in order to induce fear in even those who consider themselves horror connoisseurs. There’s a beauty about them, the techniques they use, that makes the movies I’ve seen hundreds of times still terrify me.
Along with the movies, I’ve been watching some “scary” shows (Stranger Things, anyone?) and reading some horror novels (the movie may have triggered this, but I was bound to read It eventually). Later in the month I’m going to have a full post about horror stories and how they’ve inspired my writing, but today I want us to write our own. Let’s try our hand at scaring the bajeebees out of people with just words on paper.
So, without further ado, here are ten scary writing prompts!
- Your character is walking alone at night. It’s dark, the moon is new, and the stars cannot twinkle through an overcast sky. Suddenly, the street lamps go out, and your character hears…chanting? What happens next?
- A child’s dog runs away, straight into the old abandoned home in the neighborhood. A brave ten-year-old hesitates only a moment on the sidewalk in front of the house, before soldiering on inside. He pushes through the creaky front door. Who (or what) greets him?
- Think of your worst nightmare. Maybe you dreamt it, and it cut off abruptly, right before your foe was revealed, or right before you met your fate. Finish the nightmare.
- It’s a stormy night. The sky is swollen with rain. Droplets patter against an upstairs window. Then there’s a knock on the glass. Who is tonight’s wayward visitor?
- A high school party turns deadly when one of the teens is found floating in the pool outside, dead. Most of the partygoers assume he fell in drunk and drowned, and they argue about whether they should call the police. Then the lights go out. And the doors are locked from the outside.
- No one can sit in dad’s chair, besides dad. One kid thought it was just a rule his father had… until he was home alone and decided to try out the chair for size.
- An accident on the interstate forces a family to take an alternate route down a back road. They’ve been driving a while without coming across any kind of dwelling, or even a turn to go down another road, and it’s getting dark. Then the road ends in crumbles at the edge of a forest, and behind the first line of trees there’s a sign: Welcome.
- It’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep. Your room is so dark it’s driving you mad. Across the room, in the corner, there is an oddly shaped shadow. You know that it’s just your coat rack, with a hat on top, but the more you stare at it, the more it…grows.
- Your character hasn’t been afraid of monsters since she was a kid. She thought it must be that she just stopped believing in them. What she doesn’t realize is that they’ve been waiting for her to forget them.
- Last one…describe the backstory of a ghost. How did it die? Why does it still haunt?
Like any of these? Take a few minutes and scribble something up! And if you’re brave, share the horror…