31 Horrifying Writing Prompts to Help You Scare the Bejesus Out of Yourself This Halloween
- You wake up on Halloween morning to a nasty surprise—an early snow has dumped 2 inches of the white stuff. Even nastier? There is a set of footprints leading up your driveway and into your house. You live alone.
- Your wife wakes you up in the middle of the night to feed your baby, who is screaming in the next room. You start to get up but then remember that you don't have any children.
- Your grandmother dies and leaves you a treasure trove of family photos. While flipping through the albums one night, you come across a picture of her when she was about your age, standing in front of an old car with a group of her friends. Your girlfriend is one of them.
- You're taking your son and his friends trick-or-treating in the next town. You and the four costumed boys pile into your car and head out. Halfway there, you look in the rearview mirror and find that you now have five passengers.
- You wake up from a nap and reach for your cell phone to find that you've been tagged in a Facebook photo. It's a picture of you while were asleep in your living room chair a few minutes ago, and you live alone.
- You wake up on Saturday morning to find you're alone in your bed. You get up and head downstairs where your wife and kids are already having breakfast. When they see you, they all start screaming and your wife calls the police. None of your family knows who you are.
- You call an 800 number for technical support for a new piece of electronic equipment that you bought, and an associate named George helps you out. That night, your sleep is disturbed by the feeling that someone is watching you. Startled, you sit up in bed and see a silhouette in the moonlight. It's George.
- You're visiting a friend at his new home. You walk up to the door and knock. After a couple of seconds, someone knocks back on the other side of the door, and the evening darkness lifts. You look around and find that you're now inside a strange house.
- You're ready to carve your Jack-o'-Lantern and have your supplies all laid out. When you plunge your knife into the top of your pumpkin to cut out a lid, the pumpkin begins to bleed.
- You're writing a story late at night and fall asleep in front of your computer. When you wake up, it's still dark outside, and you find that your story is several pages longer than you remember ... and it's being written even as you watch.
- Ready for bed, you turn off the television. You freeze in your tracks as the sound of the show you were watching begins playing somewhere upstairs, where your bedroom is.
- Someone rings your doorbell just before you head to bed one night. You start to answer the door but then remember that you don't have a doorbell.
- You're cleaning out your grandmother's garage after she dies when you come across an old tape recorder with a cassette inside. You plug in the machine and are surprised that it works, but you're astounded to hear your grandmother talking to your grandfather about the current president. Your grandfather died 30 years ago.
- You arrive at work one morning to find a deck of playing cards sitting on your desk. You don't think much about it until lunch when you thumb through the cards to find that one in the middle of the deck has a photo on the front. It shows you thumbing through the deck of cards, wearing the clothes you're wearing now.
- One day, your brother, sister-and-law, and niece visit your home. Your niece coaxes you into a "tea party" with her and her imaginary friend, Tina. An hour after they leave, your doorbell rings, and a young woman—not your niece—on your stoop thanks you for the tea party and tells you that she left her ring in one of the cups. When you look on your coffee table, you find a ring inscribed "Tina" in a cup.
- You visit a car maker's museum housed in one of their old factories. Your tour guide is a young man of about 30 who seems to have an uncanny knowledge of how the cars were made and how the factory operated, even though the vehicles had been obsolete for decades. At the end of the tour, your guide invites you to explore a few more exhibits in the lobby, and he disappears into the dark back rooms. You are struck by one of the displays—a photo and story of a young worker killed on the assembly line in 1951. When you look closer, you realize it was your tour guide.
- After a night of heavy rain, you step outside your home to find several sets of boot tracks. You follow them to a tree right outside your bedroom window and find an empty pair of muddy boots, a gun scope, and a picture of you.
- You're home alone one night and see a man standing outside the window. You reach for the phone to call the police and then notice that your dog is outside, too. He barks, and your spine tingles as you realize that he is in the room behind you. You're seeing reflections.
- You head to your car after work one dark October night and, as you approach, you notice the vehicle rocking back and forth on its shocks. It also seems to be growling, and a huge, thick feline tail whips out from behind the trunk.
- You're unpacking in the kitchen of your new house when you hear a door slam closed upstairs. You sprint up the stairs and find that all of the doors—bedrooms, bathrooms, closets—are open.
- You're having breakfast with your wife one morning when your cell phone buzzes on the counter across the room. You go to see who it is and find it's a text from your wife—who is sitting at the table and whose phone is next to yours on the counter.
- You're hiking in the woods with your girlfriend, and you have a pain in your leg that has been getting worse all day. You are relieved for the break when nature calls and your girl heads off behind a bush. While she's gone, the backpack she left behind slumps over and a rag doll dressed like you falls out. It has a pin stuck in its leg.
- You work your whole life to become an astronaut, and you're picked to be on the first manned flight to Mars. As you prepare to land on the surface, your two fellow pioneers shed their flight suits to reveal themselves as hideous monsters, and one tells the other how happy he is that they are finally able to go home.
- You get yourself into a terrible situation and end up killing a man in a fight. No one knows what you've done, and you retreat to your parents' house to try and figure out what to do. In your old room, you absent-mindedly pick up a stack of baseball cards until one stops you in your tracks—the man you just killed is in the stands behind home plate, and he's pointing at you.
- You've heard the old house is haunted, but you don't really believe it. You go there all the time, and the only people you ever see or hear are the live ones who come looking for a thrill. Strange that they never seem to notice you.
- Old Mrs. Brown always has the best tomatoes in town, and everyone whispers about her secret formula. All you know is that she hires one high school senior each year to work her garden, and she pays well. This year it's you. Wonder whatever happened to your friend, Dave, who did the honors last year. Say, isn't that Dave's hat over there on the fence post?
- At Christmas, your mother brings your daughter an old teddy bear she found at an antique shop. After your mom leaves, your little girl runs to you crying because she dropped her bear and "broke" it. When you look closely at the stuffed animal, you find that an arm is ripped open—and a human bone is sticking out.
- You're having dinner with your new girlfriend and her parents. Her mother serves a pot roast that tastes strange and is really tough to chew, but you're polite and don't mention it. After the meal, her father goes to the front door, engages the deadbolt, and turns back to the family. "I hope this one has better taste than Billy, honey," he says to his daughter.
- You go to confessional and tell the priest that you hit a dog on the road. He prescribes a dose of Hail Marys and Our Fathers and sends you on your way. That evening, after a day of church and football games, you walk into your dark house, and the door closes behind you. In the blackness, you see two red eyes, and then a circle of votive candles lights on their own from the floor. In the center is the priest, holding the leash to a demonic-looking Doberman.
- You normally wouldn't pick up anyone so late in the night, but the old man looked so pitiful that you couldn't pass him by. Now you find yourself in a zombie nightmare: do you eat him and take the chance that his aged meat will make you sick, or drop him off and go hungry for the night?
- After a night of camping, you develop a terrible sore throat and decide to go to the local clinic. The doctor comes in, checks you out, and says you have an infection. He gives you a shot and tells you to wait a while before leaving to make sure you don't have a reaction. He leaves the room, but a few minutes later, another white-coated man enters and apologizes for your wait. He introduces himself as the doctor.
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