Horror Prompts

  • Write about a seance gone wrong. Who are your characters? Who among the dead were they trying to contact and why? Who or what did they contact instead? What’s the result? Is it scary or funny?
  • When cleaning out your neighbor’s attic, you find an old mask in one of the boxes tucked away. Describe the mask. Does your character put it on? What happens if they do? Is there a spirit, good or evil, attached to the mask? Is there a curse?
  • You find a box of vintage letters, unopened, in a hat box at a thrift store. You decided to buy them and read them at home, expecting love letters or interesting family secrets from strangers you’ll never meet. What you find is much, much darker. The writer of these letters details a story of your choosing. Do the letters describe/confess to unsolved murders? Is the author a world-famous serial killer never found? Or is the story about a haunting they never told anyone else about? What was haunting them and how did it end? How did the letters end up in the thrift store?
  • While watching a horror movie, the power goes out. When it comes back on, you notice that the horror movie continues playing, but that the demon haunting the characters is no longer in any of the scenes. Where did it go? Did it get out somehow when the power went out? How do you get it back in?

“People aren’t scared of being alone in the dark, boy. They’re scared of not being alone in the dark.”

-Jonathan Dunne, Hotel Miramar

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