A horror story is a scary story that makes your audience cringe and get their adrenaline rushing. Strangely, some people have the horror genre as their favorite of all stories, while others can’t stand the creepiness of horror stories.
For your readers who look forward to Halloween night, below are horror story ideas to get your creative juices flowing to their delight:
Horror Story Prompts About a Serial Killer
- A serial killer escapes prison and goes on a mission to kill more people. He’s targeting those who witnessed against him and cutting off their heads. The police are in hot pursuit, but they’re no closer to catching him than when he first escaped.
- There’s a killer who has been breaking into people’s houses to ambush them in their sleep. Nobody knows who he is, but everyone who has been attacked claims they saw his eyes and there was something very wrong with them.
- A killer has been going around and killing people with axes. The latest victim was a woman who lived alone in a farmhouse out in the country. Everyone fears for their lives because no one knows when or where the next attack will happen.
- A family dog barks, the owner sees a dark figure running across the backyard. It’s the psycho who has been hunting down retired servicemen and plucking their eyeballs before killing them.
- A serial killer has been kidnapping young women and crashing their heads with a stone till they die. There’s panic all over as people watch their backs lest they fall victim to that heinous act.
- A killer is on the loose, but nobody knows who he is. All they know about him are that he carries machetes to behead his victims. He first inflicts horrible wounds to prolong their suffering for hours.
- There’s a killer who kills his victims by putting them in a bag and suffocating them. No one knows where he is or when the next victim will suffer this terrible death.
- In a small town, there’s a killer who breaks into people’s homes to terrorize them. He’ll come in and sit beside the bed for hours before he moves closer to inflict pain and suffering on his victims.
- A family is sitting down and watching television when there’s a loud knocking at the door. They ignore it thinking that someone will go away eventually. Soon enough, there’s a scream from the backyard. The serial killer who has been in town killing people in their sleep is in the back and has murdered someone.
- There’s a killer on the loose in a small town; he goes after little children and kills them by crushing their skulls against his car.
Horror Story Prompts on Monsters
- A monstrous creature has been seen around town. Rumor has it that it’s an ancient beast that has been around for more than a century. No one knows for sure because those who dared approach disappeared mysteriously.
- A mother was returning home from work when she realized there was a monstrous creature following her. She ran as fast as she could and screamed for help, but no one was around to hear her.
- The worst monster in the world is said to live somewhere in this country, and it comes out now and then to take a child away.
- There’s a terrifying monster that stalks school children and tears them away from their parents. No one knows where he comes from or how he manages to get close without people detecting him, but all of those who have been taken away never return.
- A monstrous creature has been scaring people on the streets as they go about their business, and no one has been able to find out where it comes from or what its real form is.
- There’s a winged creature snatching babies from their cradles and eating them. No one knows where it comes from, but everyone can hear the echoes of its shrieks when it goes on a rampage to take away a child.
- A monstrous creature lives in the sewers and terrorizes people by dragging them into the water to devour them alive. It never appears during the day, but everyone knows it comes out at night to hunt down victims.
- A vicious monster with a hook for a hand has been going around town and snatching children to eat them. No one knows where he comes from or what he looks like, but everyone fears him because of the amount of damage he has done.
- There’s a horrible monster that drags out people on the streets and eats them alive, leaving only their skeletons behind. Nobody knows what he looks like, but it’s assumed that he’ll show up to take away another victim soon enough.
- In a small village, a mysterious creature appears and snatches children away as they play outside. Everyone who has been taken was never heard from again, but everyone knows that he’ll come back to take more.
Horror Prompts for Ghost Stories
- A young man gets into a car accident where he is decapitated, but his body was found two days later wandering around town. No one understands how this could have happened since the accident was terrible, and he should be dead.
- An old man died three weeks ago, but his body has been seen wandering around town at night. Strangely, he’s never doing anything, just walking about aimlessly until the sun comes up again the following day.
- An old woman’s husband passed away ten years ago, but she still sees his spirit around the house. No one believes her when she says he comes in and sits with her at night because there’s no way he could still be alive.
- A man was getting into bed for some shut-eye when he saw a ghostly figure standing over him. He tried to fight it off, but the ghost reached out and touched him and then he couldn’t move. The last thing he remembers before falling into a deep sleep is the ghost leaning in closer and closer until it bit into his neck and drank all of his blood.
- A woman died from an incurable disease, and her ghost is haunting the place where she used to live. She looks despondent when she stares into your eyes, but it’s better not to let her catch you looking because if she does, there’s no getting away from her.
- A woman was killed by her husband because he thought she would leave him one day, but her ghost still roams the house whenever he’s home. It just stands at the top of the stairs and stares or sits on his bed and watches him every night until he falls asleep. Then, the ghost comes in and suffocates him with a pillow.
- A girl was found dead in her room, but there were no wounds on her body, and she was very peaceful looking. No one knows how she died because all of her organs were still intact. She looks like she’s sleeping peacefully. When her sister puts a mirror up to her lips and listens closely, she can hear faint whispers coming out of her mouth.
- A little boy killed his family, but no one knows why. Even though he was only six years old, he had no history of mental illness or abuse, so there’s no reason for what happened. For days after it happened, people would still see the ghosts of the family members walking through the house.
- An old man tells his grandson about an experience he had in his family home where they lived when he was a boy. He often saw eyes staring at him in the night but couldn’t see anything when he turned the lights on.
- A woman lives alone in a cottage, but every night she hears strange noises outside of her window and is knocking at her door. No one is ever found on her doorstep, but she’s too scared to investigate any further around the house.
Strange Family Horror Writing Prompts
- There’s a family whose members have bloodshot eyes and are believed to be vampires. Nobody knows where they came from or how long the family has been around. However, they’ve been going to that specific house for as long as anyone can remember.
- A small group of people who live together seem like a normal family, but there’s something extraordinary about them, and their behavior is cause for alarm. They like walking on hot coals in their backyard at night and are suspected to be in an evil cult.
- A stranger lives in a house with his wife, but he’s been accused of being a monster. This is because his face looks very different from everyone else’s, and it seems to be rotting away.
- There’s a thing that makes this family special is something that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but it’s crucial to their survival and that of everyone around them. They hide this from the rest of the world, and there are consequences for those trying to find out what they’re hiding.
- A young girl is born with an evil eye, and her family uses her to torment their neighbors. They make her stare at people against her will, and as a result, those people go crazy and kill themselves. Some of her victims don’t know who to blame for their woes, so they end up harming the wrong person.
- An old man was dying from cancer when he revealed to his family that he had been a witch all along. He told them everything about being a witch and how it’s their turn to carry on the tradition, but no one believes him.
- A girl wakes in the middle of the night to realize that her right ear is missing. Shortly after, she notices that all her siblings are missing body parts too.
- A little girl hears screams coming from her parent’s bedroom. She rushes there to find them walking on all fours with claws like a wild animal and a mouth full of teeth. They were the wolves all along.
- A little girl is very excited to open her present on Christmas day, but when she does, what’s inside has a face that looks just like hers with piercing white eyes and enormous fangs for teeth. She holds it in her arms and looks at herself in the mirror to find that her face has changed too.
- A woman hears her son talking to someone at night, but it doesn’t bother her since she knows of her child’s imaginary friend. Suddenly, there’s a loud bang from her son’s room followed by screams.
Scary Story Ideas About Mysterious Disappearances
- A school bus full of children is driving through a forest when they come across an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. The next day, their teacher goes missing, and no one knows what happened to him.
- The parents of a young girl leave her alone for the first time, and she ends up disappearing. They start to look for her frantically, and all they see is a trail of blood leading to a thick bush.
- A couple goes on a camping trip, and their dog goes missing. When they checked their camping site, they found a large hole with evidence that something had been dragged down into it. The couple gets into the hole and finds human skulls all over.
- Two boys are watching tv when suddenly a mist appears, and one of them vanishes into the fog. The other boy tries to find him, but all he sees are human skulls with green eyes in the mist before it disappears.
- On a camping trip in the woods, a group of people get attacked by strange creatures, and one of them goes missing. The others see her body hanging from a tree, but she turns into a bird and flies away.
- A family moves to a neighborhood where babies have been disappearing without a trace. They have a baby girl and constantly obsess over her safety, but she goes missing from their yard one day.
- Two boys are playing in the woods, and they find a stick that has blood on it. They follow the trail to see that many other children’s bodies have been hanging upside down from the trees. These children have mysteriously disappeared from their homes, and their families gave up on them.
- A family moves into an old house that has human bones scattered on the floor of the basement. When they go to the police about it, they start asking too many questions and then the girl in the family disappears.
- A young boy is playing with his sister in a small room in the basement of his home when he finds a door that leads to an old house. He goes inside, but then she doesn’t hear him calling her. When she goes downstairs to see where he is, all she sees are his footprints leading into the old house, and then they disappear right in front of her eyes.
- Two girls are watching a scary movie when suddenly one of them vanishes. The other girl starts to panic and is about to call for help when something or someone’s hand suddenly covers her mouth.
Horror Story Writing Prompts on a Deadly Virus
- A rat dies during an experiment, and suddenly a virus breaks out from its body, infecting all those around. The virus causes the scientists to die and mutate, becoming violent creatures hostile towards anyone they see.
- A river in a small village has infected water. When people drink this water, they start coughing up blood and dropping dead.
- A woman walks into a hospital and suddenly starts barking and biting the people around. Everyone who’s bit immediately develops itchy red hives and drops dead shortly after.
- There’s a strange fog in a city, and anyone who walks through it gets bleeding sores. Doctors are unable to treat these sores, causing the victims to lose sight and muscle control.
- A woman wakes up in the middle of the night with bleeding sores and wanders around town, infecting everyone with her. People start vomiting and bleeding from every orifice and then die in a matter of minutes.
- A group of people live in an underground bunker to avoid being infected by a virus spread across the land. Not long after, their supplies are running low, and they have no idea how to get more. The only way to get more is to risk going outside and being killed by the virus, but they will starve to death if they stay inside too long.
- A swarm of locusts is flying around, infecting people with a deadly virus. Everyone who comes into contact with this virus develops terrible muscle spasms and eventually dies.
- A woman wakes up in a hospital bed alone with no memory of her or how she got there. She wanders around town looking for answers, but everyone she encounters ends up dead after showing strange symptoms.
- A man develops a rash at the back of his neck, and one hour later, the rash spreads to his whole body. It’s a deadly airborne virus that kills people within minutes after infection.
- People start going to a public bathroom and coming out with a strange rash. It’s a virus that infects those who use the bathroom. If those infected don’t find a way to stop the spread of this virus, it will eventually kill everyone.
Choosing the right topic for a story is the first step to writing unbeatable stories and forgetting about writer’s block. To choose right, you need several interesting and probable ideas.
Ideas for horror stories come from everywhere, not just books you’ve read before. Some ideas come from things you’d see on the news, while others come from a dark corner of your imagination.
The list provided is not exhaustive, but it’s a great place to begin your search for short horror story ideas.