Spooky Stories - Essays

Every Bike Ride by Duncan Long

10 Horrifying Horror Story Prompts

Here are 10 horror story prompts that should give you the chills, and get you writing something scary. Warning if these don’t scare you, you are most-likely a zombie, vampire, werewolf or ghost. If you are unaware of being one of the undead, seek medical attention immediately.

  1. You have had a strange feeling for a few days now. Today you’ve been feeling very energetic and tired at the same time. You sit, exhausted and full of energy, at your desk. Your arm has been itching. It’s killing you now. You look at your forearm and see it for the first time. Something is moving under your skin. It is shifting around. Your muscle spasms and you realize there are dozens moving toward the surface.
  2. You open your eyes to complete darkness. The last thing you remember is the dog running out into the road, the brightness of the day light, and your car headed off the road. As your head clears you realize you are hanging upside down. Your feet and legs are completely mobilized. You can hear something breathing in the room.
  1. Your driving on a country road. It is late at night. You are far from home. You realize, as you check your mirrors, there is a man you do not know, hiding on the floor of your back seat.
  2. It’s 3 am. Your room is dark, but you can see that there is someone, standing at the foot of your bed. You can just make out that he or she is wearing a clown costume, and you are pretty sure, from the glare and the little bit of reflection, that it has a knife.
  3. At 3 am you wake up out of a very sound sleep. You hear the ice cream truck outside of your house. And you realize, the sound that woke you up, was the sound of your 4 year old daughter, letting the screen down slam, as she left the house.
  4. You are running late. After quickly getting ready, you rush out of the house and to your car door. A sound gets your attention, and for the first time this morning you look at your surroundings. There is a fully grown male lion, just a few feet from you. Your car door is still locked.
  5. You are falling. The 737 is a 100 yards above you. You hear the rush of the wind, and it’s so cold. You realize you are still holding your baby.
  6. The worst cramps you have ever had set in on your biceps. Your arms are twisting. You feel your ankles popping. It came on so suddenly. You drop to your knees, looking through your bedroom window, you see the full moon. You hear a little voice behind you, “Mommy?” (or “daddy”)
  7. You are frozen with fear. You open your eyes, the tent is dark. But you can feel the heavy weight of a large tarantula covering one eye. Through the other eye you can see the shadows, from the moonlight, of 100s if not 1000s of other spiders covering the tent.
  8. The man leans into you. There is a dark red almost black color to the whites of his eyes. He is so close his nose is almost touching your nose. You can feel his breath when he says, “We all have it in here. We are all infected.

We are looking for submissions to our horror story contest!!!! Submit your creepy story here.

If you would rather write horror poetry, try our Horror Haiku Contest.

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10 Horrifying Horror Story Prompts Here are 10 horror story prompts that should give you the chills, and get you writing something scary. Warning if these don't scare you, you are most-likely a zombie, vampire, werewolf or ghost. If you are unaware of being one of the undead, seek medical...

Every WriterEveryWritereds@everywritersresource.comAdministratorI am the Editor of EWR. I have been doing this a long time. Every WriterEvery Writer

This may sound like nothing, but I cannot tell you the uncanny monotony of its nightly repetitions. We refused to recognise it, of course, being sane, a family of atheists and, above all, British. One night, my furious doctor father, up book-writing in the early hours, bellowed: “Whoever’s charging up and down the stairs, will they stop?”

His wife and children rallied indignant: “Well, it’s not bloody us.”

One night, emboldened by drink, I roared: “Shut the ---- up” and it did, briefly, before recommencing with still more emphatic zeal. (There was a silver lining to this episode: my little sister, then nine, recently alluded to my big-sister bravery with the line: “Hannah shouts at ghosts.”)

READ: Ghost stories: The Wolf Man

Back then, we didn’t use the G-word. In fact, we strove not to use any word at all – not to acknowledge our summer haunting, certainly not to discuss it. And so the house tried harder, with what, I imagine, would be referred to as classic poltergeist activity. We would return home to find the taps turned on full-force, requiring wrenching back into inaction. An oven, on the third floor, would have its rings switched to red hot, making the house’s already airless attics crackle dangerously with heat. After the second time it happened, we had it disconnected. It happened again. (And, believe me, as I write this, I too think it is mad.)

Matters became worse. One night, the boarded-over fireplace in my room ripped open with a clamour. I wrenched my pillow over my ears, telling myself it must be a trapped bird. In the daylight, I investigated. Behind the fireplace, crammed up the chimney, were Victorian newspapers recording the house’s murder. I couldn’t read them.

My mother started behaving oddly – pensive, distracted. We eldest and Nanny Williams, our beloved summer-holiday addition, interrogated her. Finally, she cracked. Waking in the night, she had seen a dead child. This is how she described it – not a ghost, but a dead child dressed in Victorian clothing, visible from the knees up. It had a certain logic: a child appearing to a mother. I became determined not to see any such thing. Sounds could be denied; but sights would be too appalling.

But my mother was not the only person to be so affected. The house’s most oppressive room, overlooking the garden, we still do not venture into. It is colder than the rest of the house, now a repository for our old toys, which adds a certain Gothic element.

Back then, however, my four-year-old brother occupied it. Like all youngest offspring, he was a golden child: charming, vivacious. That summer he changed: rendered quiet, hollow-eyed, with the air of a tiny old man. Asked why he was so exhausted as he sat yawning one morning, he answered: “Every night, it’s the same: the lady with the big bottom [a bustle? I wonder] and the two men fighting over my bed, then one man hurts the other and the lady screams.” From then on, he slept in my mother’s room.

My grandmother bedded down there next, innocent of that summer’s events, then refused to ever again. My mother braved it to prove her wrong. Next morning, the room was locked. When we quizzed her, she refused to divulge what had happened, saying only that it was “something to do with time”. Somehow this was – and remains – the most horrifying thing I had ever heard.

READ: Ghost stories: A night in England's most haunted bedroom

Still, the part of the narrative that brings most fear to the few friends in whom I’ve confided it is this. One bright August day, drinking tea in the kitchen, we elders – me, my sister, Nanny and mother – finally admitted that something was happening. We laughed and teased each other but, my God, it was a relief.

Suddenly, a mirror sprang off the wall and shattered. On the back of its glass, in an old-fashioned script, the numbers 666 were repeatedly etched, along with the message: “I’m going to ------- kill you all.” I know you won’t believe this – I don’t believe it. But it happened.

Like you, I am wary of ghost stories: their linear march and relentless building to a crescendo. This is a story with no denouement. Over time, a year or two, events gradually petered out. Again, I am told that this is standard form: ghosts (I can barely type the word) act up with newcomers, then they – and you – adjust. Plus, I like to think that Bettses are far more terrifying.

Today, I love my parents’ house with its greenery and servants’ bells. It is our home. Yet still it has the capacity to act up. Our neighbour’s new cleaner recently informed him that she would not be returning, having seen a woman walk through a wall (our buildings were once joined). On another occasion, one brother’s girlfriend remarked that everything in her room had shaken at 4am. Was there some sort of quake?

“Some sort of quake,” we replied.

Have a ghost story of your own to share? Send it to ghoststories@telegraph.co.uk

Read more of our writers’ chilling tales at www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/

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