Writing Prompts For Horror Stories in Pictures and Text

Into the creepy, scary or just downright weird? NITH’s got you covered. Writing prompts for horror stories, for the Stephen King everyone.


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 Writing Prompts For Horror Stories

1) Alone In The Woods

You are alone in the woods when you come across cabin. What is in there? Objects, furniture, food? What can you tell about the owner of this cabin by what’s inside? Is there anything here that can help you?

Now you hear a sound coming from somewhere… It sounds like a low wailing. Is it coming from outside, or underneath that rug?

Horror writing prompts


2) Hollywood Screams

Pick 5 of your favourite actors and cast them as characters in a  horror film. For each write the following:

  • Their backstory – Where do they come from? What do they do for work or study? Are they rich or poor?
  • What is their reaction to the situation they find themsevles in. Do they get angry and fearful or do they remain calm?
  • Their death or near death scene – How do they die? If the escape, how do they do that?

Scary Writing Prompts

3) The Hunter

Write from the perspective of the antagonist. Give them a name and a backstory. What drove them to be the big bad in your horror story? What are their motivations? Do they have any special tattoos or scars or other sorts of branding?
Where do they live?

What do they have planned for their victims? What is their relationship to one another?


4) Misery

Read some of the short stories written to this prompt

Continue this story:

“Good, you’re awake. I’ve prepared something special for you while you were sleeping. Let me just remove that blindfold. There we go. Now you can see my creation perhaps you’d like me to put the blindfold back on.”

Spooky writing prompts
Stephen King’s The Langoliers was not the best film.

5) Outer Limits

It’s been a long week, but you’re on the red eye home. Settling into your seat you look out of the window of your plane to see something on the wing.

Horror writing

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6) The Crow

Write a story about a creepy bird. End your story with …”It is perched on a branch, not far from my window, watching, staring with an unfathomable black eye. ”

Scary cat

7) Hallowed Ground

The estate agent meets you by the gate. She seems nervous.
“It’s a lot bigger than in the pictures,” you say, looking over the house looming in the distance. A single ash tree, its limbs bare, totters in the yard.
“But such a great price, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” insists the estate agent.

You sign the papers, and the house is yours.

Like our writing prompts for horror stories? Try the writing prompts page for more creative primers.

The laboratory of No

8) The Laboratory of No

Five servants, homunculi, stand ready to do your bidding. “What shall we create today, Master?”

Horror writing prompts

9) More Than A Skin Graft

Gary is a universal blood donor who works as a driver for famous media mogul Paul Murdocca. When Murrdocca’s body is crushed by falling scaffolding at one of his studios Gary volunteers to help in any way he can.

Little did Gary know what he was signing up for. When he wakes up from the operation, Murdocca’s head has been grafted to his shoulder…

Dog in the woods

10) Here Doggy Doggy

After returning home from a formal dinner at the University Professor and Doctor Brownlee discover their pooch, Izzi, is missing. Armed only with a torch and a vast knoweldge of Pre-Judean Mythology they venture out into the woods to find their dog.

Scary writing prompts

11) Tween Wolf

A boy his age really shouldn’t be that hairy. And why does he disappear some nights? He used to be such a nice boy…

Yellow King
Did we ever work out who the Yellow King was?

12) Local Knowledge

Write a story about police partners sent to a small town to investigate a spate of gruesome murders. Consider their relationships with the local police and who might be covering up what.

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13) Bride of Cthulu 

So what if he’s an ugly mind controlling space-being bent on enslaving the human race. He’s my mind controlling space-being bent on enslaving the human race.

Horror writing prompts images

14) Heart of Barkness

See the branches waving?  They must be friends or something. Faces in the bark that change when you’re not looking. Is that old vine creeping? It’s dark in the forest and nobody sees a thing.

Creepy apartment writing prompt

15) Murder

You’re just about to sit down and start working on your latest blog entry when you hear it. A blood curdling scream from somewhere in your building. Then a thud.

The screaming stops

Then the sound of something heavy being dragged.

You reach for your phone, only to remember you dropped it this morning rushing down the stairs when you were late for pilaties.

You got to make it out. Armed only with your laptop, you step out into the corridor…

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