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How to Write Your Own Scary Story

Last updated 3 years ago

Spooky stories are synonymous with Halloween fun. Why not let your kids create their own scary story this year to give them writing practice and confidence as well as memorable family fun?

Use a spooky story starter
A story starter or prompt is one of the most effective ways to stimulate imagination and give an initial direction to creative writing. Try one of these or scare up one of your own:

  • As I peered into the large bubbling cauldron, I thought I saw . . .
  • When the door opened, a strange odor wafted toward me . . .
  • As I walked into the forest, I had an eerie feeling about the place . . .
  • Listening intently, I climbed the creaky stairs to the attic . . .
  • No one had been inside the house for years. Nervously, I knocked on the door . . .
  • Creating monsters sounded like fun until I met my new neighbor . . .
  • I knew something was wrong when my cat stood up and growled . . .
  • The ad for the haunted house read . . .
  • The strange noise started yesterday . . .

Organize your writing with a story planner
Make a brief template to help your kids organize their ideas and plot their story. On a piece of paper, write an outline that includes important elements like these and lines for filling in each response:

  • Name and description of main character
  • Name and description of scary characters or creatures
  • Location of story
  • How the main character is threatened by the scary thing
  • How the main character tries to get free and fails
  • How the main character finally gets free or defeats the scary thing

Add online tools to the brew
To show kids how a story can be created, explore an online story maker that lets them choose items and uses their choices in a short story. These are good practice in story organization and the use of specific details. Older kids might enjoy using a plot generator that summarizes their story idea like a book blurb.

Scare up the best Halloween words
Go beyond pumpkins and ghosts. Put skulls and screams, ghouls and black cats into your tale. Look online for lists of creepy and haunting words to make your story come alive!

Writing and reading their own story can give your kids the best Halloween ever!

At The Literacy & Language Center, we'd love to see your stories. Bring a copy for us when next time you stop by.

Have a frightfully good time this Halloween!

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