10 Best Horror Writing Prompts

August 22, 2022

Looking for inspiration to start writing a scary story? Horror stories can be great fun to write as you explore dark terrifying themes to make your readers squirm.

We’ve selected 10 of our best horror writing prompts to kick off your next horror story. No matter whether you prefer psychological horror or supernatural horror, these writing prompts will inspire stories that will keep your readers awake at night. 

1. Salt has been used for years to ward off evil. But as the oceans are drained and filtered to be made drinkable, the evil that was trapped there is unleashed.

Continue the story.

2. "But I don't want to go to bed. The man with no eyes is waiting for me in the closet!"

Write a horror story that contains this line of speech.

3. You are camping with your family in an unfamiliar forest. You wake up in the middle of the night to find yourself alone in your tent.

Practice throwing your reader straight into the drama of the story – begin your narrative with suspense, confusion, and tension from the offset.

4. She stared at me for a moment, then plunged the knife into my stomach.

Write a story containing this line, whether you build up to it, or go from it.

5. For a while your brother was convinced that someone was following him; now he's gone missing.

Continue the story. 

6. A simple game of hide and seek becomes much more horrific when a kidnapper joins the game.

How will your characters uncover what’s happening, and face the situation?

7. "If I survive, can I go home?"

Write a story containing this piece of speech.

8. The nausea crept up her throat from the pit of her stomach; the realisation that yesterday was real.

Use this sentence as the opening or closing line of a story.

9. Write a short horror story that DOESN'T involve murder, psychopaths, or paranormal activity.

Think about what other themes make horror writing captivating.

10. "Your time is up. Better run!"

Write a story that contains this line of speech.

How to write the perfect horror story

The prompts above are a great place to start your horror story. But what next? A lot of horror plays with the fear of the unknown so be sure to leave elements unknown to your readers so they really get the shivers. 

Your characters should be relatable to the reader so they experience the story in their shoes. The perfect horror grips the reader’s attention and their emotion as they anxiously devour each page to see what happens next.