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5 Spooky Writing Prompts | BookDaily #AuthorTips

It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s the perfect time to challenge yourself to explore a new genre and delve into horror. Here are five creepy writing prompts to get you started.

1. You’re fast asleep when you wake to a loud crash. You grab your flashlight, head downstairs, and check out the house for intruders. You discover the basement door is ajar, but you’re certain it was shut when you went to bed. What happens next?

2. You climb the attic stairs to grab a box of photo albums. You scan the dimly lit room to find the box you need. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a dark, shadowy figure. You turn and no one is there. But then, behind you, you hear the rustle of fabric as someone creeps closer…

3. Your co-workers have gone home for the day, but you’ve got to stay late to finish a report. You just ran out of paper, so you head to the supply closet for more. You’re walking down a dark hallway. You're alone, but you could swear you hear footsteps. They mirror your own, stopping when you stop, starting when you begin walking. They're getting louder, as though someone is stalking you. What do you do next?

4. You’re driving down a country road at night when your car breaks down. You see an old farmhouse nearby, and it looks like someone’s home, so you decide to ask for help. It’s a quaint little place, with a porch swing and potted flowers near the front door. The lights are on inside, and you catch a glimpse of someone walking past the window. You knock on the door, but there’s no answer. You try again, and the door swings open. You call out, but when no one replies, you decide to go in the house. They probably couldn’t hear you. There’s no sign of anyone in the living room, but you hear sounds coming from the kitchen. “Hello?” you say. There are knives and vegetables on the kitchen counter, as though someone was in the middle of slicing them up for a meal. On the stove, there’s a large pot. It’s starting to boil over, and whatever is cooking smells delicious. Curious, you lift the lid. What you see inside sends you running out of the house, screaming.

5. You get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. As you stare at yourself in the bathroom mirror, feeling groggy, you notice that your reflection looks wide awake. There is a long streak of blood on your cheek. You’re pretty sure it’s not yours. Then your reflection gives you a knowing look and winks. What happens next?

Scared yet? I hope you have a good time with these prompts. Share your work with us in the comments. We’d love to read what you wrote.


🐦CLICK TO TWEET🐦 #Authortip from @BookDailycom: 5 Spooky Writing Prompts for #Halloween by @MEskueOusley #amwriting #authorchat


MELISSA ESKUE OUSLEY is an award-winning author of young adult fiction. Her first book, Sign of the Throne, won a 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Award and a 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award. Her third book, The Sower Comes, won a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Her fourth book, Sunset Empire, debuted in the bestselling young adult boxed set, Secrets and Shadows. Her new suspense novel, Pitcher Plant, was released May 2017. She has edited fiction for Barking Rain Press and contributes monthly articles on writing, editing, and book marketing to She is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Connect with her at and on Twitter.


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