Scary Story Ideas: 31 Spine-Chilling Ideas & Picture Prompts For Horror Writers

There are scary stories and there are really scary stories. Some of these stories might be something you would tell around a campfire or even at a sleepover. Others might be something like gore that could haunt you for days, weeks, or even years.

In this post are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help you come up with your own scary story.

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31 Scary Story Ideas

1. The Man in the Suit

It was a cold, dark night and there was stillness all around. John was home alone, but he didn’t feel alone. He felt like someone was watching him, so stepped towards the window. And there he saw it – a tall figure dressed in a black suit, standing motionless in the shadows.

2. The cruel candle

Rebecca was walking home from school when she noticed an old candle lying in the gutter. She picked it up and brought it home with her, not knowing that this seemingly innocent object would bring her nothing but terror. The cruel candle had a mind of its own – every time she lit it, a ghostly figure would appear and haunt her day and night.

3. The cobweb

It was just another regular day for Alice, until she saw it – a cobweb stretching across her living room. She cautiously brushed it away with her broom, but as soon as the cobweb disappeared, something else appeared. A mysterious web of dark moss emerged from the shadows and began to move towards her.

4. Hair Fire

The small village of Evergreen was known for its peacefulness, until one fateful night. Late in the evening a strange fire started burning throughout the town, but it wasn’t like any other fire – it was made up of human hair! No one knew where or how it had started.

5. The Toilet

Sam was having a normal day until he went to use the toilet. As soon as he opened the door, he heard a strange noise coming from inside the bowl. He slowly knelt down and peered into the depths of the toilet, but what he saw made him scream in terror – there, at the bottom of the porcelain throne, was a hideous creature with glowing eyes and razor-sharp teeth.

6. The Summer Camp Ghost

Danny is excited to go to summer camp, but his friends tell him of an old legend about a ghost that haunts the campground. They tell him stories of hearing strange noises in the night, and seeing glimpses of a pale figure roaming the grounds. No one knows who the ghost is, but soon, Danny finds out.. and it turns out it was the beginning of an unending terror.

7. The Mirror

When Sarah entered her bedroom that night, she was shocked to see a strange mirror standing in the corner. She cautiously moved closer to investigate and that’s when she saw it – her reflection in the mirror was not her own, but a strange figure shrouded in darkness.

8. Mummified Birthday dress

It was Susie’s birthday and her mother had bought her a beautiful dress for the special day. But when Susie opened it, she screamed in horror – the dress was mummified! Susie quickly ran to tell her parents what had happened, but they just laughed and told her it must have been an old prank from long ago. But the mummified dress had a dark secret – it was cursed and anyone who wore it would disappear without a trace.

9. The Tunnel

Late one night, Jack came across an old abandoned railway tunnel. Curiosity got the better of him and he decided to venture inside. As as soon as he took a few steps forward, he heard something – a strange whispering that said “you’re never coming out”. And Jack began to run…

10. Scary Black Coffee

Every morning John would go to the same cafĂ© to get his coffee. One day, as he walked in, a strange man was behind the counter. He handed him an unusually black cup of coffee. He took it hesitantly, but when he took his first sip, something strange happened instantly – he began to have horrific visions…

11. Night Terrors

In this small suburban town children have begun having vivid nightmares every night – horrific nightmares which seem to come straight from the depths of their worst fears. No one knows why this is happening or how to stop it, but as each night passes more and more children become terrorized by these nightmares…

12. The Curse of the Doll

An old doll has been passed down through generations of a family. When a young girl takes the doll home with her, strange things begin to happen – lights flicker on and off, objects move by themselves, an eerie presence is felt in the house at night… Could this old family heirloom be cursed?

13. The Clown

It was the night of the county fair, and all the children were excited to see their favorite clowns perform. Little did they know that this clown was anything but normal – he had an evil glint in his eye and an eerie grin on his face. As soon as he stepped onto the stage, a chill ran through the crowd and no one dared to laugh at his jokes. That night, none of the children ever returned home.

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More Scary Story Ideas

14. Returning Home

A young woman returns home to visit her family after college. She arrives home to find that the home she remembers isn’t quite the same. After going inside, she finds things have been moved around. She slowly goes to investigate when she notices a figure standing in the shadows of the stairwell…

15. The Town That Was Swallowed by the Earth

A small town in rural America began to sink into the ground. As it slowly sank deeper and deeper, strange things started happening – mysterious lights in the sky at night, ghostly vampires appearing from beneath, and unexplainable disappearances of people…

16. The Flying Knife

It was a perfect summer day when Lucy and her brother decided to take a picnic in the woods. They spread out their blanket and began to eat, but suddenly Lucy heard something whizzing through the air – it was a paring knife, flying straight at them! They scrambled away, but just as they were about to escape, the knife stopped in midair and hovered there, as if it was waiting for something…

17. The Painting

When John entered his grandmother’s house, he noticed a strange painting hanging on the wall. He moved closer to take a look and that’s when he saw it – the painting was of an old woman that looked so much like the woman he had seen in a horror movie. He scampered off in shock, but then…

18. The mystic smoke

Alan was walking through the woods one night when he stumbled upon a clearing filled with strange, mystic smoke. He stepped inside and suddenly felt like he was in another world – a world of terror and fear. The smoke seemed to be alive, following him no matter where he went. He tried to escape but it kept coming after him until finally…

19. The creepy snake

Partially blind Karen was exploring her attic one day. Then she noticed a peculiar curly object in the corner – it looked like a snake, but it wasn’t moving. She cautiously reached out to touch it, and at that moment, the snake suddenly stirred and coiled around her arm. Its eyes shone with an evil glint as it hissed menacingly at her…

20. The Pepper spray

Janeth heard a strange noise one night in the garage. He quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out a can of pepper spray, ready to fight back whatever it was that lurked in the darkness. But as soon as she turned around, he realized it wasn’t a person or an animal – it was something much worse. A thick, black fog had engulfed the street and was coming closer and closer to her…

21. Teary cat

A man was walking through a cave one day when he saw something strange – a cat with glowing red eyes. He cautiously approached it and noticed that the cat seemed to be crying. As soon as he touched it, its tears became like fire, burning through his skin and leaving him in agonizing pain. What kind of creature was this?

22. A woman finds an old camera in her attic and when she develops the film inside, it reveals a demonic figure on each photo.

23. While out walking late at night, a group of friends find themselves being followed by what appears to be twin ghost girls who only come out after nightfall has set in.

24. A couple moves into their newly purchased house. But they quickly discover it is haunted by a vengeful spirit determined to drive them out of its domain no matter what it takes…

25. After taking some sleeping pills, a man wakes up to find himself trapped within the walls of his own home with no way back out or anyone else around him – except for something lurking just beyond his reach…

26. A family decides to take one last camping trip before winter sets in and during this journey they encounter an otherworldly creature that seems intent on following them every step of the way…

27. After visiting an old abandoned asylum, two teens stumble upon something sinister living deep within its walls – something more terrifying than anything

28. A young girl is walking home one dark evening, when she feels something watching her from the shadows of a nearby alleyway. She turns to find a tall figure with glowing red eyes staring straight at her, and before she can react it lunges forward and vanishes into the darkness.

29. An elderly woman is home alone late one night when she hears strange noises coming from beneath her bed – a low growling sound that grows louder by the minute until finally an enormous creature appears out of nowhere and attacks her ferociously!

30. An engineer discovers that the new building he is working on has been built atop an ancient burial ground and strange events start happening as soon as construction begins.

31. At first glance, it seems like just another ordinary day for two friends walking through their neighborhood until suddenly they cross paths with someone who looks almost exactly like them but isn’t actually real…

👉 Don’t know how to write a story? Head over to our guide on How to write a story

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