150 Best Horror Prompts, Settings & Characters - Jericho Writers (2023)

150 outrageous horror messages and ideas to make your readers shudder

Whether you're looking to scare, horrify, or make your readers jump, we're here with all theinspirationyou need! We've come up with a horrible list of 50HorrorThe writing prompts to give your writing that spooky and spooky touch.

Why use terror prompts?

Horrorbooks (as well as movies and TV shows) exist because human fear exists. And all readers love to feel something with each genre! Classic horror fiction books are meant to scare, and over time, authors have found a variety of ways to do that. Common themes include ghosts, demons,monsters, vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, killers, serial killers, paranormal forces, witchcraft, apocalypse, psychological fear and gore.

So if you're feeling uninspired, think all the good ideas have been accepted (they haven't), or just want to let your imagination run wild, check out our list of horror messages. we include50specific examples of horror story ideas organized into subgenres. We hope some of them will send shivers down your spine and inspire you to write your own spooky novel!

50 horror story nominations

A word of warning: in keeping with the nature of the genre, most of these prompts contain violent or disturbing themes.

horror comedy suggestions

  1. You survive the apocalypse purely due to a series of happy accidents. It turns out that an alien race orchestrated the events of Doomsday on Earth to see if humans were ready to ascend. As a lone survivor, you are selected to be humanity's sole representative in the new world order.
  2. An unpopular newcomer to a town that values ​​natural beauty, Michaela takes pity on her father, a plastic surgeon, and goes to bed one night wishing all of her peers' worst fears about their physical insecurities will come true.
  3. You work at a Zombie Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles. It was your dream job until you realize you're stuck teaching "bite inhibition" classes.
  4. Flattered to be one of the few freshmen listed on the most popular sorority site, "Fresh Meat", you show up to a party in your honor at the Kappa Kappa house. At the end of the night, you discover a secret book containing a step-by-step 'How to Eat the Class of 2022' plan.
  5. The former beauty pageant queen transforms into a hungry werewolf on the biggest full moon of the year, on the prowl for the 'next pretty thing'. This year's pageant hopefuls are armed to the teeth and ready to fight for the crown.
  6. You are a vain old witch who adapts to the 21st century by getting a job at the Apple Store to charm teenagers' smartphones and undermine their youth through your gadgets.

Horror Indications of Demonic Possession

  1. Stacey's perfect home life begins to fall apart one day when a malicious spirit moves in and attacks its host, leaping between her, her husband and their two daughters.
  2. You terrorize your family when you wake up floating six feet above your bed. An exorcist tells them that he healed you, but the demon doesn't actually leave your body. You learn to go out alone when you're alone.
  3. Participating in a prison experiment for extra credit, 11 college students can't explain the violence that engulfed them and the brutal death of the 12.astudent, citing demons above any psychological element.
  4. You are trying to put your home on the market. You have lived there all your life and are the last surviving member of your family. Every realtor you bring into the house dies in a tragic accident days later.

Gore horror indications

  1. College student Jamie was looking for some extra cash when he signed up for two weeks of his summer vacation to participate in a simple clinical trial. But when he realizes that patients are having their organs removed against his will, his experience turns into a brutal and bloody nightmare.
  2. Someone in your neighborhood is committing terrible acts of violence against people at night. You set up a camera to investigate and capture an exact replica of yourself in the act.
  3. A well-intentioned robbery turns nasty for a group of friends trapped in a "death lodge" when the impressive vacation home turns into a horrific automatic killing machine at night.
  4. You take a summer job at an amusement park. One night, covering for a co-worker in the roller coaster cabin, body parts start flying. You stop the train and discover that all the passengers are long-dead corpses.

Horror Monster Indications

  1. Night brings terror to the loving but agoraphobic cat lady, as her six beloved pets turn into flesh-hungry demons as soon as it gets dark.
  2. Have you seenthe quiet placeypajarera, but what if the monstrous entity that invaded Earth destroyed humanity through touch? Each 'spore' is as big as a city, growing larger each time it absorbs a victim. A group of survivors must disperse if they are to traverse an increasingly narrow world to find and destroy the epicenter.
  3. Susie is a wedding photographer whose camera begins to reveal monsters invisible to the naked eye that attack the bride and groom's love. When Susie's clients start disappearing from their honeymoons, she's the only person who knows what's really going on with them.
  4. You are an accompanying teacher for swimming lessons at your school. You've inspected the pool yourself, but when the kids get in, you see a huge, invisible creature come to life. The first drowning is ruled accidental, and to their horror, the lessons continue.

Paranormal horror indications

  1. College student Josh is chosen as a pledge to a top-secret society via coded messages, which, unbeknownst to him, are left behind by the ghosts of past members who met gruesome ends. The final test forces you into an abandoned warehouse where you must perform increasingly demanding tasks on other promises.
  2. A close relative who died before you were born is standing in the upstairs window of the house across the street. You have no doubt it's them. When you work up the courage to break into the neighbor's house and confront him, you turn to see the person you came to find now visible in the window of your own house.
  3. The local sheriff's night turns to hell when the man he arrested uses his telekinesis to lethally arrest the station.
  4. A mother of three goes to great lengths to protect her family from imminent death when she begins to experience visions of their collective deaths.
  5. You are walking the dog one afternoon when you find yourself trapped in an endless physical loop in the woods. You feel that he is wasting time, but you cannot find the way out.

Post-apocalyptic horror indications

  1. Humanity went to sea to survive rising sea levels caused by climate change, but now its ocean shelves are overcrowded, starved of resources and plagued by disease. A deadly class struggle breaks out at one of the stations.
  2. A rogue AI slowly infected every computer and device, subtly pitting humans against each other. Now living in a culture of suspicion and mistrust based on the currency of violence, young nomad Kit refuses to kill to survive.
  3. You grew up as the next generation of the richest and most successful humans to survive the end of the world. Your world crumbles when you realize that those who created you were, in fact, the robot lords who destroyed humanity. They copied the skins of those they found locked in an emergency bunker and began artificially breeding humans as pets and slaves.
  4. Trapped inside a small cabin by her phobia of rain, one of the last surviving human women on earth tries to survive the night when a horde of plague-infected (which wiped out most of the human race) track her down hungry. bleed.

Indications of psychological terror

  1. After a tragic accident at the age of 21S tbirthday, Peter contacts his father again via email. He flies 6,000 miles to be with him, but when he arrives, he finds himself involved in a deadly game of fishing performed by a wolf in sheep's clothing.
  2. You wake up in your childhood bed, look at yourself and discover you are 12 years old again. You can't see yourself in the mirror or in pictures, but everyone can see you. You are convinced that it will disappear completely.
  3. Suspecting that his wife is unfaithful, Ben hires a private investigator to catch her in the act. When she disappears without her lover, Ben begins to suspect that the man he hired had something to do with it.
  4. You work the night shift at a 24-hour campus library. When snooping around, you find a handwritten book that was started three decades ago. It contains a record of all accidents and atrocities that have occurred at the school since then. A week later, a girl falls from the roof and dies. During her next shift, she sees a beloved teacher writing in the book. You start to doubt everything when the death is declared an accident.
150 Best Horror Prompts, Settings & Characters - Jericho Writers (1)

Indications of Religious Terror/Popular Belief

  1. Summer is excited to spend the semester abroad, until she spots some locals performing a horrible ritual on their traveling companion.
  2. Your parents reveal a horrible secret to you when you turn 18. Your idyllic lifestyle in a small, isolated community will come to an end if you don't start participating in the cult's lewd rituals. If you refuse, you will be sacrificed against your will to the cause.
  3. Born into a futuristic community that abhors physical contact, a young woman's attempts to break free meet the harshest repercussions.

Horror Slasher Indications

  1. Callie is thrilled to be driving to college with her graduation gift, a new electric Mercedes, when an EMP attack leaves her stranded on the side of the road. There's nothing but woods for miles, until a lumberjack with a dark past stops beside her.
  2. Ten years after saying goodbye to your imaginary friend, you see his face on the nightly news next to the headline "Recent Redfield Ripper Attacks."
  3. A mad chef who rents a cabin in the woods hones his knife skills on anyone unfortunate enough to piss him off.

vampire horror messages

  1. Cal is a resigned postman with a boring new route in a rural valley when he meets three beautiful sisters who live alone in a big house. He's there most days carrying curious packages. Bad weather knocks a tree down the only driveway, and a few days later, Cal is faced with a terrifying scene at his front door.
  2. For months, your dog keeps waking you up at the same time every night. He barks at the window. When you look down the street, you see the same stranger watching you. Stranger cannot be registered and no one believes you when you tell. One night, thinking you're delusional, you invite him in.
  3. Told from the point of view of the younger brother of an ancient vampire clan, Clara and her family are 'monsters' who live their lives in fear of a powerful new hunter who has trapped them in a small town and threatens to bring them down. by one. 🇧🇷

witchcraft horror messages

  1. Bad luck, librarian Eliza idolizes famous American movie star Marsha Green. When she stumbles upon an ancient tome under some rotting floorboards and begins to meddle with unknown forces, she triggers events that alter Marsha's life forever.
  2. You win the lottery. But every time you spend some of the money, no matter what you use it for, bad things happen. You go back to where you found the lucky ticket, stuck to a tree, and it's now covered in unknown symbols.
  3. A revolutionary new computer game is downloaded onto the laptops of a group of 11-year-old boys. After playing all night, they return to school to find that their actions in the game have been inflicted on their classmates. Suspecting their strict master is behind it, the kids must figure out how to undo their spell and reverse the damage they've caused.
  4. You are an overbearing mother who wishes she could give her daughter a perfect life. You do more harm than good with your cosmetic spells and emotional charms, nearly destroying your sixteen-year-old daughter's life, who ends up taking revenge in equal measure.
  5. Working late one night, an executive finds himself unable to leave his haunted office chair when a scorned investor tells him to perform humiliating acts in front of his webcam as penance.

zombie horror indications

  1. A teenage girl goes to an illicit gathering in the woods one night and meets a young boy. The encounter ends badly. She awakens to find tooth and nail marks and realizes that she is a little less alive than the day before.
  2. You dreamed about the zombie pandemic as a kid. You've spent your life preparing an antidote, waiting for the outbreak so you can develop a cure. You are alienated from the scientific community by your "fringe beliefs". At the first signs of illness in your loved ones, you kidnap them and take them to an underground research facility where you do your best and make terrible decisions in hopes of saving the human race.
  3. Years after the murder of her best friend, Detective Alana's latest case leads her to a mansion overrun by a horde of zombies led by an eerily familiar face.
  4. He never questioned his landlord's odd behavior, desperate as he was for cheap rent. But when the fuse blows and there's no one to fix it, you discover a terrible truth in the basement freezer. It's overflowing with brains!
  5. You are a volunteer doctor in the latest wave of deadly outbreaks across Europe. When you are morally incapable of killing patient zero in the early stages of an unknown new strain, you must live by releasing the zombie virus into the world's population.
150 Best Horror Prompts, Settings & Characters - Jericho Writers (2)

50 places to find inspiration for your horror story

The setting of a horror story is everything, but not every horror novel has to take place in a scary place (in fact, sometimes you can put a terrifying spin on the most mundane of places by adding a bit of the unknown).

When looking for inspiration, it really helps to physically go somewhere or investigate ancient relics to help jump-start your imagination. Take a look at our 50 Places That Might Inspire Your Next Spooky Story. In fact, see if you can think of a horror book or movie set in some of these places (we sure can!).

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  1. an empty school
  2. a cemetery
  3. look at old paintings
  4. Browse old photo albums
  5. an empty house
  6. The basement
  7. The attic
  8. A toy store after closing time
  9. Visit an old library
  10. a museum
  11. The house of an old woman who hasn't changed in decades
  12. a junkyard
  13. The dessert
  14. The ocean (the deeper the scarier)
  15. an isolated island
  16. The forest on a misty day
  17. e a tundra nevada
  18. a corn field
  19. to the zoo
  20. a mall
  21. An abandoned... well... whatever
  22. A hospital
  23. Prison
  24. a locked room
  25. A hotel
  26. a wooden hut
  27. A sweltering hot day
  28. Suburb… but different
  29. An urban street in ruins
  30. A room full of puppets
  31. theater backstage
  32. Empty corridors that lead nowhere
  33. a morgue
  34. a dump
  35. An empty road in the rain
  36. the top of a mountain
  37. ancient ruins
  38. The interior of a church
  39. An amusement park after closing time
  40. a circus
  41. a cave
  42. Under the streets of a big city
  43. A subway/subway station
  44. An airport
  45. The kitchens of a hotel or restaurant
  46. a factory
  47. An old stone quarry
  48. overgrown railway line
  49. a bookstore
  50. A boat
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50 horror story characters to inspire you

Sometimes the simplest of stories with the most mundane setting can be downright awful if you add a very complicated character. Of course, you can use fantastic monsters and characters that you've created, but often the best effect is to blend an everyday character with a setting to which they belong; for example, a clown hiding inside a car in an empty junkyard, or a bony old woman, bent double, in the middle of the jungle. And remember: these characters can be good gifs, bad gifs, or maybe a combination of both!

  1. Clown
  2. old lady
  3. troubled teenager
  4. a person without eyes
  5. cop
  6. Nurse
  7. Woman with dramatically applied makeup
  8. Lumberjack
  9. Writer
  10. gangster
  11. Sex worker or pimp
  12. Someone with finger blades
  13. baby in a crib
  14. child who doesn't speak
  15. Girl in bed with her hair covering her face
  16. A character that belongs to another time.
  17. Straw man
  18. animal that can talk
  19. person with wings for arms
  20. A very normal looking mother. A littlealsonormal.
  21. Robot
  22. Someone who should be dead
  23. Thief
  24. zoo worker
  25. Cook
  26. librarian
  27. Maestro
  28. A good boy with two shoes
  29. Cowboy
  30. airplane pilot
  31. captain of a boat
  32. bomber
  33. Scientist (everybody loves a mad scientist)
  34. a single father
  35. A mother with more children than she can handle
  36. Farmer
  37. Waitress
  38. sewer worker
  39. Lion tamer
  40. Builder working on a new house
  41. Archaeologist
  42. security guard
  43. Traffic Enforcer/Parking Meter Cleaner
  44. Artist
  45. Someone with wheels for feet
  46. Judge
  47. Prision guard
  48. door-to-door seller
  49. shy secretary
  50. nun or priest

Writing horror doesn't have to be difficult.

We hope that our mailing list written toHorror, along with scenery and characters, sparked your imagination! If not, here's how to take our horror ideas to the next level:

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Found a horror story post you like but don't know where to follow it? Let's take number 8 from the main list for example, add some interesting characters from our list and choose a configuration or two. Then start building ainformation bankabout your protagonist from there. At this point, focus oncharacter, not thegraphic– because often one thing can lead to another.

The warning:You're a troubled teenager terrorizing your family when you wake up floating six feet above your bed. You've just moved into an old house on a quiet, spooky suburban street. An exorcist tells his family that he cured him, but the demon doesn't leave his body and learns to leave only when you're alone.

You're still a teenager, living at home. Your name is Jackson, but your name is Jax. You are a second-generation immigrant and speak Greek at home with your family. Your father named you after his favorite American baseball player. You have dark hair, dark eyes, and when you stole your grandmother's baklavas off the kitchen counter, she said you could see the devil in her face. You spend your weekends cruising the coastal highways on motorcycles with your friends, doing whatever you can to stay out of the way of your spoiled little sister and overworked father. You are closer to your YaYa but you are too scared to tell her where you spend most of your time. Change made you restless and took away everything you loved.

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Or, why not first draw up a plot outline? Theincident incitefor this indicator could be:
You entered your room after a long night out with your friends. You left the window open. Four hours after falling into bed with your clothes on, you wake up with a start to find yourself floating inexplicably in the air. Your body is locked into position. You spend a terrified hour trying to free yourself from its clutches, but you can feel another presence inside your own body, forcing you down. You'll be late for your new school, your sister turns the doorknob, and your dad calls out to you. Her feet frame the sheer terror of the three faces in the doorway as her eyes strain to see them. Her grandmother recovers faster, tucks the komboskini into her frozen fist, and runs out of the room to call the priest.

Whether you start your horror story with just a vibe, a tiny seed of an idea, a big set,character, or a completegraphic- it doesn't matter. A great story can start anywhere, you just have to make sure you keep feeding it (like any scary monster) and watch it grow more and more hideous every day!

Jericho Writers is aglobal membership group for writers, providing everything you need to get published. Stay up to date with our news, membership offers and updates bysubscribing to our newsletter.For more writing materials, check out ourblog page.

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150 Best Horror Prompts, Settings & Characters - Jericho Writers (4)

By Thea Pelletier

About the author

Tea is part ofsupport for writers There at Jericho Writers. She has a degree in German and English Literature.from the University of Edinburgh and enjoys spending time with her dogs andworking on her first novel in her spare time.

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