Halloween Story Starters

Capture a Spooky Setting

Capture a Spooky Setting


Do you love spooky stories?  Ones that make you shiver, jump at an unexpected sound, feel like someone is watching from the shadows?

Here are some opening lines to start you writing your own.  But first, a couple of tips:

  •  Fear builds when something unknown happens or might happen.  Don’t simply include gruesome monsters or menacing wraiths – instead, let your character hear/feel things that shouldn’t be possible.
  •  Don’t forget the surroundings, including the unexplainable from above, such as things that move with no wind or that don’t move when they should.  Your character’s observations and reactions will heighten the tension.

Okay, ready to write? You can use these openers as written, change the gender or other details, or let them be triggers for your own ideas.  Whether you write a paragraph or a complete short story, have fun giving someone else the shivers!


  1. She stared at the candle, watching the flame flicker until it drowned in melted wax.
  2. His footsteps echoed on the staircase and a door clicked shut above.  Who else was in the building this late?
  3. The fog crept closer, wispy fingers reaching through the orchard until the trees were smothered in white.
  4. It was an ordinary Monday night with the kids asleep upstairs and the ball game blaring from the family room, until the doorbell rang.
  5. The old woman walked back and forth, back and forth, from one room to another.  Sometimes she seemed to be carrying something heavy.  Once she stopped to laugh.

If you’d like to share a bit of what you wrote, please paste it into the comments below.



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