2018 $500 Halloween Writing Prompt Contest!

in Contests for writers

Welcome to our 2018 $500 Halloween Writing Prompt Contest. We decided to try something different this year. We are asking for writing prompts from YOU. In this case we are asking for writing prompts that will produce scary stories. You can see examples of these types of writing prompts over at our Top 10 Horrifying Horror Prompts. These prompts, the page was so popular, we wanted to write more than one, but we decided to get your help. We are going to use all or some of these for a new list of horrifying horror prompts.

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of this contest will the first 3 on our new list. We will give you credit for the prompt and a link to your page. The first place winner will walk away from this contest with $500. We want your horrifying halloween writing prompts!

Here are the rules of contest:

  • You have to write a scary horror prompt (or it must inspire other writer to write a scary story)
  • You have to write your prompt in the comments section
  • You have to do this by October 28, 2018.
  • Winner of the contest will be announced on Halloween Night
  • Prompt must be original and not published anywhere else on the web

Write your scariest horror story prompt and put it in the comments below.  Here is what you will win:

  • Winner gets $500
  • Winner and other best prompts will be published on our Terrifying writing prompts page
  • You will get credit for your prompt on our site
  • You will get a link to your site from our page
  • You will get to inspire others to write terrifying stories

The prompts can be scary, we want them to make us feel fear, but in the end the prompt just has to make us and others produce something a horrifying story. So leave your Halloween Horror Prompts below!

Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal...check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles


  1. After being invited to a party by a neighbor who recently moved into your neighborhood, you’re served a drink that completely disorients and temporarily immobilizes you. The neighbor helps you to a couch in a side room to “sleep it off.” When you awake, everyone else is gone and you find yourself lying in a plywood box as your neighbor uses special tongs to place rattlesnakes in it with you.
    “If you don’t move,” he says, “they won’t bother you.”
    You want to scream and jump up to get away from these reptiles slithering over and around your body, but you know they will strike and you’ll die if you do.

  2. I’d always enjoyed Halloween and the variety of children dressed in so many different costumes “trick or treating.” When I answered the doorbell this year, seven small figures dressed as Snow White’s dwarfs greeted me.
    “Trick or trick,” the one with “Grumpy” emblazoned on his costume said.
    “Oh, you mean ‘trick or treat,'” I interjected, reaching for my bowl of candy to pass out.
    “I know what I meant, lady,” he growled, as all seven shoved their way past the door and threw me to the floor. It was obvious these were not the kind, chivalrous and hard working dwarfs as portrayed by the Brothers Grimm. What was grim and deadly serious was that I was lying helpless beneath their mob of bodies as a gag, rope and a pair of handcuffs made their appearance from under their clothes. I suddenly realized what their intent was and became afraid for my life as they bound and gagged me. These adult midgets were using this children’s night for an evil purpose. They intended for me to be their victim.
    “Now you’ll find out what the ‘trick’ part is going to be,” Grumpy threatened, producing a knife and a needle-tipped syringe filled with a colorless liquid.

  3. His back against the statue of Graye Marshal, he’d make humanity’s last stand… and lose.
    Graye was trained. Like his brethren, he was the last of the heroes. A century ago, he slew the last horde of the Old Beasts and breathed his last on this very spot. They didn’t think they’d need to train any more Knytes. The Holy Dojos were closed and the Smithfires were dowsed. They celebrated their safely and, eventually, they forgot about the screams, the blood, and the re-animations. They forgot about The Damned, and the toothy Smilers. The winged Howlers, the brown Crawlers, and the dark things from the lower-ground otherwolds faded from their memory.
    They didn’t think they needed heroes any more. Now the evil is back and the Knytes are gone.
    Now the world is doomed.

  4. It was a haunting tune the woman hummed. I’d heard it from others in the village too. Men and women both when along this stretch of road, but mostly women. Eventually I learned the words. It’s called, “The Ballad of the Where-girl”.

    “Where have you gone, my darling little one,
    without your petticoat and shoes?
    With wolves about in the forest and hills,
    and the livestock the farmers lose…
    I’m calling girl, come back to me!
    Oh, where girl, where can you be?

    Come out, my darling, the game is done
    I must know that you’re just fine.
    The sun creeps low, the air grows chill.
    The searchers tire and still no sign.
    I’ve called you girl. Come back to me.
    Oh, where girl, where can you be?

    The years gone by, this road still haunts
    of your vanishing on that day.
    Some distance there do my eyes accost
    A naked girl and wolves at play?
    I’m calling, girl. Come back to me!
    Oh, where girl, where have you been?

    Do eyes betray what this old heart wants?
    Pale flesh at home among the fur?
    Or tricks of tears for a child long lost
    that caused my hope, again, to stir?
    I’ve called you, girl. Come back to me.
    Oh, where girl, where can you be?”

    They say that the wolves in these parts abduct children. But in all the years, not one has been caught. And no child has ever been found.

  5. Even under the morning sun, you taste the damp air. The constant, soft sigh of water over rock. You promised your mother you’d never go near it, not without her.
    Until you saw the girl through the front window, the girl you knew.
    Walking toward the river.

  6. Young children from a small town are waking up with shrieks of horror. The children have bloody marks across their cheeks. Most of the marks do not match or follow a pattern. Investigators photograph the children and take pictures of the bedrooms. Parents are interviewed about any recent changes, and the only links are related to pillowcases. A dark warehouse that has now closed down, had recently shipped cartoon and superhero figure pillowcases to a nearby department store. The children do not want to depart from their beloved new pillowcases, A parent sneaks the pillow away and takes it to the living room couch. The tired parent is dozing off when she feels the action figure sword slide across her face. The reality that the pillowcases are coming to life during the night hours has sunk in. A new cartoon which has action figures with fire has just arrived. Are the homes in the small town in danger of being engulfed in flames?

  7. You open your front door to a thick, dark fog. The neighborhood is quiet, unusual for a work day. You step out into the murkiness with your keys in one hand. You unlock your car doors remotely. The trio of beeps sounds eerie in the silence. Just as you’re about to reach for your car door, you see a bloody hand holding the handle. You can’t see a body. Then a voice whispers,, “Help me.”

  8. Drip! Drip! Drip! What am I? Water from the river or blood from my open wounds. Either/Or, I’m still your worst nightmare – come to scare. Look out your window tonight, if you dare!

  9. You’ve been flying over Everglades National Park in Florida in your private plane when it develops engine trouble and loses all power. You don’t have enough altitude to glide to a safer area and are forced to make a water landing in the center of this massive swamp. There has been no time to put out a “Mayday” call on your radio to alert others about your emergency situation and you’re too low for radar to have picked you up. You survive the water splash down and are able to exit the aircraft as it floats for a period of time before you know it will eventually sink. As you sit wet and bewildered atop the cabin in filthy murky surroundings, crocodiles begin to converge in the area and a massive python thrusts its head out of the depths scant feet in front of you and slithers along quietly circling your position as if pondering its next move. With no way to defend yourself, terror and anguish combine to overwhelm your emotional state as you realize hope is all but gone.

  10. After a long day of travel, you’re so tired you pull into a secluded wilderness area overlooking a deep valley hoping to sleep for a few hours. After darkness has fallen, you’re suddenly awakened by something shaking your car as if it’s a toy. A monstrous entity with blazing red eyes is glaring at you through the rear window as it grunts and begins shoving your car toward the nearby cliff. You start the engine but this creature has lifted the rear wheels off the ground and they can’t get any traction. You stomp on the brakes…to no avail. Terrorizing fear paralyzes your body as you realize you’re at the mercy of an unknown beast apparently intent on your destruction.

  11. You’ve been kidnapped by a radical and sadistic terrorist group in a foreign country known for filming scenes of torture to be broadcast on media all over the world. You are threatened with every debasing human act imaginable if you don’t bow to their demands. You’re alone, without any chance of being rescued before they carry out their devious and ghastly plans, and your friends and family have no idea where you are or the demonic danger you’re in.

  12. New Zombie

    Waiting in the fog.
    Grabbing victims,
    as you step from the gloom.
    Their brains are what you consume.
    It’s a witch’s curse.
    As a young punk, you snatched
    the wrong ladies purse.
    Opening her purse sealed your doom.
    You’re the victim
    stepping from the gloom.
    A new Zombie.

  13. Trapped in a mansion for a night. Parents gone. You alone. Or so you thought.

    An under priced mansion has been bought by your parents. This town the mansion rests in is the home to a horrible memory you wish you could erase. Now, the home of that memory is the home you live in. The memory of a murder.

    Soon the memory is being relived when you think you hear something, in the basement. The place where it all began.

  14. The Jikan-Tsunawatari shattered when it hit the floor.
    “You idiot!” Kitomi fumed at Matsura. “You damaged the amulet! It was the only way to get back to our proper timeline!”
    The creature’s prehensile pedipalp snatched Kitomi from the glowing circle as she screamed in terror. A barbed tentacle wrapped around Matsura’s ankle.
    The Jikan-Tsunawatari shattered when it hit the floor.
    “You idiot!” Kitomi fumed at Matsura. “You damaged the amulet! It was the only way to get back to our proper timeline!”
    The creature’s prehensile pedipalp snatched Kitomi from the glowing circle as she screamed in terror. A barbed tentacle wrapped around Matsura’s ankle.
    The Jikan-Tsunawatari shattered when it hit the floor.

  15. Long ago your son went missing. You were a grieving mother who had just lost her entire life. Friends and family were there for you in your time of need. You wouldn’t tell anyone what happened. You know why. Don’t you remember drowning him in the lake?

  16. The scariest part about this story, is that it’s true.
    Whatever infested in my home, wanted me. It made that very clear.
    I slept in the room where it dwelled; I was gravitated to it before I even knew it existed.
    It visited me in my sleep, forcing my unconscious body to endure relentless nightmares that revolved around the same theme: The demon wanted me. And in my waking hours, that did not change.

  17. Our neighborhood used to have a funny, informal contest every Halloween. Families would vie to see who could come up with the spookiest ways to greet the trick-or-treaters who came to their door. Our new neighbor seemed a little shocked by the idea at first. But that was the year our kids started disappearing.

  18. Jeffrey wiped the sweat from his forehead and sat down on the dilapidated porch. He really hadn’t expected it to be this difficult. They always make it look so easy in the movies. He glanced over to the hole he had just dug and noticed something red poking out of the soil. Carefully, he stepped down the creaky steps, each board moaning and threatening to collapse under his weight. It was almost dark and the sounds of the swamp had him on edge. As he inched forward, every nerve in his body tingled with apprehension…

  19. I brought a pet kitten, mouse, and a bird.
    I set them up at home. I put the kitten on a bed I made for him on the floor.
    The mouse is in the cage with a wheel. And the bird is in his cage.
    They all seem to get along. I left and went to work. When I returned, there was
    a smell I couldn’t identify. It smelled like death warmed up! I looked around, I saw cat hair was on the bed I made on the floor, the wheel was sitting on top
    of the mice cage, and a bird feather was hanging on the lock of the birdcage. I quickly called the police because I had to been robbed. As I walked
    into my dining room area, someone had nicely made the table with a plate on the table that looked like Goulash and Smelled like Hell had come through my floor.
    Someone had cooked my pets.

  20. How does a moment last forever? That’s the question you ask yourself when you notice the day before Halloween repeating itself on campus. You’re not allowed to leave the campus and this is the third time you’ve lived through the day. Today, however, is different. There’s a girl staring at you, glaring at you. She slowly raises her arm and hand gestures you to her. Do you run or walk to her? What about away from her? Do you need her help to find the answers you want, or do you think you have what it takes to find out on your own? One thing’s for sure, Halloween might always be one day away…

  21. You find yourself in pitch black darkness. You can move. Should you? You can scream. Who will hear? “Where am I?” you wonder. “How did I get here?” you ponder. What lies within the darkness might only be your imagination, but then again it could be real.

  22. It wasn’t a dark and stormy night– the opposite actually. The day was bright, cloudless, and warm, and yet you couldn’t shake the feeling that something was lurking beyond the happy sunshine… something that didn’t need the cover of shadows to hide…

  23. You move into a new house. It was built in 1868. After living there a few months, you are getting used to the strange things that happen every day. Books fly off the shelves, cabinets doors are always standing opening in the morning, and you have a rocking chair that rocks all by itself. You are used to these things, though they filled you with fear when they first started.

    You decide to get with the 21st century and buy an Echo Dot for every room in the house. They voice helper is ideal since you are single. As you lay in bed, you can hear the electronic devices answering questions. You hear it say, “I would never hurt anyone….” You unplug the devices.

    A few nights later, while standing in your kitchen, you plug in a Dot and say, “Simon says.” The command tells the device to repeat what is said next, and you know the next words that come out of it will be the voice the dead…. Write this prompt like it happened to you in the first person, and start with the first line of the dead person or person’s words coming through your Dot….

  24. Blood decorated the tenderly ripped hem of her dress as she climbed into the backseat. The mirrors and lighting were set to hide her presence. She had checked them beforehand. A black blanket rested over the remaining newspapers from the day before. Bette had forgotten to remove the rejected extras from her paper route. She arrived out of the elevator, tired from a twelve-hour shift. The woman had scared her with yelling and persistent demands to see the boss. He had left earlier, around six in the evening. Now the clock crept slowly like a snake towards prey, past nine o’clock, and onward into the night. The blade rested up against the smooth, woven cloth behind the driver’s seat. The back seat looked lumpy, but lighting was terrible, and in the dim, damp atmosphere of the underground parkade, Bette couldn’t make out the human figure. The car doors clicked suddenly shut as she fastened her seat belt and started the key. She felt slightly eerie, as if she were not alone. The car motor started quickly and accelerated to 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds. She removed a slight tear from her eye and pulled out of the parking lot. As she drove on, she noticed a figure in the back seat and slightly shook. The blade moved up the side of the seat slowly, inch by inch. Bette felt a strange pressure against her back as she turned right down a dark, abandoned highway exit. A police car passed by, unaware of the coming bloodbath.

  25. A man awakens from his sleep from a knocking at 3:00am. He shoves it off thinking it is the wind. He hears it again only louder. It’s coming from his front door of the house. He looks through the peephole, but nothing. Opens the door to look around but no one is there. Annoyed thinking it’s some kids playing a prank he slams the door and locks it with the bolt and chain. As he gets ready to go to bed again, he hears the knock again. However, this time the knocking is coming from his bedroom door. The doorknob slowly turns and the door opens revealing nothing but darkness and the silhouette of a child with menacing intent.

  26. You wake up one morning finding yourself tied to the bed with your mouth sowed shut, and noises coming from the kitchen. Apart from the pain and the panic your only concern is to find a way to free yourself.

  27. You come home from work one night to find everything just a little bit off. As you move through your house, following voices but seeing no one, you start to realize that everything has reversed. You pause at the large mirror in your living room to find your double staring back; your partner stands behind them with their back turned, but when you look around you’re still alone in the house. You feel your pulse quicken as your double raises a finger to their lips, a chef’s knife gripped behind their back and a wicked smile spreading across their face.

  28. I walk with shadows, I hear their voices in my head, whispering secrets untold. You may see me standing there, in the darkness, at the edges of reality, away from society. But my dear, trust me, I am never truly alone. And you best fear me, child, for these depraved shadows are my home. And they have seen you. They have smelt you. They wish now to taste you.

  29. Down the shore we row, we row, down the river of blood. The river gives way to a pile of bones, the bones of all the dead throughout Time’s end. And you see your face among them.

  30. “Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep”

    Now we are without the gods. Now we are without the immortals. Now we are without the light. The light we used to slaughter, to burn, to destroy. With it, we became rulers of the world. Without it, we are at the mercy of our nightmares, of our darkest fears. The sun is setting. The night approaching. The dark is rising. Humanity’s torture begins. What is coming for you?

    “If I die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take. “

  31. You are standing on the edge of a lake/pond/river enjoying the view. A glint just below the surface catches your eye. You think it is a piece of jewelry or a coin, so you wade into the water knee-level to retrieve your treasure. When you bend down to pick up the item, you catch a glimpse of your reflection and smile . . . until something beneath the surface grabs your wrist.

  32. You come home late one night from a party to find your apartment door wide open. The common space is in shambles, and your roommate lies unconscious—beaten and bloody—amidst the debris. You run to your friend to check for a pulse. Nothing. You rummage around for your cell to call the authorities, but before you can dial 911, you receive a text message. That text message is from your dearly departed roommate, and it reads: “Find the killer to bring me back.”

  33. Halloween Night doesn’t have to end at midnight. You turn down the road towards your next party spot but stop suddenly. The streetlights blow out and a single pair of red eyes is all you can see..

  34. Your family lives apart on an island and keeps strange secrets. Even you don’t know all the truth yet. The ancient manor in which you have always resided seems to thrill with a life of its own, as if a part of the family. You have grown up exploring its shadowy, maze-like interiors. It shifts and changes as much as a person does, so you never know for sure which room you will enter. When you hear its bones creaking, you know that it moves…

  35. You wake up in a jail cell. Outside you see a gallows and a noose. Your life up to now has been a dream. The person they are about to hang is you. You are a convicted murderer. The only thing you remember is what was in the dream. And you know you are innocent.

  36. The children had begged you consistently over the course of a year for a puppy. You had a medley of reasons against it, but always their earnest pleas and promises had softened you, and now you find yourself driving along dusty, gravelly roads to Pawpaw Tree Farms with them. Mrs. Crenshaw had sounded just as an elderly country woman should–sweet, down-to-earth and practical–and her description of the “wriggling, lively” litter sounded perfect! When you arrive, Mrs. Crenshaw smiles broadly and ushers you, Megan and Jack into the whelping room, a sturdy shack some distance from the barn. She motions toward the farthest corner, and as the three of you walk toward the whelping box, you hear the sliding of a bolt and the turn of a lock. You find the door closed and the three of you are alone in the room. ‘Perhaps,’ you think to yourself, ‘she is worried that the puppies may escape.” However, your blood runs cold when you near the whelping box and realize what lies within are not puppies.

  37. You wake to the sound of a baby crying. You’re single, childless and living alone. Cautiously you walk to your bedroom door to get a better listen. You’re eyes fall on the floor to see a hand sliding into your bedroom from under your door.

  38. There’s an abandoned insane asylum dating back hundreds of years, when you walk past the building you can hear screams of terror and pleas for help yet to this day no one has been able to get inside. One evening you decide to give it a try for yourself and the door opens automatically. Curious, you walk in.

  39. You are visiting your grandparents’ farm in a rural part of Iowa. Grandma asks you to go out to the barn to bring in a jug of milk she had left an hour ago. It is getting dark. When you get inside the barn it is dark and you have trouble finding the milk., You feel something wet dripping on your arm and think it is sweat. You walk towards a more well-lit spot and see spots of blood all over your arm…

  40. I am at peace, my dreams are usually always pleasant. I’m running through the woods, engaged in a game of tag with my faithful dog Cricket and then I hear it…. ring, ring, ring. What is that sound? I reluctantly open my eyes, it’s 8 am and I fumble for the phone. I pick it up… hello? And like a shotgun blast through my heart, I hear the screaming on the other end of the line … and my life changed forever.

  41. The eyes
    I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t play hide and seek. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t make a wish and blow out my candles. No one believed me. After all children make up stuff all the time. I couldn’t run. There was nowhere to run to. Because every time I closed my eyes I found it there, watching me.

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