Undead Inspiration: 50 Zombie Writing Prompts to Scare Up Stories
Few horror creations have embedded themselves into popular culture quite like zombies – the ravenous, shambling undead that relentlessly crave brains. Zombies have shuffled their way into movies, TV shows, books, video games, and endless creative works, taking over imaginations worldwide.
Part of what makes zombies so compelling is that they can represent different themes and tap into deep societal fears – of contagions, mob mentality, the loss of our humanity and free will. They emerge from the unknown – maybe science experiments gone wrong, occult practices summoning the dead, or biblical plagues.
Zombies stories throw characters into high-stakes survival situations where ingenuity, courage, and luck are constantly tested in the struggle against the undead threat. The scenarios force difficult choices, community-building, heroism but also sacrifices in an unforgiving apocalypse landscape. There seems to be no end to creative angles and mashups the undead can shamble into.
So if you’re looking to write a zombie story, I’ve created a list of 50 zombie apocalypse writing prompts covering a wide range terrifying and thought-provoking scenarios. Let the zombie story ideas and survival tales come ripping straight out of your brain and onto the page! Click below to check out the prompts and let me know which ones capture your imagination or inspire a tale you’d read! Also check out other writing prompts on our site.
50 Zombie Writing Prompts to Scare Up Stories
50 zombie writing prompts:
- After a zombie virus outbreak, a group of survivors barricade themselves in a mall and try to fight off hordes of the undead to survive.
- A researcher desperately tries to develop a cure as the zombie infection spreads exponentially, threatening to overwhelm the city within days.
- A man wakes from a coma to find himself seemingly alone in a hospital that shows signs of being hastily evacuated – then discovers it’s swarming with zombies.
- Soldiers battle swarms of intelligent zombies that retain the military training and lethal skills they had when human.
- A teenager faces her zombified parents not knowing if she can pull the trigger to stop them.
- Rival groups of survivors clash over scarce resources after establishing strongholds, struggling to rebuild society amidst the relentless undead threat.
- A widow traverses the zombie wasteland with her infected husband in tow desperately searching for a sanctuary rumored to be developing a cure.
- A jilted groom rampages through his wedding after a zombie virus outbreak turns guests and family undead.
- A blind man discovers his spare senses make him uniquely attuned to detect and hunt zombies roaming the city ruins.
- After zombies overrun earth’s last sanctuary bunker, scientists desperately try escaping into space but realize too late one astronaut was bitten.
- Distraught survivors gather for counseling struggling with losing everything to the apocalypse only to learn the therapist was bitten days ago.
- Fearing zombies breaking into their doomsday bunker, a prepared survivalist insists a newcomer slave quarantine outside for weeks, exposing divisions within the shelter.
- A guilt-ridden scientist tries to rescue his family from the zombie army created inadvertently after his experiments were sabotaged.
- After zombies topple the government, resistance fighters discover the undead’s hive mind intelligence rapidly evolving without conscience or restraint.
- A man arrested for his wife’s suspicious death wakes imprisoned as the zombie outbreak begins, battling undead while handcuffed as he tries to prove his innocence.
- Contestants half way through an isolated reality TV series shoot emerge from wilderness exile to discover an apocalypse overran civilization in their absence.
- A lone survivor is ambushed and bitten by zombies but discovers he’s immune, fueling him with determination to reach the rumored refuge developing a cure.
- Bold survivors drag Racing cars out the abandoned speedway to battle undead gladiator style, buying precious distraction time for others harvesting supplies from once overwhelmed towns.
- An Emergency Room doctor watches helplessly as zombie bite victims rapidly turn while hospital chaos erupts into an ordeal separating him from his trapped family.
- A widowed grandmother protects her bedridden husband’s reanimated zombie unable to accept losing him, keeping him secretly isolated and bound within their home.
- Solitary scouts maintaining vital radio relays across vast distances risk the horror of being stranded far from shelter after zombie swarms ambush communication towers.
- Fragile alliances between rival apocalypse cults fracture, plunging survivors into sectarian warfare as fanatics try purifying decimated populations they each consider damned.
- From remote farm country untouched since the outbreak began, groups risk everything following faint emergency radio transmissions toward promised airlifts off the mainland.
- After satellites confirm the zombie infection went global, an ISS astronaut helplessly watches the Earth burn below then investigates strange garbled transmissions about secret survival stations established off planet.
- A Special Forces team infiltrates a zombie hive cresting the wreckage of an overrun asylum to capture specimens and fallen intelligence critical for developing defenses and weaponry able to overwhelm exponentially growing undead numbers.
- An ordinary high school inexplicably becomes both haven and hell for lost students and staff fleeing zombies while trapped without communication amidst deteriorating siege conditions and crumbling campus defenses.
- A lone wolf special ops veteran works to extricate their apocalypse hardened but traumatized child squad from capture by an opportunistic warlord building zombie army conscripts from brain washed orphaned survivors.
- Fueled by revenge after loved ones are infected, resistance fighters brutally combat collaborating cults worshiping the undead, sparking an unholy civil war amongst remaining battered human holdouts.
- Preserved cryogenically waiting decades for a cure, an infected couple awaken in a seemingly deserted complex, banding with others to restore power and access the abandoned world outside to verify if humanity survived.
- Bereaved survivors overwhelmed with trauma and loss after relentless horrors find therapy adopting orphaned refugee children, forcing meaning in mentoring the next generation.
- A serial killer languishing on death row becomes an unexpected asset able to exploit understanding of evil during initial zombie outbreaks allowing government agencies critical insight when negotiating fragile truces.
- Facing dwindling odds of evacuating the zombie wasted red zone, a weary medic wrestles with should they stay attempting to stabilize the quarantine line or flee carrying vital research before the city is aimlessly nuked.
- Beneath a remote monastery converted into an apocalypse bunker, descending catacombs reveal mysterious glowing relics worshipped by forgotten gods and dark cults suggesting zombies were prophesied punishments upon a sinful world awaiting this foretold cleansing.
- Fanatical preppers vindicated establishing isolated redoubts amidst global zombie outbreaks warily debate rescues as infamous raiders and infiltration risks until dwindling supplies ultimately force confronting harsh survival realities alone.
- After civilization collapses when initial ineffective directives worsen outbreaks exponentially, rogue generals launch unauthorized nuclear strikes against overrun strategic zones, fracturing command continuity and communications vital for global response efforts.
- A jaded CDC doctor races to perfect an experimental vaccine derived from an anomalous immune survivor’s blood as zombies close in on her surviving team’s clandestine mobile laboratory’s location, threatening to end essential research.
- Desperate enclaves transmit repeating emergency broadcasts, each falling silent one by one as relentless zombies overwhelm isolated havens and scattered listeners debate seeking opportunities for sanctuary or making final stands.
- Facing terminal cancer treatment delays after zombies devastate infrastructure, a father struggles crossing the wasteland seeking scattered rumors of rogue biochemists concocting bootleg pharmaceuticals from abandoned labs to self administer life saving makeshift chemotherapy.
- Grieving survivors adopt orphaned children rescued from devastated areas, discovering youth traumatized witnessing zombie slaying prove unexpectedly better adjusted forming new post apocalyptic families from the remnants of broken ones.
- Trapped aboard an international space station watching helplessly as governments collapse worldwide, diverse astronauts of rival nations uncomfortably cooperate awaiting plans for recovery missions or permanent exile drifting above an overrun home world.
- Underground coal miners surprised unscathed emerging after exhausting emergency supplies for shelter discover the zombie infection strangely bypasses populations isolated from open air contamination suggesting fungus or chemtrails as the vector.
- Vigilante auxiliary units raid overwhelmed infection zones striving to rescue critical personnel in danger being overrun before vital knowledge, expertise and infrastructure guarding civilization’s last sanctuaries is lost amidst the chaos.
- Driven by survivor’s guilt after loved ones perish early in outbreaks, a remorseful scientist works ruthlessly perfecting weaponized contagions to genocidally eradicate zombie threats despite moral outcry over his drastic bio attacks from others.
- Responding to ashes from funeral pyres darkening skies, opportunistic apocalyptic cults herald zombies as harbingers of end times, flourishing conversions from lost souls seeking answers even as rational enclaves actively work to restore sanity amidst turmoil.
- Surviving celebrities band together as influential social media influencers using fame advantageously uniting scattered fans into communities for protection, their star power strange currency in a ruined landscape.
- An intrepid documentarian follows an eccentric billionaire covertly funding illegal experiments ritualistically sacrificing zombie specimens attempting to reanimate the dead seeking immortality, eternal youth or resurrecting loved ones.
- A clumsy oaf bumbling through outbreaks realizes his inexplicable invulnerability is a latent mutant superpower allowing him to heroically save others when boldly walking through hordes unscathed.
- An intrepid journalist investigates hidden Pentagon bioweapons experiments as the initial source of unprecedented ‘wildfire mutations’ rapidly accelerating zombie virus transmission and resilience worldwide.
- Under siege and without communications for months, isolated survivors in an apocalyptic red zone emerge changed by their ordeals, having turned feral forming violent tribal communities centered around defending scarce local resources from outsiders.
- An obsessive scientist frenetically works in secret to weaponize the zombie virus aiming to perfect infectious control mechanisms for deploying swarms as unquestioningly loyal minions trainable seeking brains through precise directives encoded into post hypnotic triggers.
I hope these 50 Zombie Writing prompts will get you writing. If you want to share your work or comments or concerns please leave them in the comments below.