101 Best Horror Story Ideas (With a Twist): Scary Writing Prompts

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Writing a great Horror story is all about creating terror and excitement in your reader’s mind while they are reading your scary story and if you are struggling to get a horror story idea for your horror story then you have landed at the right place.
We have created the best horror story ideas along with some Plot Twist to help you start writing your scary story with these amazing and terrifying horror story writing prompts along with 101 horror vocabulary as a successful Scary Story can’t be written effectively without the use of best horrific words.
Use the below writing prompts to write your scary short story, flash fiction, horror fiction or and other work related to the horror genre or gothic fiction.
Admirers of Two Sentence Horror Story can also enjoy the below list. 

101 Best Scary Story Ideas with Plot Twist and Horror Vocabulary

  • Horror

Writing Prompt on Horror- Lilly loved reading fiction, novels and buying antique books, but everything in her life got changed when one day she brought an old 1890 horror novel from an auction.

Plot Twist: Some days later, Lilly’s whole family started experiencing some paranormal activities in the house and after a week her grandmother suddenly died with an unknown illness, but one day when Lilly was reading the 1890 novel she got shocked to find her grandmother Angelina as a character in the old book.

  • Gothic

Writing Prompt on Gothic- Tim wanted to visit the Gothic cathedral of the town which said to be built on a graveyard and people say the place was the gateway for spirits and one could see his dead relatives and acquaintance roaming outside the old cathedral and Tim wanted to see someone.
Plot Twist: For the first time after his death Tim saw his classmates who also had got trapped in the burning school bus that day.
  • Demon

Writing Prompt on Demon- Every day the demons tried hard to harm the Phillip’s family.
Plot Twist: But the demons didn’t know that Philip was not a normal being but the blood of a demon, a half demon half human
  • Horrific

Writing Prompt on Horrific- After spending the first horrific night at their new house, the Potter family decided to leave the place as soon as the sun shines.

Plot Twist: The next morning the neighbors found the whole potter family lying dead in their backyard.

Related: 500 Words Flash Fiction Stories

  • Haunted

Writing Prompt on Haunted-Rick and his friends planned the birthday party at a haunted hotel for the excitement but soon at night, they realized that they made the biggest mistake of their life.
Plot Twist: The next day Rick and his friends got shocked to see their own dead bodies lying in the hotel lobby, then they realized what had happened to them last night.
horror story ideas with a twist
  • Supernatural

Writing Prompt on Supernatural-Jacob never believed in supernatural things until he crossed the path with a shadow which got vanished into the room soon.
Plot Twist: One day Jacob again saw that shadow and started following it which took him to a hidden door in the basement which was the way to the other world.  
  • Paranormal

Writing Prompt on Paranormal– After everyday experiencing the paranormal activities at the new apartment, eventually when Jason and his girlfriend talked to the owner they got shocked by the answer when he said that the previous renter had committed suicide in their apartment.
Plot Twist: When Jason saw the picture of the dead renter, he got shocked as he said he sees her every day in the subway.
  • Devil

Writing Prompt on Devil- No one exactly knew how the devil gets powers, but some say they are fed on our fear to survive in a place. 
  • Mysterious

Writing Prompt on MysteriousThe mysterious man behind all the killing found out to be dead years ago.
  • Castle

Writing Prompt on Castle- The brother of the former king and now the new king of the kingdom got frightened when he heard from his guards that the spirit of the former dead king, yet roam in the castle and will take the revenge of his death from his brother who was the main conspirator.

  • Basement

Writing Prompt on Basement- Sam had warned Rebecca not to go into the basement. 
Plot Twist : One day while playing Rebecca went into the basement and found his father, Sam talking with her mother who had died years ago.
  • Enchanted

Writing Prompt on Enchanted- On the way to the old tomb, the troop found a glowing enchanted tree.

Plot Twist: The tree was the home of the spirits protecting the hidden tomb, but suddenly someone threw a stone on the enchanted tree and woke all the spirits. .

  • Vampire

Writing Prompt on Vampire- Every vampire hates the sunlight, but Christopher was different.
  • Gloomy

Writing Prompt on Gloomy-It was a gloomy night when Eric was driving the car to his home and saw someone standing beside the road but when he reached there he found no one.
Plot Twist: Soon after a while he realized that he was not in the car alone, when he looked back, he got shocked to see Anna, his girlfriend whom he had killed years ago.
  • Afterlife

Writing Prompt on AfterlifeSmith in his laboratory created a pill to experience the afterlife and every night he took it which made him dead for several hours and he could see his body.
Plot Twist: One day he ate all the pills 
scary story ideas with a twist
  • Skeleton

Writing Prompt on skeleton– While playing Jacob discovered a skeleton and called his father, but when Adam came, he they found nothing.
Plot Twist: The next day Adam found a skeleton on Jacobs bed and his son was missing. 
  • Flesh

Writing Prompt on Flesh- The unknown creature loved eating the flesh of their victims with great fear.
  • Goosebumps

Writing Prompt goosebumps– Hearing the whispering from behind the curtains Elizabeth started feeling goose bumps.
Do Read: How to Name Your Main Character In 60 Seconds
  • Monster

Writing Prompt on Monster- An unknown monster creature was only targeting the kids with some disabilities in the town.
  • Zombie

Writing Prompt on zombieWhen Steve reached his home, he found that his parents had also got infected and turned into zombies.
  • Witch

Writing Prompt on Witch-Rebecca didn’t know that her twin sister was a witch until she followed and saw her going into the woods alone.
  • Scream

Writing Prompt on Scream– Ben was in a deep sleep until he heard a scream from his children’s room.
Plot Twist: When he reached, he saw the window was broken and a man looking like he was taking the kids into the woods.
  • Terror

Writing Prompt on Terror- The terror of the mysterious shadow was so much that no one slept that night.
Plot Twist: The next day Adam confessed that it was the spirit of his dead mother who comes to meet him every day since childhood.    
  • Graveyard

Writing Prompt on Graveyard- Peter was yet terrified with the horrible memory of last night when he was crossing from the graveyard at night and felt someone sitting in his car back seat.
  • Raven

Writing Prompt on Raven- Whenever the killings were happening there was a raven following the victims, and now it was following Alex. 
Plot Twist: When Alex killed the raven it got turned into a shadow of his dead servant.
  • Quiver

Writing Prompt on Quiver-Jena started quivering with fear when she saw a car honking outside her house with no one inside.
horror story ideas with a twist
  • Black Cat

Writing Prompt on Black Cat –The black cat in the Rick house was very strange as she used to stare at us like humans.
Plot Twist: One day Rick told everyone that he believes that the black cat is his sister who had died while saving her cat in the fire.
  • Bat

Writing Prompt on Bat-  That night the bats were flying all over the sky before the incident had happened.
  • Ghostly

Writing Prompt on Ghostly- Many people at night saw someone sitting at the ghostly bench in the park which witnessed a murder.
  • Eerie

Writing Prompt on Eerie-Maya got so much frightened when she saw an eerie glowing light coming from her basement, but when she tried to go closer to the light it vanished. 
Plot Twist: She installed a camera in her basement and one day when the light again emerged, she got shocked to see the footage of a portal which was the doors for the spirits coming into this world.
  • Shivery

Writing Prompt on Shivery- Everyone suddenly started shivering in the room with fear of an unknown shadow standing on the stairs. Soon the number of shadow started increasing and all the doors get closed itself and the lights went off. 
  • Panic

Writing Prompt on Panic- John said his wife not to create panic when someone was continuously knocking very heavily at their door at the midnight. 
horror writing prompts
  • Grave

Writing Prompt on Grave- Some nights Rebecca had a nightmare of seeing himself in a grave.
Plot Twist: One day it again happened, but this time she found that it was not her dream, but her adoptive parents were doing some black rituals on her while putting her into a grave in their backyard.
  • Ugly

Writing Prompt on Ugly– Nobody liked the ugly staring painting handing in the Jasper’s house, but yet he never removed it.
  • Yelling

Writing Prompt on Yelling– The yelling sound stopped when Bill chanted God’s name with a cross in his hand. One day at night again the yelling started, Bill couldn’t find his cross and the sound of yelling started coming closer to him
  • Priest

Writing Prompt on Priest- After doctors unable to cure the peculiar behavior of Demi, her mother called the priests.
Plot Twist: Demi killed all the priests and told her mother that if she wants to see Demi alive than let her live in his daughter’s body. 
  • Peculiar

Writing Prompt on peculiar- A sudden chain of bad events started happening when Alex brought a very peculiar painting home which he had bought in the auction.
  • Bogeyman

Writing Prompt on Bogeyman-People in the neighborhood got so frightened with the bogeyman that they stopped going out at night.
Plot Twist: One day all children of the neighborhood went missing.
  • Wrecked

Writing Prompt on wrecked- Everyone in the neighborhood was curious to know about the voices coming from the abandoned wrecked house.
  • Dreadful

Writing Prompt on Dreadful- Smith tried hard to forget the dreadful night which he spent alone in the office.
  • Death

Writing Prompt on Death- All the unfortunate events started after the death of the Normy black pet cat. 
  • Hallucination

Writing Prompt on Hallucination- The weird stranger sitting next to Rebecca on the bus tried to hallucinate her.
  • Creepy

Writing Prompt on Creepy- Mark got scared when someone unknown called him at midnight and just saying hello in a very strange and creepy voice ended the call. 
horror story ideas
  • Clown

Writing Prompt on Clown- Everyone was frightened by the unknown clown in the circus roaming at night.
Plot Twist: The circus manager said that many years ago their one artist Tim, performing as a clown has died by falling from the roof.
  • Crawling

Writing Prompt on Crawling- The sound of someone crawling on the roof haunted everyone that night.
  • Hanged

Writing Prompt on Hang- Everyone in the neighborhood saw a body hanging on the tree near the pond.
  • Scares

Writing Prompt on scares- Liam got shocked and scared when he woke up and found scares all over his hand.
  • Voices

Writing Prompts on Voices- Eventually Steve left his new apartment listening to the unknown voices in his room every night.
  • Horror-struck

Writing Prompt on Horror-struck- Keith got horror-struck to see a person looking the same as his passed away friend standing across the road alone that night.
  • Drip

Writing Prompt on Drip- William screamed when he saw the blood dripping from the roof sealing.
  • Coffin

Writing Prompt on Coffin- All the people gathered at the rituals got shocked to see the coffin empty. 
  • Scarecrow

Writing Prompt on scarecrow- Mark got scared to find that the scarecrow in his farm was changing direction itself and was pointing at his house. 
  • Bury

Writing Prompt on Bury- They buried the doll that night, but got shocked to see it again in the house.
  • Evil Spirit

Writing Prompt on evil spirits- The priest requested the evil spirits to leave the house.
Plot Twist: The spirit killed everyone in the room except little Alina.
  • Dracula

Writing Prompt on Dracula- Dracula left the castle as soon as the sun rises.
Plot Twist: Later people found that the its was their king Henry, who gets turned into Dracula every night.
horror story ideas with a twist
  • Doll

Writing Prompt on Doll- Nick said to the doctor that his little daughter was normal until one day while playing she found an old doll outside her house and brought her home.
  • Scared

Writing Prompt on Scared- Jacob got so scared to see the book’s pages started flipping itself when no air was blowing around.
  • Unearthly

Writing Prompt on Unearthly- After watching the victim of the incident, everyone said that it was done by an unearthly entity.
  • Casket

Writing Prompt on Casket- The casket was filled with old letters written by Noah before his death.
  • Presence

Writing Prompt on presence The priest said that he could feel the presence of an unknown evil entity in the house.
Plot Twist: The priest said that the house is possessed by the spirit of a girl who has got murdered in the house many years ago by one of the family members.
  • Cemetery

Writing Prompt on Cemetery- Louis had to find the cemetery of Albert to stop all the bad events.
Plot Twist: Finally Louis found the cemetery, but got shocked to see his own name written next to Albert grave.
  • Web

Writing Prompt on the web- When they reached the hidden place they found the web and a pungent smell all around. 
  • Abnormal

Writing Prompt on abnormalThe youngest child of Murphy started behaving abnormally after meeting an unknown lady in the subway.
Plot Twist: When Murphy was reading the newspaper he saw the news of the same lady who had died in the subway accident some days ago.
  • Nightmares

Writing Prompt on nightmares Every night Silvia had the nightmares of getting followed by herself.
  • Claustrophobic

Writing Prompt on Claustrophobic- Nelson was claustrophobic, but yet he stayed in the wardrobe that whole night to survive.
horror story ideas
  • Bible

Writing Prompt on Bible- After that weird incident, Rachel always used to sleep with the bible in his hands.
  • Uncanny

Writing Prompt on uncanny- Every day when Bella was alone in the house, she had an uncanny feeling of someone standing behind her.
Plot Twist: Once she looked back and got shocked to see her dead twin sister.
  • Entity
Writing Prompt on the entity- The priest advised the Hopkins family to leave the place as soon as possible as it was possessed by a powerful evil entity.
  • Dead dark

Writing Prompt on dead dark- After getting lost on the island the whole troop walked in a dark dead night, but they were not the only people present there.
  • Spooky

Writing Prompt on Spooky- Alex the youngest child of Christy had a weird habit of going to spooky places.
Plot Twist: It had been 9 years since Alex went missing when one day Christy found him standing outside the house, but Alex was same as he was 9 years ago.
  • Ghostbuster

Writing Prompt on Ghostbuster- When nothing worked Tim called the Ghostbuster.
  • Frightened

Writing Prompt on frightened- Albert got so frightened to see the curtains suddenly started moving when there was no air blowing.
  • Sinister

Writing Prompt on sinister- The sinister somehow managed to escape, but left the clue.
  • Grin

Writing Prompt on Grin– Matt found the grinning of an old woman sitting next to him very weird and frightening.
Plot Twist: He got shocked when she calls him from his name and asked why didn’t he came on his funeral. When Matt looked her again he saw she was his grandmother who had died seven years ago. 
  • Numb

Writing Prompt on Numb- Everyone in the house got numbed to see blood on the stairs. 
  • Eyeballs

Writing Prompt on Eyeballs- Rebecca had a hobby of collecting weird stuff and his favorite was marbles which looked like real human eyeballs.
  • Possessed

Writing Prompt on Possessed- The priest warned the family not to go into the upstairs room until he does the rituals as it is possessed by an evil spirit.
horror story ideas
  • Cursed

Writing Prompt on Cursed- No one was ready to buy the lavish but haunted house in the town, even at a low price as people say the house was cursed and no one survived more than a year in there. 
  • Bizarre

Writing Prompt on Bizarre- The bizarre-looking painting in Joe’s home was always felt like staring at me.
  • Ghastly

Writing Prompt on Ghostly- Adam got frightened when his pet dog suddenly started looking at an empty space in a ghastly way. 
  • Strange

Writing Prompt on Strange- Nobody knew about the strange voices coming from the woods.
  • Haunt

Writing Prompt on Haunt- Every night the picture of the person who died in the road accident haunts Eric as he had left without helping him. 
  • Tortured

Writing Prompt on Tortured- The screaming and sobbing voices of the slaves who were tortured in the castle yet heard by the guards sometimes at night. 
  • Superstition

Writing Prompt on superstition Miley always followed the superstition of staying away from black cats as she says it brings bad omen. 
  • Thrilling

Writing Prompt on Thrilling- Justin found it so thrilling to drive the car alone on the abandoned road until he got hit by the strange vehicle which got vanished in the woods.
  • Whisper

Writing Prompt on Whisper- The priest advised the Harper family that whenever they will hear the whisper, they had to chant the god’s name without looking back.
Plot Twist: But one of the family member turned back.
horror story ideas
  • Shadow

Writing Prompt on Shadow- Every staff of the hotel was scared to see a shadow roaming in the castle.
  • Unholy

Writing Prompt on Unholy- The presence of something unholy scared every member of the camp trip.
  • Chilling

Writing Prompt on Chilling- The atmosphere in the farmhouse was very ghostly and chilling.
  • Fatal

Writing Prompt on Fatal– The joyful dare of the teenagers to visit the abandoned place outside the town soon got changed into a fatal night.
  • Menacing

Writing Prompt on Menacing- Rob suddenly started shouting in a scary, menacing voice.
  • Freaked out

Writing Prompt on Freaked out- Bobby freaked out when suddenly his T.V got started itself and started playing the favorite song of his passed away friend.
  • Moonlight

Writing Prompt on Moonlight- In the moonlight, the demons were more powerful, so everyone decided to wait for the next day to face them.
  • Staring

Writing Prompt on Staring- An old lady was kept on staring Adam in the subway, but when he told this to his girlfriend, he got shocked when she said there was no old lady there.
  • Calamity

Writing Prompt on Calamity- The priest did some rituals in the house to avert the calamity.
  • Agony

Writing Prompt on Agony- Eventually, the agony of Peter ended with his death. 
horror story ideas
  • RIP

Writing Prompt on RIP- Everyone in the Smith family got scared to see the RIP sign written everywhere in the room.
  • Skull

Writing Prompt on skullWhen digging the ground for gardening Eliana got shocked when she found a skull.
  • Spell

Writing Prompt on spellWhen Windy found an old book of spells in his grandpa’s basement, she thought to return it or tell his grandpa about the book but soon she changed her mind and brought it home secretly.
  • Ash

Writing Prompt on Ash- When cleaning the room Julia got shocked to see ashes under his bed.
horror story ideas
  • Wicked

Writing Prompt on Wicked- The wicked spirit was only targeting the girls in the family.
  • Midnight

Writing Prompt on Midnight- No one knew who was playing the piano at midnight when every family member was sleeping in their room.
  • Vanish

Writing Prompt on Vanish- No one believed Rick’s words until they all saw the strange woman vanishing into the woods as soon as they started following her.
Use any horror short story ideas from the list and start writing your horror story today.
More vocabulary, adding soon. 
For more ideas on horror story visit ScreenCraft or

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Want to learn how to narrate a story in writing then do read How to Narrate a Story Step by Step or want to make some money writing than do read How to Win $50 Writing Short Stories?

About the Author-

Neel Rana is a successful short story book author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast, entrepreneur and the founder of Pandora Post. He holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. You can read more about him here