Writing Horror: Scary Writing Prompt Game #5




Photo credit to IX=9th
Happy Saturday, Spookies!

Welcome to another round of the scary writing prompt game. Again, here's how it works: I'll announce the prompt, then you guys post a 1-2 paragraph response in the comment section. At the beginning of each round, I'll share my favorite bit from the previous week's entries before announcing the next prompt.

Last week we explored the nature of a creepy graveyard pool that seemed to show reflections of things not of our world. The responses were awesome and I had a hard time choosing (as always, you guys are too good!) but in the end I had to come away with this one. 

Great job, Brendan Gannon!

"You're right," said Josh. "That is seriously weird." He waved his arm. The first reflection followed his movements; the second simply stared up out of the water. "It's got to be some kind of, you know, illusion."

"There's nothing special in there, though. I've looked."

Josh glanced at the rows of tombstones behind them. "Other people have seen this too?"

"Yes. People say the second reflection is supposedly you at the moment of your death."

"Come on, man, this is freaky enough already," said Josh. "Anyway, that doesn't make sense: my second reflection isn't any older, and he's wearing the same clothes as I am right now."

"Yes," he said, as he drew something from his pocket. "It's funny how often that happens."


What a cool concept--a graveyard pool that shows your reflection at the moment of death. It's like the witch's eye in Big Fish with a morbid twist. Sweeeet. Who's ready for round five?!

Without further ado...


Today's prompt is:


Which horror subgenre is the one that has the potential to scare you the most? Are you partial to psychological horror? Supernatural? Dark fantasy? Lovecraftian? Splatterpunk? Religious cult/Satantic storylines? What is it about your poison that makes you afraid to turn off the lights at night?




11 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what it would be called - maybe psychological - but what really scares me is the kind of horror where weird, creepy stuff is happening, but you don't really understand what's going on or why this stuff is happening, and it's never really explained, so you keep thinking about it after it's done.

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    1. I know what you mean--sometimes, it's much scarier when the motive of the 'evil' either isn't revealed at all, or is only hinted at mildly.

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  2. Definitely psychological. Books and movies like Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lector series totally wigged me out...Seriously. Has anyone seen the TV show? Weird, huh? The movie, THE BONE COLLECTOR had me looking over my shoulder for weeks. I think it's the stories which make me think, "This could happen," that gets to me.

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    1. I LOVE the Hannibal book series (with the exception of Hannibal Rising, which I still haven't read and feel a little nervous to since the story felt so complete to me after Hannibal.) Have only seen episode one of the new TV show but have been meaning to record and catch up.

      I love 'this could happen' type horror as well. Very effective in encouraging rampant afterthoughts that leave you truly freaked out, haha.

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  3. Psychological horrors/thrillers chill me right down to the bone; they're my favourite genre to write, too! To me it's more frightening because it's not some bogeyman doing horrible things--it's a real (well, fictional, but you know what I mean) human being with parents and family and maybe even friends he likes to grab a beer with. Someone who used to be a gurgling baby who is now brutally murdering or torturing other people who used to be gurgling babies. It's absolutely terrifying to me.

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  4. Psychological horror for the win—the best hands down.

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  5. I'd have to go with psychological horror as well because the horror can be situations that could possibly happen in real life. My favourite psychological horror film has to be The Blair Witch Project. There's no explanation as to whether the events were due to something paranormal or whether there was a murderer in the woods. The film focuses on the students increasing fears. Maybe their growing insanity? Things appear supernatural but is there somebody out there who is actually dangerous? Either a real person from the town, a murderer hiding in the woods, or one of the students themselves?

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    1. Wow, Robin-- I've never considered the possibility of a murderer in the woods for the Blair Witch Project! And now that I am, I'm dying to watch it again. So creepy!!

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  6. I'm going to have to jump on the psychological horror train along with the rest of the group. Although I enjoy reading Lovecraftian, supernatural, and dark fantasy, they just don't scare the pants off me like psychological horror does. I've always been drawn to the dark, unknown aspects of the universe and so it fascinates me instead of scaring me. Psychological thrillers like The Dublin Murder Squad series, American Psycho, and Misery give me ample reasons to keep the lights on through the night because, though twisted, they are grounded in reality and could actually happen to someone... like me!

    Muffins and Metaphors

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  7. Probably psychological. I read this book called The Name Of The Star, about this ghost who was recreating the murders of Jack the Ripper, and it was the psychological element of it that freaked me out the most. I was reading it at like three in the morning, and I was scared to read on, but terrified to go to sleep. And then I heard footsteps on the stairs, and for a moment, I thought that there was actually a murdering ghost in my house, but it was actually just my mum coming to see why my bedroom light was still on.

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  8. Loving all these answers for psychological horror! So interesting to see what scares others and why.

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