Scary stories seem to be a part of the Halloween fun. Usually stories about ghosts, goblins, witches and zombies seem to be the best which evoke the greatest excitement among kids. Telling as scary story can make you feel rather awkward if you’re not used to story-telling. To make sure that you have the kids in silent scary wonder after you tell the story instead of laughing, here are a few tips:
1. Put yourself in the place of the kids.To do this you would have to put yourself in the place of the kids. When you were that age, would the story have scared you? Also make sure that the story is understood by the kids. Much of the Halloween story-telling “fail” because kids do not get the story-teller’s POINT. Use appropriate vocabulary for that age group.
2. Goblins and ghosts are great scary stories. But what about a little variety this Halloween to give the kids the “scarr surprise”. Think in terms of “new Halloween story themes” such as a Lady wearing all white and accosting drivers on the street (then disappearing), aliens who are really “lost spirits” in disguise, ghosts who suddenly appear in the internet screen or something like getting lost in a video game. Remember that most kids of today enjoy technology, thus, imagine if you can come up with technologically-appropriate Halloween stories? In short, modernize the Halloween theme.
3. Make plans to tell the story at a place that has the “scary” atmosphere. Decorate the place appropriately with fake spider webs, dim lights, candles, and pictures even bizarre was figures. Add some plants (like cactus) that may look weird. When the kids gather in the place, they should be psyched to expect to be frightened BUT should not be traumatized. In short, make sure that the “scary place” is exciting more than “frightening”.
4. Find your stories from the “old stories” that usually work but change the characters. Kids love stories that they seem to be familiar with but they would always enjoy a strange new twist or a modernized version. There are so many scary stories you can find on the internet. Change the characters and put it a new modern twist. Make an effort to practice story-telling (even if only your dog is listening) and see how you can tell the story “scarier” by using the right voice inflection. Remember that telling a story is much like doing a live talk gig– the manner by which you tell the story is everything. Start with a low voice (after all, you want to sound serious) and practice what words you have to emphasize. Make your words simple but use your voice to emphasize unusual twists in your story.
5. Be descriptive. Instead of saying “a woman who wears white and seems to be a ghost” say ” a woman wearing white who seems to be able to walk and float on the air”. Engage the kids imagination by adding more descriptive vocabulary in describing your characters. Nothing makes a more effective scary Halloween story than tickling the imagination of the kids.
6. Do not tell a long scary story. About ten to fifteen minutes would be enough. Remember that most kids have short attention spans and however great your story may be, kids are prone to listen to you for only a short time. Get the punchline or the ending of the story scary enough however to leave them an impression. If they still keep talking about your story after you’re through, then you’re a success.
7. If possible make your Halloween story scary BUT always keep the general theme that good wins over evil. For instance, if you’re telling them the story of the ghost that haunts the internet make sure that the “bad” ghost is gobbled by a “good” virus. If you’re telling a story of a wicked witch make sure that there’s a “good” fairy somewhere who has the same scary powers but who wins in the end of your story. Remember that Halloween stories do leave lasting impressions in young minds and the best lesson you can leave is that “good” can also be scary but always win over “bad”.
Telling Halloween stories is almost a tradition and kids eagerly await the fun and excitement that your story brings. Telling a great “scary” Halloween story the right way can make or break Halloween. Remember to practice the right “voice inflection” and timing.