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Halloween Inspired Writing Prompts

Published by Shaun Azbell

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Halloween writing prompts for the candy-chomping trick-or-treater within:

1) The donning of costumes is a time-honored Halloween tradition. For one night out of the year, we get to dress up and temporarily become someone other than who we are. We can be regal and exotic, like Cleopatra. We can be bold and swaggering, like a swashbuckling pirate. We can even be grotesque and monstrous, like Frankenstein’s creature. But imagine if that temporary change of identity was too addictive to let go of: What if, the day after Halloween, even though the costume is off, you remained whatever you became the night before?

Begin your story the morning after Halloween. Your protagonist goes to work or school or wherever and finds her/himself acting like whatever they were the night before. Perhaps your receptionist takes on the persona of a debauched vampiress. Or your middle-school AV nerd skulks the halls like Jack the Ripper in search of a victim. The possibilities are practically infinite!

2) It’s late at night on Halloween and the last of the trick-or-treaters have gone. Your protagonist, out of candy, decides to turn off the porch light to deter more trick-or-treaters and settle in with a movie. Halfway through the movie, however, the doorbell rings. Your protagonist ignores it at first, but the doorbell keeps ringing. Sufficiently irritated, your protagonist gets up and answers the door.

Who’s at the door? Why did they ignore the switched-off porch light? What do they want?

3) It’s midnight on Halloween.Your protagonist is locked in the basement of seedy pool hall with a Lady Gaga-esque pop star, some scrawny kid in a mask s/he refuses to take off and a custodian.

How did this happen? How will this end?

4) Halloween, known to Wiccans and Neo Pagans as Samhain, is believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next becomes thin enough to allow freer communication between the two.

A lesser-known belief (lesser-known because I’m making it up for this particular writing prompt!) is that both the living and the dead need to be back on their sides by midnight or risk being stuck on the opposite side until the following Halloween. Write a story in which this happens, might happen or has happened.

5) Halloween goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, an emergency broadcast the next day reveals that a large quantity of candy distrubuted in your protagonist’s hometown has been spiked with a dangerous chemical that produces a slew of unpredictable side-effects. Take it from there.

6) Your protagonist is throwing a costume party for Halloween. Someone has spiked the punch. There’s been at least two hilarious wardrobe malfunctions. Your antagonist crashes the party … with your protagonist’s significant other by their side! Also, a character passively observing from the sidelines will somehow figure greatly into your story’s thrilling conclusion.

Happy Halloween, everybody!


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