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Tips for Telling Scary Stories on Halloween

Published by Sachiko Shike

Lights Out!

Fear of the dark is perhaps one of the most common phobias amongst both adults and children. As such, darkness is a common theme in almost all things related to horror. Thus, effective lighting for your storytelling session is perhaps the most important tip of all. Extremely low lighting or candlelight creates the best ambiance for generating scares.

Tip #5 : Have A Horror Movie Marathon

Watching scary movies is an excellent way to “celebrate” Halloween. In the event that you are entertaining people for an extended period of time, it’s a great idea to set the mood with a horror film marathon of sorts. Focus on films that feature theme(s) similar to the stories you wish to tell. You just may find that these types of films have a subconsciously chilling effect when it comes time for you to share your tale. Pick films that are conducive to a good storytelling session. If you plan on telling typical slasher stories (perhaps they are true?)—then rent horror films which are based on true stories.

Tip #6 : Scare The Ears.

There is a reason why sound engineers and musical directors make the big bucks for lacing Hollywood’s scariest films with appropriate music and sound effects. Your storytelling session should be no different. I have found that ethereal, electronic music (preferably instrumental) is great for telling stories. Because trip-hop and downtempo music uses a lot of ambient sounds, they often create a sparse, mysterious background. If you are unfamiliar with this kind of music, listen to artists like Waldeck, Portishead, or Massive Attack for songs that have a dark, sinister feel. A good song example is “Angel” by Massive Attack. In fact, this song has been used in several movies.

Tip #7 : Take Your Time.

I know you’re in a hurry to get to the good part. But in an effort to elicit gasps of horror from your listeners, you should really take your time. Speak slowly, and give your audience an opportunity to let all the details (of which there should be many) sink in. Remember that if your guests were reading said story, they would read slowly enough to create images in their minds. The same should occur during your scary storytelling session.

Tip #8 : Focus On The Supernatural.

Some of the oldest horror stories are based on urban legend. In fact, literally millions of stories exist wherein crazed killers abounded, leaving a bloody mess in their wake. While these tales are certainly terrifying, it might be scarier (and easier) to focus on elements of the supernatural. Unlike urban legends which are often quickly and easily debunked, tales of ghosts, goblins, and demons are more difficult to discredit.

Tip #9: More Is More.

I know from experience that once I’ve heard one scary story, I am eager to hear more. That being said, you will do your guests a grand service if you happen to have at least three or four stories on hand to tell. The great thing about sharing terrorizing tales is that it usually encourages others to dig up their own stories. These exchanges are what make Halloween storytelling parties a huge success.

Tip #10 : Get Personal.

In Atlanta, Georgia, there are quite a few locales that are said to be haunted. If you research your local area, you may find that a good many

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