The Horror Story Unit
Halloween Writing Task
Form 2
Your Task
Create an original horror story
The short story must be 2-3 pages in length.
The short story must be typed using Arial or
Times New Roman font
The short story must include dialogue,
characterization, theme, and suspense, BUT no
This is not an experiment in how much bloody
violence you can write about. It is a piece
about fear, suspense, and terror—not blood
and guts.
The Goblins Will Get You if You
Don’t Watch Out
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre XXV:
Freddie Meets Norman on Elm Street on
Friday the 13th
1. Why do gory movies (a more precise term than horror
movies) attract so many viewers today?
2. Why do people like the gory special effects?
What’s so great about fear
Do you feel moments of terror? Do you
hold your breath? Do you laugh? Why do
you react as you do?
How do you explain the desire of people
to be terrified?
As children, we delight in ghost stories
told in the dark. As adults, we read books
or see movies that we know will scare us.
Elements of Horror
a deserted (or sparsely inhabited) castle or mansion in a
state or ruins or semi-ruins
labyrinths/mazes, dark corridors, and winding stairs filled
with dusty cobwebs
castles or mansions which have hidden
tunnels/staircases, dungeons, underground passages,
crypts, or catacombs
if set in a broken down modern house, the basement or
attic becomes the place of terror
threatening natural landscapes, like rugged mountains,
dark forests, or eerie moors, exhibiting stormy weather
Elements of Horror
limited lighting such as moonlight (usually a full moon),
candles, flashlight, lantern
 often the light disappears: clouds hide the moon,
candles go out, flashlights/ lanterns are dropped and
 if electric lights exist, they usually mysteriously go out
Other Elements
dark secrets surrounding some tormented soul
who is left to live in isolation
ominous omens and curses
magic, supernatural manifestations, or the
suggestion of the supernatural
a damsel in distress
the damsel’s rescuer; usually a lover
horrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat of
such happenings
Elements of a Short Story
 Listen
to and follow along with the song about
the five major elements of a story.
Definition: a conversation between characters
Annina asked, “Monsieur Rick, what kind of a man
is Captain Renault?”
“Oh, he's just like any other man, only more so,”
Rick replied.
(Joy Page and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, 1942)
Short Story Maps
 Due:
Friday, November 5,
2013 at the beginning of class.
Victorian Horror Novels
Classics of the horror genre written during
the Victorian Era:
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Invisible Man