MPL Writers Group

How To Tell A Scary Campfire Story

There is nothing more atmospheric than telling a scary story around a campfire at night. Telling a scary story at night is quite an art to master and there are several handy techniques in weaving a tale of horror that will leave your audience quaking in their shoes.



To tell a good scary campfire story, you must understand how the horror story works. Horror is a genre of storytelling that uses fear, disgust, and anxiety to make an emotional connection with the audience and are intended to scare the audience with a variety of storytelling tools such as suspense, shock value, a dark atmosphere, and dread to keep the audience shivering in their seats.

For a good campfire story, having a monster is a good tactic. Better yet, have the monster hidden. The most terrifying monsters-and most elements of horror itself-is not seeing the monster or any other kind of dark entity at all. Give hints of the monster, either through hinted visual imagery or even making sounds. And keep in mind not all monsters have to have horns and fangs. Some monsters even look normal, like businesspeople, and there are many ways to make something ordinary into something terrifying.

The most important aspect of a scary campfire story is to make it relevant. Introduce elements of social media and smartphones that can be used for horror-based purposes, like text messages from an unknown entity that would say “I’m in the house with you, and I am coming to get you.” 

Another good tip is to get familiar with the horror genre by reading horror books and comics, watching horror films, and if you are a gamer, play horror-based video games. By experiencing horror from these stories, you will successfully analyze what makes something scary and also what kills horror on arrival. The more horror you consume, the more knowledgeable about horror that you can get, and that enables you to weave scary tales more effectively.

Best of luck scaring your audience and have a safe and Happy Halloween.



Additional Resources: – How To Write A Scary Campfire Story

StoryFlint – 8 Frightening Tips For Writing A Horror Story

MasterClass – How To Write A Horror Story In 7 Steps

WikiHow – How To Write A Horror Story

The Write Life – 5 Tips For Writing Horror (And +3 To Avoid)