There’s no better time in the year
than Halloween for sharing scary stories. And there are SO MANY scary stories
out there; in fact, there are entire books and movies and magazines dedicated
It may seem like spinning a spooky
yarn ought to be easy as pumpkin pie, but, like tight rope walking, writing a
children's book (Am I right, guys?), and drinking black coffee, telling a scary
story is a skill that must be honed with years of careful study.
But, since Halloween is just a few
days away, consider this our Scary Story Bootcamp.
The only true necessity is a
flashlight. Shine it under your face in the dark and give your audience a
ghoulish grin. Works every time.
Other props might be things like a
scary mask, a storyteller's costume (cape? top hat? pipe?), maybe some fake
snakes or bugs, or spooky music to play in the background.
You might think the setting in which
you tell your creepy tale story isn't important. Wrong. Atmosphere is vital.
Here are some tips on working your audience into maximum fright before you even
open your mouth.
- Make a blanket or pillow-fort. First off, they're
awesome. Second, they'll hide all the light from outside the fort,
leaving your flashlight as the only source of light. And third, forts are
- Do you have an outdoor fire pit? The eerie light will
flicker; the fire will crackle; and creatures of the night will skulk and
slither in the shadows just out of sight...
You've selected your setting and
collected your props; now it's time for the main event.
Speaking in front of an audience can
be nerve-wracking. Practicing before is always an option, especially if you
aren’t too familiar with the story.
Adding changes in the tone and volume of your voice throughout can also
enhance the story and get children more intrigued in what happens next. But
just remember: it's important to seem confident in the story you're telling.
Whatever the story is, it is true. If you believe it, your audience
will believe it too.
But how do you pick one?
The best thing to do is to learn a
few on your own, improve them, and then swap them with your friends. Pretty
soon you'll have a good collection built up! Becoming familiar with some
classic scary stories that originate from folklore in Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark can
always be a good place to get some ideas; but here are also a few tried and
trues to get you started:
Not Very Scary/Kinda Funny:
Super Scary/Proceed with
The Best Original
Scary Story Ever:
Okay, that last one
might be biased, but it is a great spooky story and you can read it (or hear
it!) yourself in Bill Harley's third Charlie Bumpers book, Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull!
Did we miss any of your
favorite stories? Have you made up an awesome one that you'd like to share? Do
you have any more tips on how to tell them? Leave a comment below!
Labels: Charlie Bumpers, Halloween, How To