The Four Elements of a Horror Story

In the spirit of Halloween, enjoy this post on the elements that combine to make a good horror story…there’s some goodies in the mix, too 🙂

P.S…Marcia is having computer woes at the moment but will be back up to speed soon and back to blogging. Keep your eye on this spot for her return! 🙂

Story Empire


frightDid I scare you? Probably not. It’s pretty hard to take someone by surprise when you tell them in advance (in my case, by this blog’s title) you’re about to discuss horror and fright.

Or is it?

If that were true, horror legends like H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Stephen King wouldn’t be household names.

So how do writers, working with only words on a page, manage to raise heart rates and goosebumps in their readers? They can’t rely on camera angles and creepy music to build suspense.

But that’s what the horror genre is all about, isn’t it? The buildup of suspense.

Because of Halloween, October is the month we focus on the macabre. Ghost stories, slasher movies, psychological thrillers. I’ve long been a student of the craft of writing, and this is the perfect time to analyze the components of a successful horror work.


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6 thoughts on “The Four Elements of a Horror Story

  1. Great post, Mae. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for letting folks know I am computerless at the moment. Hoping to get my new one tomorrow, though it will take a couple of days to get it all set up, and then probably a week beyond that before everything is working properly again. Trying to keep a smile on my face anyway. But handling everything from my iPhone drives me crazy! At least I can read comments and reply from my phone, though, so I’m trying not to complain. Much!

    Liked by 1 person

      • For me, being without a computer is worse than almost anything I can imagine that doesn’t impact or harm someone I love. Beyond family and friends, the computer is my whole life. I’m at it all day long, every day, and without it I’m wandering around left to my own devices, which end up including things like laundry and dish washing. That’s just so wrong! 😆


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