As we approach Halloween, many of us are planning our costumes and gathering up candy for the big night. But this holiday isn’t just a time for trick-or-treating or spooky outfits. It’s also an evening for storytelling.
The Celtic festival of Samhain included many familiar Halloween traditions, such as wearing costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, and sharing stories. You can find chilling tales in almost every part of the world. These stories are rooted in folklore and tell us a lot about different cultures and traditions.
J.M. Wright and Edward Scriven illustration to Robert Burns' poem "Hallowe'en" from The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing the Poems, Songs, and Correspondence, c. 1841
FUN FACT: Did you know stories of werewolves and vampires have a very long history? We find legends of werewolves in ancient Greece, India, and many parts of Europe. Vampire-like creatures appear in nearly every corner of the world–from ancient Egypt to Mexico.
While some tales can be pretty scary, they can also teach us some essential storytelling skills. Learn to set the scene, build suspense, and develop unexpected twists to keep your audience guessing.
We’ve made some short prompts to help young writers craft their own spooky tales. Use these prompts to create an exciting adventure or a Halloween mystery.
One dark, cold night, I….
Just after midnight, I awoke to the sound of….
The next morning, I felt very strange. That’s when I realized…
I crept upstairs to the attic and saw….
My friends and I discovered an old, wooden box. When we opened it, we found….
I was in the forest, when I saw something appear out of the fog…
The town seemed normal from the outside, but it had a curious secret…
I found a strange, old book in the library. I opened the first page and read the words…
Storytelling is at the core of Honest History, so be sure to check out our kids magazine. Maybe it will inspire you as you craft your own spooky tale. And, if you’re feeling up to it, please send us your stories. We’d love to read your original adventures this Halloween season. Happy writing!