Burn Heaven

How to write a short horror story?

A short definition for horror

Horror is supposed to give the reader a sense of fear, disgust or shock. Horror can be divided into subcategories like psychological horror and supernatural horror, which can both transmit fear through different elements.

Choose a subcathegory

Supernatural Horror

The type of horror that has supernatural elements, like ghosts, vampires and other magical entities. We can also often find the theme of “life after death” or fighting with the supernatural.

Psychological Horror

Is the subcategory that points to the mental and emotional, the consciousness and unconsciousness. Psychological horror often has more realistic elements like a mental illness or abuse.

We could say that both these subcategories create chaos, the “Supernatural horror” creates it in the world, and the “Psychological horror” in the main character’s mind.


Fear is an old feeling that each of us felt at least once, is one of the strongest we can feel and hardest to forget. Fear is so complex and impossible to avoid because it can use many ways to make itself felt. An emotion that can affect both the body and the mind is not one to be ignored.

Tips and tricks

  1. The Atmosphere

Sometimes the atmosphere is more important than the plot itself, the ambient you induce your reader into, the little details that make him feel there will amplify the fear. The room, the sounds, the smells and the vibe will catch your reader.

2. Don’t give your characters names

A nameless character is a character who cannot be categorized by ethnicity, nationality or religion, or any other category that might be deduced from the name. A nameless character only has his fear, and the reader is only focused on that.

3. Use top common fears

Using top common fears gives you the advantage of attacking the reader personally, the reader will find it easier to connect with the character.

Some top common fears:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of death -Thanatophobia
  • Fear of heights -Acrophobia
  • Fear of snakes -Ophidiophobia
  • Fear of spiders -Arachnophobia
  • Fear of dogs -Cynophobia
  • Fear of flying -Aerophobia
  • Fear of closed spaces -Claustrophobia
  • Fear of storm -Astraphobia
  • Fear of needles -Trypanophobia

4. Give your villain a motive, or don’t

Your villain doesn’t have to have a tragic background to be evil, “evil for the sake of evil” is a phrase most of us know, and it’s a good reason for your character to be evil. Of course, you can go with a heart-breaking life, give them a reason to be evil, and answer easier the reader’s multitude of questions.

When a villain appears, the readers will ask “Why is this character evil?”, make sure to answer this question throughout your writing, decide what kind of evil your character will be, and build that up.

5. Lack of sense or knowledge

These elements will make your character more confused, not knowing what evil is or how to fight it. The “lack of sense” could mean events like someone coming back from the dead, or someone turning into a wolf, the character might not know about these topics so confusion and fear will appear.

Other things you should keep in mind

  • Building tension
  • Put a stake
  • Anticipation
  • Show consequences
  • Read, see what you like, apply the elements that made you feel scared.


More articles related to this will come soon.

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