Currently viewing the tag: "ghost story"

For a ghost story, the tale of Violet Saville Devohr was vague and underwhelming. –The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the scariest camp fire story you ever heard.

Art Prompt: Ghost story

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a spooky ghost story with a twist at the end.

Photo Credit: Yosomono on Flickr

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!


In 1873, a man was convicted of murdering his wife based on the testimony of a ghost. Erasmus Shue, a West Virginian blacksmith, claimed to have discovered his wife dead at the foot of their staircase. By the time authorities arrived, he had dressed the corpse in a high-necked dress. He then cradled her head so tightly the coroner could only examine the limbs. After the funeral, during which Shue acted erratically and insisted on wrapping a scarf around the corpse’s neck, Shue’s mother-in-law claimed she was visited by the ghost of her daughter. The ghost said Shue had beaten her regularly and strangled her in a fit of rage over not making meat for dinner. The mother-in-law badgered the authorities until they agreed to exhume the body. Sure enough, there were thumb bruises and a broken neck hidden by the scarf and high-collared dress. Shue was tried for murder, and the key testimony was the mother-in-law recounting the visit from the ghost and the eerily accurate information it provided. The jury needed only an hour to find Shue guilty of murder. –Justin Kitch,

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a murder trial that hinges on the testimony of a ghost.

Journaling Prompt: What is the strangest story you’ve ever heard about a ghost?

Art Prompt: Testimony of the ghost

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience an interesting story about unusual testimony in a court trial.

Photo Credit: Mer on Flickr


The Banshee never manifests itself to the person whose death it is prognosticating. Other people may see or hear it, but the fated one never, so that when everyone present is aware of it but one, the fate of that one may be regarded as pretty well certain. St. John Drelincourt, True Irish Ghost Stories

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a banshee in the modern world.

Journaling Prompt: What’s your favorite ghost story? What makes it scary to you?

Art Prompt: Banshee

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Create and share a ghost story.

ghost in the window

Memory is a ghost that haunts you. -Kate Elliott, Shadow Gate

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal monologue of a character haunted by a memory.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a memory that haunts you.

Art Prompt: The ghost of memory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about how they can exorcise the ghost of a painful memory.

Photo Credit: The Raggedy-man on Flickr

the moon and ghost!

“Every Chinese family had its own quarrelsome, mischievous ghosts who could be appealed to, appeased, or comforted with paper people, houses, and toys. As a small child lying awake in bed at night, Pearl grew up listening to the cries of women on the street outside calling back the spirits of their dead or dying babies. -Hilary Spurling, Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, poem, or haiku about a mother searching for the ghost of her baby.

Journaling Prompt: What sounds did you hear from your bed at night when you were growing up?

Art Prompt: Ghosts in China

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a ghost story from the point of view of a child.

Photo Credit: yettis doings on Flickr

The Truth

“Do you know any ghost stories, Mr. Fort?” asked Tony. He liked to tell us the ones his grandmother told from the old country, all about gypsies and potions and vengeful friars.

Mr. Fort turned and looked at him. “Ghost stories, my boy? They’re just the gossip of the dead. What kind of damned fool wastes his heightened awareness of all time and space to come back and tell you that he loves you? Or where the family treasure is buried? Or who killed him? They all say the same things, those ghosts, none of it interesting. None of it sublime.” He snorted. “The whole world is a ghost, echoing and fading from the perfect original. We are the ghosts.” -Will Ludwigsen, We Were Wonder Scouts, Asimov’s Aug 2011

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a supernatural story that is firmly set in the natural world.

Journaling Prompt: If you were to die unexpectedly today, what would you want to communicate to your family after your death? Why aren’t you telling them now?

Art Prompt: We Are the Ghosts

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the fascination with the paranormal and how it affects our ability to perceive the miraculous in the natural world.

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney on Flickr

I Heart You

On Wednesday nights, I talk to my dead sister though a silver mirror. -Mari Ness, The Shadow in the Mirror (free to read online)

Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene or poem using the first line above.

Journaling Prompt: Do you ever talk to your dead relatives?

Art Prompt: Ghosts in the Mirror

Photo Credit: Dia™ on Flickr

The Rain Man!

Night is a time of mystery and beauty, but for some people, it’s frightening, sad, or even threatening.

“The night kept coming on in and there was nothing I could do.” -Charles Bukowski, “The Most Beautiful Woman in Town”, a short story included in The Most Beautiful Woman in Town & Other Stories

Writing Prompt: Create a scene using the sentence above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you dreaded the coming of night.

Art Prompt: Night

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about night.

Photo Credit: VinothChandar on Flickr


Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo by Livin-Lively.