15 Picture Prompts for writing horror stories

Writing stories within the horror genre can be a thrilling experience. This genre is very peculiar in that its main goal is to shock and scare its audience. Developing and writing scenes that are able to elicit emotions such as dread, revulsion, and fear requires a particular type of skill.

Mood setting, character development, and knowing how to create suspense are just a few of the many skills needed to write a good horror story. Writing, in general, is hard. But, writing stories within the horror genre can be particularly daunting especially when you are feeling uninspired.

However, you don’t have to start with just a blank page. Using picture prompts for writing horror stories can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

Note that although I have given a title to each picture and written down some prompts ideas/questions, feel free to ignore them if the pictures inspire you with different ideas. Also, don’t forget to comment down below which picture prompts were your favorite!

So without further ado, here are 15 picture prompts to help you write your next story!

Table of Contents

Picture Prompts for Writing Horror Stories

The Old Man

Write the story of the man in this picture. Who is he? Where does he live? Why does he wear this type of makeup? Write from his perspective and imagine what his thought process is like.

Credit: Robert Zunikoff

The Masked Hacker

Write the story of a hacker (or a group of hackers) who goes around wearing a mask. Nobody knows who he is, where he lives, or what he looks like. What are his intentions? What does he want from people? Who does he hack?

Credit: Max Bender

Back from the Dead

Imagine the story behind this picture. Do the hands in the picture belong to someone who is alive, or perhaps resurrected from the dead? Is this person/creature on an island? If so, is the island inhabited? How did they get there in the first place?

Credit: Daniel Jensen

The Baby Factory

Write about your main character finding an abandoned factory where there are hundreds of these baby heads. What happened here? What were the baby heads used for? Why is the factory abandoned in the first place?

Credit: Jene Yeo

Ancient Secrets

Write about a story involving the discovery of this mysterious place. What are the secrets it holds? Why would people want to explore it? Who is the person in the photo and how did he get there?

Credit: Linus Sandvide

Going Underground

Write a story that is set in this place. Where is this place? Is it an abandoned underground subway? If so why is it abandoned?

Credit: Dmitry Ant

The Girl in White

Describe what is happening in this picture. Who is the girl and why is she tied up like that? Did someone do this to her against her will or is this some kind of rituel?

Credit: Mikhail Odintsov

In the Darkness

Write a story centered around this house. Imagine the secrets it holds and who might have live there/currently lives there. Why is it so isolated?

Credit: m wrona

A Shadow in the Night

Write a scene about a group of people lost in the forest. One of them hears a noise during the night and sees these glowing eyes in the middle of the dark trees. What creature is this?

Credit: Neil Rosenstech

The Young Priest

Write the story of a young man who was on his way of becoming a priest but out of nowhere, became violent and started commiting terrible acts. What made him switch up like this?

Credit: engin akyurt

I’m at a Payphone

Write about a particuliar payphone where terrible things seem to happen all the time.

Credit: Danny Lines

The Orphanage

Write about an orphanage where all the children and staff mysterioursly disappeared. The place has been abandoned ever since and no one has ever found the bodies of the people who went missing. What could have caused this disappearence?

Credit: Alexey Malakhov

The Faceless Man

What is happening in this picture? Who is the man behind the girl and why is he faceless?

Credit: Tifith Site

The Chalet

Write about a group of friends going on vacation to this chalet in the middle of the woods. What events do these people go through?

Credit: Florian Haun

A Black Cape

Write about a person/creature that has been terrorizing a small village. They are recognizable solely because they are always wearing a black cape.

Credit: Javier Peñas

Secrets and Bones

Who is the bony creature in this image? What are they holding and why?

Credit: Lan Gao

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