How to Write Your Own Ghost Story

Help your little ones write their own ghost stories with these tips excerpted from Julie Winterbottom’s Frightlopedia!

Sometimes the scariest ghost stories are the ones we invent ourselves. Here are some tips on how to make up your own.


  • Choose a place for your ghostly encounter. It could be at night in your bedroom, or in a place that’s less typical for a ghost story, like the bathroom at your school.
  • Choose a time. It’s best to make your story something that happened recently—last week or even yesterday. That makes it much scarier.
  • When you begin telling the story, it helps to act as if you are someone who doesn’t even believe in ghosts. You can say, “I’ve never believed in ghosts. But what happened . . . I just can’t explain it. . . .” That will make the story more convincing and make your listeners want to hear more.
  • As you tell the story, make everything almost normal. Just change a few details so there’s a feeling that something is out of the ordinary—maybe you hear a weird scratching sound, or one of the faucets in the school bathroom turns on by itself.
  • Consider making the ghost in your story look like someone you know (even yourself!) but with something changed—the eyes are two different colors, or the hands are transparent.
  • If you want, come up with a reason why the ghost has come back to the world of the living. Maybe the ghost is looking for something or someone, or is angry about a certain event. You don’t have to be direct about this reason, but you can hint at it.
  • Slowly build up to the climax of your story, where you interact with the ghost. It doesn’t have to be gory—sometimes the scariest ghost just says one word, or your name, or keeps pointing at something, or just brushes by you and disappears.
  • For extra creepiness, you can show your listeners a mark on your arm or something that the ghost altered in the room you’re in and say, “I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen this.”
  • At the end, hint that you don’t think this ghost is gone for good. “I’m not going near that room, and I wouldn’t if I were you.”

9780761183792_3dFor more frights from Julie’s book, check out:


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