The night is here, and so are the whims of Halloween. Don’t let the shadows of flickering candles startle you, or the whistle of wind alarm you. Is there a sense of trepidation in the air? Or mere anticipation of the unknown? After all, it is the day for the apparition of the dead.
You might be wondering whether ghosts still exist in the 21st century. That is a bit unbelievable for the skeptic in you. But on Halloween night, anything is possible.
Unlike the infamous eerie setting of the Victorian era, it could be a bit tricky to conjure up stories of ghosts today. Nevertheless, when Halloween comes, it is time to look into dusty pages of old books and find the perfect storyline to spook your friends.
If you are hoping to enthrall the audience in your dorm rooms, here is the ultimate guide on ghost story narration.
#1 Add Truth to It
For any tale to become believable, there needs to be some elements of truth in it. It need not be necessarily from your own experience.
Take some events from the past and recent ones and try to relate the story to it. For instance, you can always start it off as hearsay: “Once my friend told me this…”
A connection to reality will always make the story more exciting and immediately grab the attention.
#2 Tell as if You Lived It
If there is one thing that would make it edgy is to tell a first-hand account. Authors of horror story thrillers always combine inspiration with personal experience to make the material more alluring.
In the famous psychological thriller novella Heart of Darkness, the main outline is from the author Joseph Conrad’s own life experience as a boat streamer. Add details that you have once experienced, even if it is a nightmare.
#3 Stay Away from Legends
The last thing you want is to tell a common story and someone to interrupt and say they have heard this before. It does not only kill the thrill of the tale but also eliminates the suspense.
A commonly known story or a legend of some kind will make it look like you are making this up, and will completely remove the drama from it.
#4 Do Not Go Overboard
Not to discourage you, but college students could be criticizing and looking for loopholes in your narration. So you might want to let out a few details.
According to Glynn Washington, the host of Spooked, “What makes a story less scary, is the more you describe the gore.” Skip some of the gruesome descriptions; the audience can use their imagination to fill in the details.
#5 Make It Sound Recent
A story starting with “Once Upon a Time” is not that scary; it is a tale that has passed over generations. The more recent the events are, the more frightening.
With the latest timeframe and a nearby location, the story becomes more feasible and even probable. This will also make it easier for you to have some first-hand experience or know someone who has.
#6 Find a Backstory
A ghost with a purpose or revenge in mind is the scariest. When you are inventing or repeating the tale, combine details on why the spirit is there in that particular house or area.
Try to find an accident or an incident that occurred there that can make it more relevant.
#7 Do Not Sound Like a Believer
The storyteller does not want to come across as someone who is desperate to prove the existence of ghosts. On the contrary, if you sound hesitant and describe the episode as something you do not want to share, the audience would be more interested. You can make it sound like you are hoping that the audience would prove you wrong, or someone has some alternative explanation for what happened.
#8 Include Multiple Occurrences
Rather than telling that you thought you saw a ghost one time, make it more convincing by saying it happened again.
With a one-time occurrence, your mates are more likely to brush it over as a bad dream or a hallucination.
Conceive a series of events and interaction, or signs that the ghost would leave around in the house. The best would be including your pets and their behavior that suggests the presence of someone in the house.
#9 End with a Cliffhanger
A horror movie with a happy ending might help you sleep, but if left incomplete, it is only more engaging. End with notions like, “They never found the body,” or “the murderer is still on the run.” It will not only make the audience wonder, but also leave the scope wide open for you to pick it up in the future.
While you are on a mission to frighten your friends, remember that the aim is to have fun. Do not terrorize your mates for life, or drive them mad with the fear of a killer lurking in shadows.
Yet again, it is Halloween, and anything is possible, right?!
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