How To Tell Scary Campfire Stories
“The other day I heard a story about how scary it is how much topsoil we loose each year, but I told it around the campfire and nobody got scared.”
– Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy
Scary Campfire Stories (for adults)
Sometimes it can get a little creepy sitting around a campfire at night. The light from the fire casting shadows in the trees mixed with the night sounds of the forest … The realization that the comfort from the light of your campfire making the surrounding woods seem darker and creepier than ever …
There is no better time to try to scare the jeepers out of everyone! Not all of us are born story tellers though so here are some tips to help you turn everybody at the fire white with fear …
- Start out be getting everybody’s at the campfire’s undivided attention. You want everybody to be silent and listening closely. You want to draw your audience in and have them hanging on your every word …
- Remember, the woods outside of the light of your fire are extra dark and creepy so you could comment on a sound you just heard in the woods. After commenting on a sound you just heard, (whether you really did or not!) ask somebody to go out and check it out … not a lot of people like to leave the relative safeness of the campfire.
- Sound a bit reluctant to tell your story … like it makes you uncomfortable.
- Okay … so now you have everybody on edge … let the story begin! So what kind of topics make scary campfire stories?
- Stories based in reality – murderers, psychos, getting lost in the wilderness, vicious animals, kidnapping, etc …
- Stories based on current events – it helps people relate to your story.
- Base the story either near the location you are camping in or where your audience is from.
- Combine fact and fiction – the facts add to the realness and the fiction stimulates the imagination.
- Stories based in the woods – aliens that were found in the woods, vicious animals, monsters (bigfoot, etc…), spiders, bats, bugs, critters, etc …
- Familiar urban legends – killer in the back seat, spiders embedded in your nose, buried alive, etc …
- Stories about ghosts – pretend it happened to you but have never told anyone
- Now that you have an idea for a story, here’s a few tips on getting the most out of your story and scaring your friends!
- Start out by talking slowly and nervously. Try to act a bit anxious like you don’t really want to tell the story. This will make people want to hear your story even more.
- Look people in the eyes while you tell your story … draw them in and hold their attention.
- Act real serious – totally change your demeanor almost like you’re possessed – don’t over-act though.
- As your story progresses, start talking a bit faster and more intensely. Try to build the suspense.
- Don’t reveal the outcome or conclusion until the very end of your story. Try to leave a large dramatic pause right before the conclusion. It’s also good to leave your scary story as a mystery at the end … if your story feels unresolved, it will leave an unresolved feeling in your audience.
- End your story very calmly and anxiously as you started. Seem to drift off as you finish like you are getting lost in your unpleasant memories.
- Read your audience, if your story doesn’t seem to be holding people’s attention, make it a bit shorter so it doesn’t draag on too long. If it’s not working … end it quicker!
Not So Scary Campfire Stories (for Kids)
If you want to tell some scary stories around the campfire for kids, you have to make sure that you creep them out a little bit but don’t go too far. Each child is different so you need to know the kids you’re with and their limits. Believe me, if you scare a kid too much with your campfire ghost stories you won’t be getting any sleep yourself that night!
Here’s a few tips for telling scary campfire stories to kids:
- Keep to lighter spooky topics such as spiders, bats, creepy crawlies, ghosts, headless horseman, etc …
- Stay away from more serious topics such as death, murder, gruesomeness, etc …
- Use a flashlight to cast shadows on your face … it make you look creepier and kids love it
- Don’t make your story too long
- If any younger kids get a bit too scared from your story … reassure them that it’s just a story
How To Find Ideas For Scary Campfire Stories
If you would like some ideas for some scary stories that you could tell around the campfire, sign up for our free Campfire Frights eBook which is filled with 13 different urban legend based scary stories. Each story is relatively short and easy to remember so you will be able to easily retell them. You can put your own twists on the stories and get creative! They are excellent for the beginner storyteller looking to scare his friends around the campfire!
Here’s a few more ways you can find ideas for your terrifying stories.
- Look in newspapers for current news stories
- Use urban legends
- Read a book about ghost stories at the library (yes, we still have libraries!)
- Do some online research searching for “scary campfire stories” or “ghost stories”
- Ask around if anybody has had a scary story happen to themselves and then you can re-use it with other people
Now you should be well prepared for your next camping trip. Remember to practice your stories before your camping trip so when the fire is burning, the surrounding woods seem darker, spookier, and noisier than ever – you’ll have everybody on the edge of their seats and scared to fall asleep wrapped in their sleeping bags … in their tents … uncomfortably far away from the fire …