A Cauldron of Spooky Words for Your Halloween

By Sharla Rae

You gotta love Halloween. After all, it’s why I’m giving you my Spooky Word List this month.

The truth is, writers enjoy Halloween every time they write. It’s the fun part of our jobs. We don the temporary skins/costumes of our characters, and from the safety of our computer desks, we might also jump into unpleasant or scary situations.

Whether or not we’re writing a scary scene or just describing a yucky situation, we need to paint pictures of the scene and show our characters’ reactions without sounding like a clichéd grade B movie. That’s the hard part, especially when it comes to scary scenes.

In Margie Lawson’s recent blog, Ax Your Cliches: How and Why, she gives examples of how to do this. I love her solution of playing off the cliché to devise your own creative expressions.

That’s where word lists are often helpful. After reading this list I can almost guarantee that creepy-crawlers will make you want to claw at your skin. This is a list of verbs, adjectives and nouns. By themselves they may be innocuous but in the right sentence they’ll set a reader amidst a spooky, or eee-yew situation.

While the list long, I’m certain I missed many great words. Still, it’s good place to brainstorm ideas. Enjoy!

What are your favorite spooky words? Were they on the list?

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17 Responses to A Cauldron of Spooky Words for Your Halloween

  1. Sharla, how on earth can I pick just one dispicable word among the great words wriggling down the columns? To dismember this devious, wretched band of misfits and watch them wriggle on the page makes me scream with a deviant, jugular, wicked joy of demonic strangness … but then … I am strange. Gotta save this list 🙂

  2. Gerri Bowen says:

    What a great list of words!

  3. LauraDrake says:

    Charla, this is going into my file with all your other great lists – used the sensual word list, just yesterday! Thanks so much, these help when I can’t get my brain to remember the word I want.

  4. Sharla Rae says:

    Anything to tickle the creative mind. 🙂

  5. Jenny Hansen says:

    OK, I’ll admit it…I had to stop reading the list because it creeped me out. 🙂 But I saved it for the next “creepy” scene!

  6. I love these words and am trying to figure out how to copy and paste them for later. My faves are lacerate and sequester and wretched. Certain words just make you think more intensely about the scene.

  7. Liz Roadifer says:

    Great list of creepy words. I easily copied them into an excel spreadsheet for future use. Thanks for helping out your sister writers with this great list.

  8. texasdruids says:

    Oooh, creepy, crawly, vicious words! Trust you to come up with such a great list! Love it.

  9. Sharla Rae says:

    Thanks Lyn. You know me and my lists well. 🙂

  10. Great list! I’m going to name one that caught my eye – lust. That’s spooky these days? Hmmm. Aside from that, I think slither gets me. My “love” of snakes is fairly evident in one of my crazy travel adventure blog posts about a snake in Costa Rice.

  11. Sharla Rae says:

    I agree that snakes definitely have that eew-yew factor. I won’t even look at them in the zoo! Gives me the heebie-jeebies. 🙂

  12. Yvonne Montgomery says:

    A ghoulish quagmire of words, Sharla. Thanks so much.

  13. What an inspiring list of words. Perfect for horror books and adding creepiness to any scene.

    Here are some additions: abyssal, brimstone, chtonic, cursed, demon, diabolical, eldritch, fiend, fiendish, hellfire, horror, terror, incubus, infernal, inferno, monster, monstrous, necromancer, necromancy, necromantic, nefarious, otherwordly, possessed, psychopomp, spectral, specter, subterranian, succubus, sulphurous, undead, unhallowed, unholy, underworld, wraith

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