How To Tell A Good Ghost Story

Hello dear reader(s)!

With All Hallow’s Eve fast approaching, and the sky darkening over the falling leaves, I thought I would offer up my help on one of the season’s most important traditions.  That tradition is, of course, drinking spiked apple cider at a Halloween party and sleeping with the nearest woman in a “Sexy (Insert profession here)” costume.  To do this, you must be able to tell a good ghost story, or just recognize the desperation of the woman wearing the sexy costume and be the first guy to talk to her.

Telling a good ghost story can often lead to benefits other than sex with desperate women.  By telling a good ghost story, you may also

  • Earn the respect of your peers.  Telling a good story makes you look cool.  There is not much cooler than someone who can command an entire room’s attention with their voice.  Except for Fonzie, until he jumped the shark.
  • Get to hold the flashlight under your chin.  Who doesn’t want to hold the flashlight under their chin?  It doesn’t make you look scary, but it does remind you of when you thought it did.  Holding a flashlight under your chin when telling a ghost story is the only way you’ll ever really be allowed to get away with that.  Think about it.  What would you do if you were approached by someone holding a flashlight under their chin in a darkened room (say, a club) and that person did not have a ghost story?  Actually, it is a club.  That might just work.
  • Have someone bring you more spiked cider.  You want to go get another drink, but you’re already sitting on the floor in a circle and you’re high as fuck.  You really don’t feel like getting up.  When it is your time to tell the story, just say you need a drink to prime your speaking voice.  Have the woman in the sexy costume get it for you.  Now you have shown her how nice it is when she does things for you.  You’ve planted that in her mind.  She does things for you, and is rewarded (in this case, with a better sounding story).  See how that works?  Okay, so even if that doesn’t lead anywhere else, at least you didn’t have to run the risk of falling over on your way to another drink.
  • Maybe get discovered as the next writer for some horror themed TV show that is all the rage.  Okay, probably not, but you never know.  Invite Lady Gaga to increase your chances of this.

Don’t those benefits sound absolutely amazing?  No?  Fine then.

But never the less, telling ghost stories can be fun if done properly.  If not fun for those listening, it can be fun for you; and that is all that should matter.

  1. Show enthusiasm.  I typically don’t like to be the first one to tell a ghost story so I can employ my special trick to hook people into my story after someone else has told theirs.  This trick is to reach for the flashlight when the other person is almost done with theirs and as soon as the final word comes from their mouth, you shout, “Dude!  Dude!  I got one that kicks that one’s ass!”  This not only primes your listeners for great story fun, but also seeks to smack down the last story-teller who was eyeing the woman in the sexy costume.
  2. Put the flashlight under your chin.  This is a requirement.  It will remind people of when they thought that was scary looking.
  3. Don’t start with “It was a dark and stormy night.”  You do not want your story to sound like every other ghost story, do you?  I like, “It was really fucking dark and rainy, bra.”
  4. Personalize it.  Say it was your cousin who saw the girl with the jacket or whatever.  Don’t say it was you though, because you are creepy enough and don’t want to add to that.
  5. Pick a location you know.  I like picking a place that is local to my audience.  This not only increases the fear factor (the show where you eat gross shit) because their pea-brains immediately start to think it could happen to them, it also means you do not have to do actual research for believability.  The last thing you want to do is talk about The Ghost of The South Florida Mountains.
  6. Don’t tell The Girl In The Jacket or one of the thousands of variations of it.  We all read Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark in elementary school.  That shit won’t fly with your drunk and possibly high sophisticated audience.
  7. Make it sexy.  Sex sells.  Most horror movies include gratuitous sex scenes for a reason.  Nothing gets people’s attention more than sex, and scary sex is even better…or so I’ve heard from that woman with the leather.
  8. Don’t wrap up your story.  The whole idea is to scare people.  You want them to get the impression that evil is still out there.  You do not want to say, “And then they crossed the streams, Gozer was turned into fluff, and they lived happily ever after until the lame-ass sequel and my God I hope the reboot erases my memory of the second movie.”
  9. Use vocal inflection.  If you sound like Ben Stein during the telling of your ghost story (unless the evil is Trickle Down Economics…which is truly evil) nobody is going to be afraid.  And without that fear, you can’t make her run into your arms for protection.  Make sure she doesn’t run too fast, you are kinda fucked up and couldn’t even get your own cider.  If you hook up, does that mean she raped you?
  10. Use effects.  You don’t need auto-tune or reverb or something, but a well placed BAM! or a stomp on the floor…even a hand clap can work wonders.  Also, use your inebriation.  If you’re feeling a little sick, tell a story about being possessed before projectile vomiting all over the last story-teller who was eyeing the sexy costume girl.

Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

5 thoughts on “How To Tell A Good Ghost Story”

  1. With the spoken word slowly dying (or in my case I suck at telling stories) horror movies are where it is at for my daughter and I. She laughed at the Exorcist the first time she saw it around age 10 and then challenged me to find a movie to scare her. Challenge accepted, although that probably doesn’t make me mom of the year….

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