It’s a warm, moonlit summer night. You and your friends are sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows. The trees quiver in the breeze. A wolf howls from a distant hill. Owooooo. Owooooo. Owooooo. Suddenly, someone screeches, ”I know!” They take a long pause. “Let’s tell scary stories!”
See what we did there? That’s just an example of how you could start your spooky campfire storytelling session. But we have something even more helpful! Below, we’ve written a guide to scary campfire storytelling just for you. Try out these narrative pointers to spook your fellow campers!
This first tip is very important. Be sure you craft your story beforehand! You don’t want to wait until everyone’s around the campfire to start spinning that yarn.
Nothing coming to mind? That’s okay一creative block happens to the best of us. Don’t let it freak you out! Instead, use the Spooky Adventures story starter to get burning with inspiration, or pick a story out of Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories! If you don’t want to recite one of Rowley’s stories exactly, just use it as a skeleton outline and make the plot your own.
This scary story tradition has been around for a long time, and quite rightly so. It’s super creepy! When you shine a flashlight upward from under your chin, the shadows make you look like one of the monsters from Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories! It’s sure to send chills down your audience’s spine!
Avoid jumping right into the story. Instead, get started with a warning or some cautionary advice. Be sure it conveys uncertainty or hesitation, which will go far in building tension. For example, “I don’t want to scare you guys too much, so maybe I shouldn’t tell this one….” or “Before I start the story, just know….” This tension will connect your audience to you as the storyteller and keep them engaged at every twist and turn.
You can bring props for sound effects, such as a pan or another piece of metal to bang. Do you have a radio nearby? If you do, you could also consider playing creepy background music! Suppose you have none of that on hand. In that case, use your very own built-in instrument and sound effect machine一your mouth! Whenever the story calls for it, change your voice, tone, and volume to draw people into the scene and fill it with excitement or emotion.
Do you know the saying “actions speak louder than words”? Well, we’re going to apply that to storytelling here. If you want to make your narrative more powerful, use your body to bring it to life. Fidget, move your arms, or look around the campfire as though you’re searching for a ghost.
First of all, your flashlight, warning, movements, and voice changes will all help you build suspense in your story. How else can you create tension and uncertainty to keep your audience attentive and, of course, afraid?
Try cluing them in on what will happen, but hide the most critical or revealing details. You can do this by making statements that are open to interpretation or that beg questions. Your audience’s imaginations will run wild with fright!
Why not make this a group effort? Choose one camper to be your helper.
Are you worried your audience won’t believe certain parts of your story? Then have your helper react to specific details. For example, if you say, “There is an old, abandoned house in the woods outside of town,” and your helper says, “I’ve seen it! I walked by it once,” your audience may buy into the story more quickly.
You can also ask your helper to act worried or scared while you tell the story. Fear is contagious, after all!
If you finish your story too neatly, you may undo all your hard storytelling work and break all the tension you took so long to build! Instead, leave your fellow campers in suspense. Give them an ending that thrills or chills them the rest of the night一maybe even the rest of the summer! Perhaps, the girl who ventured into the abandoned house never comes out. Maybe passersby have seen a girl on the property, but the police searched it and found nothing. No matter what you do, don’t let your listeners think the story is over or the mystery is solved.
Tagged:- camp stories, camp traditions, spooky stories
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