Halloween Idioms and Words

Are you looking for idioms and words that can be used to set a creepy tone to your scene or story? Do you want to use words that will send shivers up your readers’ spines? Is it your desire for those who hold your book in their hands to be frozen with fear? Will they be covered in goosebumps when they finally turn out the lights?

What is an idiom? An idiom is an expression that cannot be taken literally. For example, when you tell someone to break a leg, are you really telling this person to go out and break a bone in his leg? No, of course not. You are wishing him success. It is the same with all idioms; they cannot be taken literally.

scary rabbit, www.justrabbits.com

scary rabbit, www.justrabbits.com

Idioms that show fright – As you will notice, being scared has some pretty serious side effects on the human body.

frozen to the spot
frozen with fear
give one the willies
give one the creeps
make one’s hair stand on end
make the hair stand up on the back of one’s neck
make one’s hair curl
make one’s blood run cold
make one’s blood curdle
scared stiff
scared spitless

scared to death – If you live to tell that you were scared to death, did something go wrong?

scaredy cat – I’m sure most everyone has seen a cat when it is scared. It’s back will be arched, all of its hair will be sticking straight up, and its tail will be three to four times its normal size.

scare the pants off someone
scare one out of his senses
scare the living daylights out of
scare the hell out of OR scare the shit out of
shaking like a leaf

The Apparition, SketchPort

The Apparition, SketchPort

Words that will bring dark and scary thoughts to mind – The following words will help you set a creepy tone to any scene in your book or story.

A
abhorrent
annihilate
apparition

B
banshee
bats
beasts
bewitching
black

black cat, wikimedia commons

black cat, wikimedia commons

black cats – I love black cats and would be happy I had a dozen of them, but not everyone shares the same fondness for them.

black magic
blood curdling
bones
boogie-man
brimstone
broom
bubbling

C
candles
cauldron
cemetery
ceremonies
chills
cloak
clove of garlic
cobwebs
cockroach
coffin
concoction
costume
coven
crypt

Dracula in popular culture, wikipedia

Dracula in popular culture, wikipedia

D
dark
decapitated
decomposed
demon
devil
disgusting
dismal
doomed
Dracula
dragon
druids
dunk for apples

E
eerie
enchant
entomb
evil

creepy fog, pexels

creepy fog, pexels

F
fairy
fear
foggy
fortuneteller
Frankenstein
freak
frighten
frightful

G
gasp
ghastly
ghost
ghoul
gnome
goblin
goosebumps
gory
Grim Reaper
gross
grotesque
gruesome

headless horseman, wikipedia

headless horseman, wikipedia

H
hag
hallucinate
haunt
headless horseman
Hecate – This is a goddess associated with sorcery, hounds, and crossroads.
heinous
hobgoblin
horrible
howl

J
jack-o-lantern

L
labyrinth
lycanthrope – a werewolf

M
macabre
maggot
magic
magic spells
maniac
manifestation
mask
maze
mesmerize
metamorphosis
moan
moldy
monster
moon
mournful
mummy
mutation
mysterious
mystery
mystical

nightmarish, youtube

nightmarish, youtube

N
netherworld
nightmarish

O
occultism
ogre
orange

P
pentagram
petrify
phantasm
phantom
possess
potions

Potter’s field – The unknown or indigent are buried in a potter’s field. Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus, was buried in a potter’s field.

prank
premonition
prey
prowl
psychic
pumpkin

Halloween pumpkins, Flickr

Halloween pumpkins, Flickr

Q
quake
quiver

R
rasp
rattle
repugnant
revolting
ritual
roar

S
sarcophagus
scar
scare
scared
scream
screech
scythe
seer
shaman
shiver
shock
shrew
shriek
sinister
skeleton

Halloween skull, public domain pictures

Halloween skull, public domain pictures

skull
soothsayer
sorcerer
sorcery
soul
specter
spell
spellbound
spider
spine-tingling
spirit
spook
supernatural
superstition
suspicious
swarm

T
terror
terrorize
toads
tomb
tortured
treasure

scary trick-or-treat candy

scary trick-or-treat candy

trick or treat
trickery
troll
twilight

U
ugly
uneasy
unexplained
unleash
unmask

V
vampire
vein
voodoo

Y
yells

zombies, litreactor.com

zombies, litreactor.com

Z
zombie

Obviously, the words and idioms above are just some of the ones that came to mind. I know there are many more. If you know of any more that you would like to see added to either list, please let me know.

 

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