Tell Me a Scary Story
An introduction to the art of by-the-seat-of-your-pants storytelling
September 1, 2001
|Stars sparkled against the dark shroud of night.|
were mere crumbs and smudges. Embers glowed moodily in the fire pit. Far
across the lake, loons lamented their haunting autumn farewell. In a
half-circle, smoldering embers between us, sat a group of 12 adults and
children, all patiently waiting for my story to begin.
Halloween is my second-favorite holiday of the year for this very reason. Telling scary stories is my forté.
was never a night by the lake, stream, bonfire or fireplace without
pleas of, “Dad! Tell us a scary story.” Time has changed the petitions
from “Dad” to “Grampa,” “Andy” and “Uncle Andy,” but “tell us a scary
story,” remains a steadfast entreaty. Over the years, I’ve garnered a
bag of tried-and-true storytelling methodologies, but I always enjoy
making up stories as I tell them. Improvisation, I’ve found, is as
essential to telling vibrant scary stories as a dark night and
fills your storytelling with energy, imagination, freshness and
flexibility. The plot, characters and story ideas abound wherever you
look – you merely have to know what to look for.
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