“Tell me a horror story about…”: Generating Spooky Stories with ChatGPT

Greetings, readers!!

There are many things to know about me, but the most relevant for today is that I’m a big horror and true crime fan. The thrill began as a child when I would sit in the center of my parent’s bed (obviously the center – my effort to ensure that if something was hiding under the bed, it couldn’t reach me on that big California king), reading Alvin Schwartz’ Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (https://go.exlibris.link/cmRcXzPk). I immersed myself in the excitement of fear and the unknown; spiraling down the well of “what if’s” as I put myself in the shoes of the different unsuspecting victims.

It’s no surprise that the thrill of the chill continued with me as I grew up. Now, however, there were the real scary monsters of the world. While I continued to enjoy my fantastical tales of the supernatural, added to my catalog of interests were reports of Albert Fish, the twisted cannibalistic grandpa or Mary Bell, the 10-year old murderer. I walked into the world of true crime and there was no turning back.

I continue to enjoy both supernatural and true crime horrors and thrillers, which is why I’m here today…though, I’m taking a unique approach with it. 

As about AI, or artificial intelligence, and generative AI continue to circle around academic discourse, a thought occurred to me: can AI tools, like ChatGPT, generate a horror story?

The answer? Of course it can! Here are a few stories it produced for me (along with the prompt I gave it). The photos throughout were also generated using free online AI tools. Enjoy!

Trisha Hernandez

Student Success Librarian

Prompt: tell me a story about a serial killer who is punished by his victims

ChatGPT: Title: “The Justice of the Lost Souls”

In the quiet, picturesque town of Greenfield, a grim cloud of terror had settled. A series of gruesome murders had cast a dark shadow over the community. The authorities were baffled, and fear gripped the townsfolk, who barely dared to venture out after nightfall.
shadow reaper, generated with deepai.org

The serial killer, known only as the “Shadow Reaper,” had been terrorizing Greenfield for months. The community was horrified, and the police force, led by Detective Sarah Monroe, was working tirelessly to bring the malevolent killer to justice. The Reaper’s victims were seemingly chosen at random, their lives extinguished without rhyme or reason.

Then, one gloomy evening, the Reaper met his latest victim, Sarah Monroe. In a cruel twist of fate, the detective had been closing in on the killer’s trail and had become his primary target. The Reaper attacked Sarah, leaving her for dead. It was a near-fatal encounter, and Sarah barely managed to escape with her life, her body battered, and her spirit shattered.

As Sarah recovered in the hospital, she became consumed by a burning desire for vengeance. Her pursuit of the Reaper became a personal vendetta, one that took her to the edge of reason. In her relentless quest for justice, she uncovered hidden information about the killer’s past. She discovered that the Reaper had once been a respected surgeon named Dr. Samuel Redwood, who had been driven to madness by a devastating personal tragedy.

Driven by her newfound knowledge and an unrelenting determination, Sarah managed to locate the Reaper’s hideout. She confronted him in a chilling face-off that sent shivers down her spine. The Reaper, sensing his impending capture, made a desperate plea for mercy, recounting the anguish that had driven him to commit his heinous crimes.
angry ghosts, generated by wepik.com

But the lost souls of his victims, who had been haunting him from beyond the grave, would not be denied their justice. They emerged as ethereal, tormented spirits, their hollow eyes filled with anger and sorrow. They descended upon the Reaper, binding him in a suffocating whirlwind of spectral fury.

The Reaper was subjected to the agony of his victims, feeling the pain he had inflicted on each of them. Their chilling wails and tormented whispers echoed through the room, and as the Reaper screamed in terror, he felt their agony and despair. In a final, haunting spectacle, the spirits dragged him into the abyss of darkness.

Sarah, watching the malevolent killer’s punishment unfold, realized that her thirst for vengeance had ultimately been fulfilled by the victims themselves. Their spirits had united to deliver a chilling brand of justice, retribution that no court of law could ever administer.

With the Reaper vanquished, the town of Greenfield breathed a sigh of relief, and Sarah Monroe, no longer consumed by vengeance, dedicated herself to protecting the innocent, seeking solace in the knowledge that the lost souls had finally found their peace.

Prompt: write a six sentence horror story

ChatGPT: Title: “The Justice of the Lost Souls”

As the clock struck midnight, Sarah awoke to the sound of whispering voices echoing through her darkened room. She strained her ears to listen but couldn’t discern the words, only a sinister, guttural murmur. Her heart raced, and she fumbled for her phone to illuminate the room. In the dim glow, she saw the spectral figures of children standing at the foot of her bed, their hollow eyes fixed upon her. Their pale, cold hands reached out, and a chilling wind swept through the room. Paralyzed with fear, Sarah could do nothing but watch as they drew nearer, their ghostly forms growing darker and more menacing with each step, until they engulfed her in an abyss of darkness.

three ghost children, generated by picsart.com

Prompt: write a three sentence horror story

ChatGPT: As I lay in bed, I heard the gentle patter of rain on the window, but when I looked out, the raindrops spelled out a message: “Let me in.” Trembling, I realized it was impossible for raindrops to form words, and a bone-chilling realization washed over me that something sinister was trying to enter my home. Frozen in fear, I watched the message slowly change to “I’m already inside.”

scared in bed, generated by wepik.com

Prompt: write a one sentence horror story

ChatGPT: The knocking on the window persisted, even though I lived on the 20th floor of the high-rise apartment building.

dark window, generated by wepik.com