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'You try to run...but can't'; PSH students write two-sentence spooky stories

Published on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

graphic that reads "spooky stories"
BCSD photo / Monica Kreber


These students have proven that a spooky story does not necessarily have to be long to creep out listeners...

Edward Leibe's Honors English 2 students at Philip Simmons High recently did a fun Halloween-themed writing prompt where he challenged them to write scary a mere two sentences.

The inspiration behind the assignment is what is known as the world's shortest horror story, published in 1948 and written by Frederic Brown: "The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door ..." 

There is also a show on Netflix called "Two Sentence Horror Stories"; this anthology series debuted in 2019 and each episode starts with the first sentence of a horror story appearing on the screen, and concludes with the full two-sentence story.

From maze adventures gone wrong to predators hiding in the woods, Leibe's students delivered:


"She ran into a room, breathing heavily, trying to find something to block the door. She heard a penetrating scratching across the floor, then it all went….black." - Noah Bernal


"His parents had just left for the night and he was all alone. But then upstairs he heard the door close." - Ben Brown


"My husband grabbed my hands and danced all around. Too bad I had to watch from the other side." - Olive Maher


"A man knocks on the door of a house carrying a red pizza box. A small kid answers the door and asks what is going on, and as the man hands the kid a soaking-wet red pizza box, the man tells the boy that his mom did not tip enough." - Jackson Calliham


"It was 2:51, I was awoken by a breeze, glaring in the corner, I locked eyes with it. I closed my eyes quickly, forcing myself to sleep, before I felt the drool falling on my face…" - Brody Tonon


"Every year, I’m able to listen 10 years into the future. This year there was no noise." - Chester Willis


"My mom always told me not to open the basement door. I did… and a big bright ball in the air blinded me…" - Connor Michaud


"In the deep, cold, dark woods a camper settled down in the comfort of being alone. Though he went to sleep, I couldn’t hold back my smile." - Daniel Trimarco


"We finally found our way out of this deadly maze. I turned to hug my sister only to find that I was alone." - Julia Reilly


"The last thing I saw was the clock flashing 3:05 and the creature pouncing on top of me, I woke up with a start. Looking to my left, I see the clock: 3:04, and the closet door started creaking open." - Madeleine Meloeny


"I woke up in the middle of the night to a tapping on the glass. I thought the tapping was coming from my window but I turned to hear the sound better and it was coming from my mirror." - Merrit Menis


"This is Berkshire – it's twelve days north of hopeless, and a few degrees south of freezing to death. Most places have mice or mosquitos, but we have….. Dragons." - Stone Maxwell


"On a dark, quiet night, you hear footsteps slowly toward you, and they get faster, and faster, and faster; you see a silhouette running at you. You try to run … but can’t." - Sam Sablotsky


"When I woke up, I didn't know where I was, a hospital? Once my eyes adjusted, I saw a figure with long black hair, and it looked up and said 'wanna play?'" - Sawyer Greene


"'Hello? Who’s there?' said the little girl lying in bed. She felt a tickle on her feet, and the next thing she knew she was being dragged into the closet by claws almost as sharp as knives, all that was left was muffled screams." - Haley D'Amaral


"I heard loud stomping downstairs. I live alone." - Tyler Parulis


"I thought he had gone missing when I saw him. But why isn’t he breathing?" - Abby Shively.


"I walked into town and realized it was completely empty.  Until I saw a lone figure come from the darkness." - Ava Cook


"I woke up sweating and in tears. I went for a drink, but when I returned, my body was still in bed." - Israel Alfaro


"(Drip, drop, drip, drop) The cell cold, desolate, empty, and unfeeling, but then the (drip, drop) It came from a leaky pipe, it never stopped (drip, drop) It was maddening, “drip,drop, drip, drop” he mutters to himself (drip, drop) another broken (drip, drop)." - Jack Coates


Two years ago, Berkeley Center for the Arts (housed at Goose Creek High) students took on the two-sentence spooky story challenge as well; read more.


Monica Kreber