How to Create Memorably Scary Scenes for Your Horror or Paranormal Feature

How to Create Memorably Scary Scenes for Your Horror or Paranormal Feature

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In movies ranging from Jaws to The Shining, from The Godfather to The Conjuring, there are scenes that stand out for bringing us to the edge of our seats and sending chills up our spines.

This OnDemand webinar will explore the techniques that the writer of the horror/paranormal screenplay uses to craft those suspenseful, heart-pounding screen sequences, teaching you to make those scary moments on the page just as terrifying to the reader as they would be to an audience watching them play out on a screen in a darkened theater. In the same way that a screenplay for a comedy has to be funny if it’s going to sell, the screenplay for a horror movie has to be scary if it’s going to sell.

This OnDemand webinar, taught by horror pro Neal Marshall Stevens (13 Ghosts, Hellraiser: Deader), will explore the nuts and bolts techniques that working screenwriters and filmmakers use to create fear on the page and on the screen, using examples from classic and contemporary films ranging from Night of the Living Dead to Paranormal Activity—including examples from his own screenplays.

Explore the importance of properly structuring and setting up scares, where and when to use the “boo” moment, and the importance of developing the “sense of dread.”


  • Curious Fear—the instinct that draws us down the corridor
  • The "Boo"–all the different ways to make an audience jump
  • The Structure of the Horror "Gag" – setting Up and Paying Off a Scare
  • The Art of Misdirection
  • Building Tension
  • The Sense of Dread—tapping into our fundamental fears


  • Writers who are want to learn more about the Horror/Paranormal Genre
  • Writers who want to learn more about the basics of Screenwriting
  • Writers who want to understand how and why scary movies work
  • Writers who want a better chance at getting their Horror screenplays sold
  • Writers who need help realizing their ideas in the Horror/Paranormal Genre
  • Writers looking to expand their writing tool kit
  • Writers looking to master the “Art of the Scare” in fields outside of Horror
  • Writers who want to challenge themselves
The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.