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Opening Lines of Horror Stories

The following is a collection of opening lines to horror stories. I like to read first lines for inspiration, so I hope this collection will help you.

 

Jump to My top picks | Bram Stoker | Jonathan L. Howard | Lovecraft | Neil Gaiman | R.L. Stine | Stephen King

 

 

My Top Picks

It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to shew by this statement that I am not his murderer.

— The Thing on the Doorstep. Lovecraft.

 

West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.

— The Colour out of Space. Lovecraft.

 

Chapter 1: In which a scientist visits hell and a deal is struck

— Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. Jonathan L. Howard.

 

Josh and I hated our new house.

— Welcome to Dead House. R.L. Stine.

 

 

Bram Stoker

3 May. Bistritz. - Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late.

— Dracula. Bram Stoker.

 

I had just arrived at Cruden Bay on my annual visit, and after a late breakfast was sitting on the low wall which was a continuation of the escarpment of the bridge over the Water of Cruden.

— The Mystery of the Sea. Bram Stoker.

 

It all seemed so real that I could hardly imagine that it had ever occurred before; and yet each episode came, not as a fresh step in the logic of things, but as something expected.

— The Jewel of Seven Stars. Bram Stoker.

 

Adam Salton sauntered into the Empire Club, Sydney, and found awaiting him a letter from his grand-uncle.

— Lair of the White Worm. Bram Stoker.

 

 

Jonathan L. Howard

The Johannes Cabal books never fail to open with an intriguing title for chapter one.

 

Chapter 1: In which a scientist visits hell and a deal is struck

— Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. Jonathan L. Howard.

 

Chapter 1: In which death awaits and a plot is hatched

The condemned cell stank of cats.

— Johannes Cabal the Detective. Jonathan L. Howard.

 

Chapter 1: In which the Fear Institute visits and Cabal is confronted by the police

It was not such a peculiar house in and of itself.

— Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute. Jonathan L. Howard.

 

Prologue: In which we are reintroduced to a pair of individuals with unconventional interpretations of the term 'dead'

Now, let us consider the life of Johannes Cabal, if briefly. ...

Chapter 1: In which the dead are raised, blood is drunk, and eaves are dropped.

— The Brothers Cabal. Jonathan L. Howard.

 

 

Lovecraft

It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to shew by this statement that I am not his murderer.

— The Thing on the Doorstep. Lovecraft.

 

West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.

— The Colour out of Space. Lovecraft.

 

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

— The Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft.

 

I have examined maps of the city with the greatest care, yet have never again found the Rue D'Auseil.

— The Music of Erich Zann. Lovecraft.

 

I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more.

— Dagon. Lovecraft.

 

You needn't think I'm crazy, Eliot - plenty of others have queerer prejudices than this.

— Pickman's Model. Lovecraft.

 

When a traveller in north central Massachusetts takes the wrong fork at the junction of the Aylesbury pike just beyond Dean's Corners he comes upon a lonely and curious country.

— The Dunwich Horror. Lovecraft.

 

Whether the dreams brought on the fever or the fever brought on the dreams Walter Gilman did not know.

— The Dreams in the Witch House. Lovecraft.

 

Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror.

— Herbert West - Reanimator. Lovecraft.

 

From a private hospital for the insane near Providence, Rhode Island, there recently disappeared an exceedingly singular person.

— The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Lovecraft.

 

Bear in mind closely that I did not see any actual visual horror at the end.

— The Whisperer in Darkness. Lovecraft.

 

Cautious investigators will hesitate to challenge the common belief that Robert Blake was killed by lightning, or by some profound nervous shock derived from an electrical discharge.

— The Haunter of the Dark. Lovecraft.

 

After twenty-two years of nightmare and terror, saved only by a desperate conviction of the mythical source of certain impressions, I am unwilling to vouch for the truth of that which I think I found in Western Australia on the night of July 17-18, 1935.

— The Shadow out of Time. Lovecraft.

 

 

Neil Gaiman

Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.

— Coraline. Neil Gaiman.

 

 

R.L. Stine

Josh and I hated our new house.

— Welcome to Dead House. R.L. Stine.

 

I got off to a bad start at Camp Cold Lake.

— The Curse of Camp Cold Lake. R.L. Stine.

 

"What are you going to be for Halloween?" Sabrina Mason asked.

— The Haunted Mask. R.L. Stine.

 

"This is creepy, Erin." My friend Marty grabbed my sleeve.

— A Shocker on Shock Street. R.L. Stine.

 

When the snow blows wild

And the day grows old,

Beware, the snowman, my child.

Beware, the snowman.

He brings the cold.

Why did that rhyme return to me?

— Beware, the Snowman. R.L. Stine.

 

 

Stephen King

For want of a nail the kingdom was lost - that's how the catechism goes when you boil it down.

— The Tommyknockers. Stephen King.

 

Curt Wilcox's boy came around the barracks a lot the year after his father died, I mean a lot, but nobody ever told him get out the way or asked him what in hail he was doing there again.

— From a Buick 8. Stephen King.

 

On a very hot day in August of 1994, my wife told me she was going down to the Derry Rite Aid to pick up a refill on her sinus medication prescription - this is stuff you can buy over the counter these days, I believe.

— Bag of Bones. Stephen King.

 

Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.

— The Shining. Stephen King.

 

Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.

— Salem's Lot. Stephen King.

 

Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow.

— Carrie. Stephen King.

 
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