As the crisp autumn leaves fall and the nights grow longer, there’s no better time to dive into the chilling world of spooky literature. Halloween, with its eerie ambiance and sense of mystery, beckons us to explore the realms of darkness and the supernatural. Whether you’re a fan of spine-tingling tales or ghostly encounters, this guide will help you find the most hauntingly captivating plays that will send shivers down your spine and make your Halloween season truly unforgettable.
10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse by Don Zolidis
It’s the end of the world and hordes of rampaging zombies are about to kill you. What do you do? Try your hand at kung fu against the undead? Attempt to reason with creatures that would rather eat brains than use them? Turn to this handy and hilarious guide to survive the apocalypse! (Hint: sacrifice the weak is step number one.)
The Hallmarks of Horror by Peter Bloedel
Scary movies are full of different ways to give you nightmares–but once you figure out the formula, the frightful looks pretty funny. Take a whirlwind tour through the common categories of the creepy, from lines like “let’s split up!” to tropes like the car that never starts. If you dare to master everything from cobwebs to clowns, you’ll be ready when they all converge in a single hilarious finale scene. You won’t believe how fast the spine-chilling turns side-splitting when you know the secrets of The Hallmarks of Horror.
Employees Must Wash Hands…Before Murder by Don Zolidis
Something is rotten at the Burgatorium, a low-end fast food restaurant…and it’s not just the burgers. Hit with a surprise health inspection, employees hilariously rush around to clean up their messes, hide the rats and find real meat for the burgers. But luck is not on their side when their manager turns up dead in a freezer. This super-sized murder mystery comes with a side of funny and a healthy dose of ridiculous as the health inspector and his gangsta intern investigate a lineup of crazy characters that includes a singing tapeworm.
A Voice in the Dark: A Salem Story by Elizabeth Downing
Told through the eyes of a teenager, A Voice in the Dark: A Salem Story is a thrilling and poignant tale from one of the darkest eras in American history. Abigail Hobbs, a shy, yet kind 15-year-old, lives a modest, happy life. But things are changing in Salem, Mass. Healthy girls are becoming ill and whisperings of the devil are in the air. Two women have been hung as witches, and a third accused is missing still. When the Nurse Family, with whom Abigail is close, becomes the center of new suspicions, Abigail accidentally uncovers information that could save them. She is faced with a difficult choice: Will she remain silent and let the witch hunt continue? Or will she risk her own safety and speak out for what is right?
Crafting a Killer by Brent Holland
When a shadowy intelligence organization finds a way to move a person’s consciousness from one body to another, they decide to use the technology to create the perfect undercover operative. However, the eight top candidates for the job don’t know this until the day they find themselves locked in a deadly game of constantly-switching personalities. Forced to compete not only for the job, but for the chance to survive, one of the candidates is eliminated every round. But could someone outsmart the rules of the game? Find out in this inventive, suspenseful body-switching thriller.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Being a Zombie by Jason Pizzarello
In today’s chaotic, challenging world, we often don’t know where to turn for help. Little did we know that life’s most valuable lessons lie within the undead. Finally, zombies engage us with musings on life, death, and everything in between. They show us that brains aren’t everything…you are what you eat…and what doesn’t kill you makes you…more alive.
The Murderous Mansion of Mr. Uno by Don Zolidis
The mysterious Mr. Uno has invited six eccentric guests to his dark and stormy mansion. When Uno winds up dead (several times over), and guests begin dying mysteriously, those remaining must uncover the murderer before it’s too late. A wickedly funny parody of the traditional murder mystery, with eleven possible alternate endings voted on by the audience. Mix and match them all!
The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script based on the novel by H.G Wells, by Howard E. Koch
Broadcast from New York’s Mercury Theatre in 1938, this infamous radio play, based on the novel by H. G. Wells, had many terrified listeners convinced that an actual alien invasion of Earth was taking place. Adapted by Howard E. Koch, co-writer of Casablanca, and directed and narrated by Orson Welles, this original script detailing the frightening tale of an extraterrestrial takeover is now available to bring to life onstage to thrill and chill audiences.
Harry’s Hotter at Twilight by Jonathan Dorf
This crazed mash-up parody of the Harry Potter and Twilight series (with nods to Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland, and other stars of the pop culture pantheon) features invisible rabbits, armies of babies, murderous lunatics, evil gourmets and much more. Hilarity ensues as everyone’s favorite wizards, vampires, and werewolves battle to save the gloomy town of Spork — and indeed the world — from certain destruction at the hands of the nefarious Fine Diner and the bloodthirsty Euphoria.
The Shape of the Grave by Laura Lundgren Smith
The Troubles raging through Northern Ireland cost sixteen-year-old Colleen half her family, and she sees only one way to give her loss meaning: join the bloody fight for Irish independence from Britain. It seems so simple, but the IRA’s reception isn’t what Colleen expects and her older sister Brigid will do anything to stop her from making the same mistake as their father. How far will she go to make her path clear again? How far will Ireland go? And Britain? And what more will it cost?
Aliens vs. Cheerleaders by Qui Nguyen
After aliens abduct and scan two unsuspecting teenagers’ brains to find their leader, they are led to Principal Forsman of Saint Valley High School. Little do the power-hungry aliens suspect that the school’s cheerleading squad is full of brains, brawn, and butt-kicking skills. But when the cheerleaders are overpowered, it’s up to hipster outsider Molly and her nerdy sidekick Lewis to step in and save the planet.
The Edgar Allan Poe Afterlife Radio Show by Patrick Greene, Jason Pizzarello
A tap at a chamber door, and the beat of a hideous heart evoke the very best and creepiest of Edgar Allan Poe. So when Poe sets out to keep his stories alive from beyond the grave, an otherworldly radio studio proves just the thing. Wandering spirits gather to play the roles in Poe’s most classic works, from The Cask of the Amontillado to The Fall of the House of Usher. But the grim master of the macabre is a little new to radio. What’s all this about commercials? And why is a skeptical cemetery cat sticking around for all these stories? Draw the audience’s imagination into the delicious gothic atmosphere with this flexible piece for audio or onstage performance.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow adapted by Christopher Cartmill
In this wickedly funny adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic tale of superstition and village rivalry, gawky schoolmaster Ichabod Crane fancies himself a dashing, worldly man of learning, capable of winning the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. Will this beautiful daughter of a wealthy local farmer return Ichabod’s affections, or does she have other ideas? What will be the outcome when Ichabod confronts his desires, fears, and of course, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow?
Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry
Spies, murder, love, and other trademarks of Alfred Hitchcock come to life in the style of a 1940s radio broadcast of the master of suspense’s earlier films. With The Lodger, Sabotage and The 39 Steps, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play is a triple feature, complete with vintage commercials, that recreates a daring train chase, a serial killer’s ominous presence, and a devastating explosion through the magic of live sound effects. This spooky, exciting piece is perfect for any space, large or small.
Cabin Chronicles by Justin Borak
At Josh’s family cabin, he and his two friends, OC and Will, take turns trying to out scare each other with scary stories set in the cabin behind them. In this horror parody, we see three friends dealing with the pain of high school while a group of actors perform each of the boy’s horror stories. A horror comedy that looks at what you’re willing to do to be cool, and how scary you can get.
Misery by William Goldman, based on the novel by Stephen King
Misery follows successful romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is rescued from a car crash by his “number one fan,” Annie Wilkes, and wakes up captive in her secluded home. While Paul is convalescing, Annie reads his latest book and becomes enraged when she discovers the author has killed off her favorite character, Misery Chastain. Annie forces Paul to write a new Misery novel, and he quickly realizes Annie has no intention of letting him go anywhere. The irate Annie has Paul writing as if his life depends on it, and it does.
The Haunting of Hill House adapted for the stage by F. Andrew Leslie, from the novel by Shirley Jackson
Cut off from the outside world by its remote location and shunned by all who know its forbidding and sinister reputation, Hill House has remained empty and silent except for the daily visits of its grumbling caretaker, Mrs. Dudley. Its isolation is broken by the arrival of Dr. Montague, an investigator of supernatural phenomena who has been granted a short lease by the present owner. His mission is to delve into the morbid history of the house and to come to grips with the occult forces that have made it uninhabitable for many years. He is joined by three others, all unacquainted, but all having their particular reasons for accepting Dr. Montague’s invitation to share his Hill House sojourn. Their visit begins with jovial informality, but their sensibilities are soon jolted by strange and eerie occurrences. As they struggle to disguise their mounting fears they are joined by Dr. Montague’s wife and a friend, who have come to Hill House for purposes of their own. They too are absorbed by the supernatural, but their approach is via direct communication with the departed spirits—a type of psychic research which is regarded fearfully by Dr. Montague and which, as subsequent events bear out, brings on a crisis in which the evil forces of Hill House are goaded to a new and, for one of those present, fatal fury.
The Alibis by Tyler Dwiggins, Jonathan Dorf, Kathryn Funkhouser, Patrick Greene, Mora V. Harris, Jason Pizzarello, Ian McWethy, Carrie McWethy (McCrossen)
We challenged eight playwrights to find the comedy in crime in this rogue’s gallery of ten-minute plays wrapped in a classic whodunnit. When eccentric billionaire J. Leslie Arlington is murdered, a clueless detective finds the suspects are all reluctant to admit their alibis . . . because they were all committing other ridiculous crimes at the time. Designed as a flexible build-your-own mystery, you can perform these plays in any combination and thread them together with optional interludes. You never know what’s coming next when your suspects include disgruntled chefs, teen detectives, and vengeful divas, but one thing’s for certain: Every alibi is absolutely absurd. This book contains eight 10-minutes plays.
Trap by Stephen Gregg
MENACHAP, CALIFORNIA. An incomprehensible event: every person in the audience of a high school play falls unconscious–every person but one. Using interviews with witnesses, loved ones, first responders, and the investigators pursuing the case, a theatre ensemble brings the story of the strange event to life, documentary-style. But as the strands weave together into an increasingly dangerous web, it becomes clear that this phenomenon might not be entirely in the past. Unnerving, exhilarating, and wildly inventive, you’ve never walked into anything quite like Trap.
Scared Silly by Don Zolidis, Ian McWethy, Jonathan Dorf, Ed Monk, Patrick Greene, Alan Haehnel, Christa Crewdson, Becca Schlossberg, Hillary DePiano, Peter Bloedel
We challenged ten playwrights to bring us their funniest takes on the fearsome in this collection of ten-minute plays. Designed to be flexible for your evil plans, these plays can be performed in any combination. Every spooky tale in this collection has a twist, whether it’s what detention looks like in a school for the supernatural (The Midnight Club), what happens when a slasher-movie junkie tries to track down a killer (It’s You!), the incredible secret of the trick-or-treater dressed normally who wants candy anyway (The True Meaning of Halloween), or the only thing that scares ghosts (In the Waiting Room at the Ghost Placement Agency).