Write a haunted house story in 7 steps

Created by Icy Sedgwick, Gothic horror author

Halloween is coming, so that means ghost stories! They're easy to write....aren't they?

Maybe you already have tons of ideas but you struggle to get them straight in your head.

Or maybe you keep drawing a blank, convinced every idea you've had has already been done.

Writer's block is a cruel mistress.

Luckily, there's an antidote. Let's call it the Haunted House Story Framework!

With this simple, 7-step formula, you'll be able to go from writer's block to a written outline in an afternoon!

The framework will help you generate the elements you need for your stories to work without needing endless revisions.

Best of all, it's based on the same formula you'll see in novels, Hollywood movies, and TV shows. ​So if you want to quickly generate ideas for commercially-viable stories, this is the framework for you!

Social proof: testimonials

Ed Karshner

I went into the workshop with a vague idea about a haunted house story and left with not just a framework for my idea but, also, enough raw material to get the story going. In just two hours, Icy defined the tropes, elements and reader expectations of a ghost story and still left time to brainstorm our own story elements within the genre. It is rare to attend a workshop that offers both the technical scaffolding usually found in the revision stage as well as the spontaneous play of ideas indulged during the composing stage. Whether you are a beginner, you’re wanting to try something new, or you’re just stuck, Icy offers an amazing exploration of writing about the Gothic as well as a clear explanation of the writing process. I highly recommend this workshop.

Frank Lopes

Icy’s workshop managed to both present some haunted house stories and how they work, generally. But also helps to turn the skeleton into an outline you can incorporate and adapt to your wants, by going bit by bit over such a story’s elements. The haunting, the secrets, the house, why would the characters stay in the house, the resolution and aftermath… All with examples and ideas that gave me the tools to build my own stories. Myself, for example, I managed to turn that outline from the workshop into a full-blown novel for a Brazilian national literary contest. It was a great time to learn more about these kinds of stories and how we can do them ourselves, I cannot recommend the workshop enough!


Your workshop was a fun experience with practical advice. As a lover of tales about haunted houses and a writer who hasn't been writing, it was a great way to find inspiration again.

Elizabeth Myrddin

Icy’s course on writing a haunted house story is a condensed and satisfying workshop brimming with fun facts and helpful suggestions. She has a lengthy intimacy with the subject matter, personally as well as professionally, and that comes through quite clearly. During the class she showcased a variety of examples along with her instructions. Icy’s teaching style is charming, witty, and supportive, and I came away from the class with more ideas than expected. The course inspired me to take another look at a previously set aside idea for a gothic mystery novel. I see it with fresh eyes when I toy with infusing haunted house elements into the story. I’d love to take other courses from her, and hope to be able to do so in the future!

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction - Before We Get Started

    • What To Expect From This Workshop

    • Orientation - Get The Most Out of This Course

    • Ghosts vs Haunted House

  • 2

    The Haunted House Formula

    • Step 1 - Location

    • Step 2 - Buried Secrets

    • Step 3 - Casting

    • Step 4 - Haunting Types

    • Step 5 - What Can't They Leave?

    • Step 6 - Laying the Ghost to Rest

    • Step 7 - Choosing Your Ending

    • But Wait! There's More!

  • 3


    • Photo Prompts Download

    • The 3-Act Structure

Get Started Today

Consider it a good slap in the face for writer's block!