Are You Afraid of the Dark? - A Halloween Date

Sometimes it seems like kids get to have all the fun on Halloween. Not this year. Take advantage of the designated night of all things spooky and scary with a date night after the kids have gone to bed. After your doorbell dies down, after the costumes, after hiding most of the candy, grab your own snacks and get ready for some fun of your own.

When I was a kid, there was a show on TV called Are You Afraid of the Dark? It wasn’t by any means my favorite show, but I still remember it because at the time I thought it pretty frightening. It was about a group of kids who would get together in the woods at midnight, light a fire, and tell scary stories around it. Nowadays, the fact that they were out in the woods alone at midnight lighting fires probably scares me more than the stories themselves. In any case, the idea has stuck with me and has served as inspiration for this date. Like the irresponsible teens, you will be telling scary stories by firelight.

If you live anywhere like we do, it is way too cold and burdensome in October to go into the middle of the woods and light a fire. However, for those who live in more temperate places, it might be nice to turn on the old fire pit in the backyard for this date. Otherwise, we’ve opted for candlelight and jack-o-lanterns. If you haven’t already carved pumpkins, do so at the start of your date. We’ve made a fun playlist to listen to while you do (below). Afterwards, turn out all the lights and get your candles burning. It’s story time.


The Stories

We’ve made a list of famous scary stories that are easy to pull up on your computer, phone, or tablet. You could also print them out. Most of them are classics of the horror story genre and therefore date back to 100 years ago or more. Don’t let this deter you—you are sure to enjoy their suspense just as much as modern horror stories. Click on the button below each description to open a PDF of each of the stories in a new tab. After your date, let us know which story you liked best on one of our social media pages.

The Monkey’s Paw

A mummified monkey’s paw has a spell placed upon it and gives anyone who finds it three wishes. The White family dares to try out its powers, but soon find that interfering with fate comes at a heavy cost.

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs (1902)

Philomel Cottage

A woman marries a man in a whirlwind of romance. Soon after, she starts having pleasant dreams about him being murdered. Perhaps she knows less about this man than she thought.

“Philomel Cottage” by Agatha Christie (1934)

The adventure of the Speckled Band

A woman is murdered from the confines of a locked room in a large estate. When her sister fears the same fate for herself, she hires Sherlock Holmes to protect her life.

”The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

The Doll

A sadistic man with fantasies about love and cruelty falls for Rebecca, a seemingly innocent woman with a twisted mind of her own.

“The Doll” by Daphne du Maurier (1937)

The Hand

A judge contemplates the nature of revenge after a particularly boggling case points to the supernatural.

“The Hand” by Guy de Maupassant (1880)

The Most Dangerous Game

A hunter gets a taste of his own medicine after falling off of his yacht and swimming to a private island where he meets hunters in search of bigger game.

“The Most Dangerous Game” By Richard Connell (1924)

The Lottery

A small town in New England clings to tradition at any cost.

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (1948)

The Tell-Tale Heart

A person wracked with guilt discovers that the one thing you cannot escape is yourself.

“The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe (1843)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

A ghost story in every sense of the term, the legend revolves around a secluded glen where a mysterious headless horseman causes trouble.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving (1820)

The Juniper Tree

In this classic fairy tale, the cruelty of an evil stepmother goes a few steps beyond what you might expect.

“The Juniper Tree” by the Brothers Grimm (1812)

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Time: 1+ hours  |  Cost:  $  |  Location: At Home  |  Level:  Easy

There’s nothing like a scary story to bring two people together. This year on Halloween, after all the trick-or-treating hubbub has died down, treat yourself and your date to an evening of scary stories by candlelight.

Materials Needed:

Photo Invite
Short Stories (Optionally on your Tablet)
Halloween Snacks
Pumpkins and Pumpkin Carving Supplies
Cozy Blankets
Spotify Playlist


  1. Download the free photo invite below and save it to your phone. Then, gather your materials.

  2. Text the invite to your date on Halloween morning. Include a message if you wish, like “after the kids are in bed…” or “trick or treat…”

  3. If you haven’t already carved pumpkins by the night of Halloween, now is the time. As you carve, listen to our Halloween playlist. Things may get a little messy, so be sure to put newspaper down. You could always roast your pumpkin seeds while you are at it and eat them as a snack later.

  4. Afterwards, light your candles and jack-o-lanterns and set them about the room. Get your snacks ready.

  5. Turn out the lights and cuddle up under your blankets (being careful with the candles). Then take turns reading the scary stories aloud. If reading from your tablet, turn on your low-light setting so as to not ruin the ambiance.

  6. Let us know how it went @makeadateofit. Pictures are always encouraged!

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