Thespian Lifestyle

11 Horror Plays That Will Spook You Silly

Happy almost Halloween! If you’re looking for ways to spook yourself silly over the next couple of weeks, look no further. We’ve put together a list of 11 horror plays that will send tingles down your spine. So turn down the lights, get cozy, and see if you can make it all the way to lucky number thirteen.

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1. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Crucible is a semi-fictional retelling of the Salem witch trials in 1592/93. Although the play’s initial reviews were less than spectacular, it has since gone on to become a recognized classic of the American theatre.

The Crucible.


2. Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott

Wait Until Dark tells the story of a blind Greenwich Village housewife. She is the target of three con men who are searching for heroin, which has been hidden inside of a doll. The show first opened in 1966, but it has been frequently revived since.

Wait Until Dark.


3. Night of the Living Dead by Carroll, Romero, and Russo

This three-act play follows the story of a group of strangers who are all trapped together in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse. And of course, that can’t end well. In Night of the Living Dead, they all have to work together in order to fight for their survival.

The Night of the Living Dead.


4. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Although technically classified as a “tragedy” not a “horror”, Titus Andronicus can get pretty gruesome. Some productions of this play even require extra staff to take care of fainting theatre goers! It’s Shakespeare’s bloodiest and most violent work.

Titus Andronicus.


5. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth tells the story of the potential psychological effects that can come along with having too much power and ambition, especially when it comes to politics. Also, this play is so bad-ass that it’s typically forbidden to say the name of it aloud when in most theaters.



6. Deathtrap by Ira Levin

Deathtrap is a comedy-thriller “play within a play.” It tells the story of an ambitious playwright who considers the idea of getting rid of a protege in order to take his script and present it as his own.



7. The Haunting of the Hill House by F. Andrew Leslie & Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of the Hill House is a suspense play that’s based on Shirley Jackson’s novel. It tells the story of an anthropologist who conducts an unusual research project in a house that’s said to be haunted.

The Haunting of the Hill House.


8. The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

In Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman, we follow the story of a writer who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his stories. We then find out that there is something strangely similar between his plots and the murders that have been taking place around town.

The Pillowman.


9. Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring

Arsenic and Old Lace is a classic play that tells the story of a drama critic who finds out that his aunts have been poisoning gentlemen callers and hiding them in the cellar.

Arsenic and Old Lace.


10. Frankenstein by Nick Dear / Mary Shelley

The play version of Frankenstein is based off of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel of the same name. The play follows the story of Victor Frankenstein, who creates a living creature out of the remains of human corpses.

Frankenstein play.


11. The Weir by Conor McPherson

In Conor McPherson’s The Weir, local Irish men swap scary stories in an attempt to impress the sole lady in the bar. But things take a turn when she begins to “spin a yarn of her own”.

The Weir.


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Do you have any great horror plays to add to the list?

Make sure to let us know in the comments below! And stay tuned for some more spooky and fun Halloween-themed blog posts! But until then, you can also check out our list of great ways to watch theatre online to see if any of the above are available to watch right away!

Stacy Karyn, Author of Horror Plays.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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