Just in time for Halloween, we have two examples of creative writing for you, which are centred around the idea of creating a gothic atmosphere, precisely through language and imagery. The first is a descriptive piece with the teacher’s feedback. The second is the opening of a story. 

Thanks for reading! You can check our Descriptive Writing course for more in-depth content by clicking here.

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Try the two tasks yourself, and then compare and contrast your own work with the student examples below. 



I was first in a state of disbelief when my grandfather told me that supernaturals actually exist. I had then ignored that fact. My grandfather just grimly smiled and told me that one day, I will see.

Of course, that didn’t bother me then. But now, I stood at the Forbidden House, hesitating deciding whether or not should I go in. Now you may be thinking, why the heck are you hesitating in a situation like this? Obviously, you should turn around and go home! The main reason is, many people in my neighbourhood had started to go missing. The police were also having a hard time investigating this. I had volunteered. Why? Because out of the few people that had gone missing, including my sister. I had bawled my eyes out, and then I had weirdly decided to offer to go. Now, the only clue they had was the Forbidden House. So here I am. 


I tested the handle and flinched because the handle was slightly warm. It was already November. It must mean someone was here recently. I shivered. The harsh wind blew scratchingly across my already dry skin. I opened the door half scared and determined. The scent of mould blasted me in my face. I wrinkled my nose and groaned. This was going to be hard. I looked around, and there was a circling staircase that went up and a door possibly leading to other rooms. The House itself wasn’t very big, but from the inside, I was already overwhelmed. I closed the door behind me, and unintentionally the door shut with a bang, and I had goosebumps. Then, I tentatively sneaked up the stairs. I flinched when the old worn stairs creaked. Finally, I turned on my flash light. 

The walls were covered with stained paintings. Stained in faint brown? Perhaps. After getting to the top, I went down a hallway with lit candles. I froze.

What…. Although I suspected the house was occupied but, it was much more different in reality. I hurried back down the house with my heart pumping fast. I didn’t want to stay here any longer, no matter what. My heart rate increased when I felt rushing footsteps behind me as well. I panted hard, and tried to make the front door open. It wouldn’t open. The stairs groaned behind me. Fear was taking hold in me. I struggled with the handle and yelled in frustration. Oh no…

It was the holidays, and I and my close relatives and family were jubilant, and we had bought a copious amount of snacks and food. 



Great! This is an excellent piece of work containing a range of Gothic horror tropes, so I particularly love that you start out with the supernatural. You have your own writing style that has a clear voice and personality to it. Your punctuation variance and use of italics is excellent too – it gets a lot of energy and clarity across in your writing. 


To improve, here are some grammar/  style points: 

  • It was much more different in reality. > it was different in reality 
  • There are a lot of rhetorical questions, so try various other devices instead 
  • Try to avoid repetition unless it’s on purpose e.g. ‘flinched’ is repeated here

How to Prepare Yourself for a Descriptive Writing Exam 

TASK: Write the opening of a story that’s set in a dark, gloomy place. 

Freewriting – writing continuously for a period of time without stopping, not thinking about being ‘perfect’


Gray storm clouds flushed into the blackened sky, like ashes spread upon burnt out charcoal. Not one sound, no swishing of the long grass, no birdsong, or even the caw of the crows can be heard. The grayish grass covered the hills, dead trees scattered all over the moors, like the shrivelled souls reaching out from the deep depth of hell, only to perish on the threshold. A low wooden fence spanned the farmland, which was just a patch of dirt with no grass. No animals, nothing but that the vacant world stretched across –  each time you scale a hill, hoping to see a mountain or two, there will be two more hills looming ahead, and one you’ve turned back then back again, they seem to have been replaced. 

In the middle of the small crescent valley of the hills stood a dilapidated farmhouse, its window all boarded up, its doors swinging without even a single creak, so the blackness that seemed to crawl out of it was seeping into your very soul. Ed stood in the middle of the farm plot, looking into the distance with vacant eyes, his gaze seemed to pierce trough reality, his eyes gray with a faint hint of bluish green, blended together. 

He stood there, waiting, for absolutely nothing. He has mastered the art of stillness, for not one dis he twitch, move, or even blink, he seemed like a ghost, hence there is no impossiblity that he isn’t one. Purpose seemed to vanish here, nothing mattered, life, nor food did. Pleasure or Anger seemed to fade away, into a void of nothingness, calling, beckoning to all, and none here did resist. It wasa surprise when Ed turned around, his eyes, yet vacant still, focused into the farmhouse. It was a dilapidated farmhouse, it seemed ancient, archaic, yet so modern.

There were no cars, no gas, no electricity, nothing. Consequently, a Ed stepped towards the farmhouse, he trod across two crosses of pebbles, marking the graves of his parents, his father buried his mother, and he buried his father, never has he ever left the crescent valley, he lived on the leaves and berries growing outside, time to time he would have a treat of carcasses of wild fowl, but it has been days, or weeks since there were no harvest or food, it was time for him to leave. Even here, death is feared, even Ed’s emotionless father feared it – he tried everything to stop it, but had to give in.


Thanks for reading! You can check our Descriptive Writing course for more in-depth content by clicking here.

For all our English Language and Literature courses, click here