Horror Clichés

What follows are the list of the 30 horror clichés from the Dead of Night core book.

  1. Splitting up to explore the haunted house is never a good idea.
  2. Children and dogs are seemingly immune to death.
  3. The character played by the famous actor survives... or dies at the climax.
  4. The token character is always the first to die.
  5. No one believes the crazy old guy.
  6. Nearby deaths always go unnoticed .
  7. Darkened woods and dead ends are the escape routes of choice.
  8. After injuring a monster with a weapon, said weapon should be dropped to hasten a character's escape.
  9. If a ritual can go wrong, it will go wrong.
  10. Warnings should always be ignored.
  11. Getting naked means getting killed.
  12. Strange noises in haunted houses must be investigated, preferably alone. In the dark.
  13. Whenever a monster seems dead, it's never dead.
  14. Monsters rarely prey on one another, no matter how plentiful the monster or how few the victims
  15. If a victim survives being bitten or scratched by a monster, it's only a matter of time before they turn into a monster.
  16. The monster inevitably turns on its former master.
  17. Even when its obvious how to kill a monster, characters have to try every other method first.
  18. As a character explains how the monster can be killed... they get killed.
  19. 'You look like you've seen a ghost' takes on a new meaning.
  20. Within a minute of a group splitting up, someone will die.
  21. Animals always know what's going on long before humans do.
  22. Killers can keep pace with even the fastest of victims, despite walking slowly but surely.
  23. A character dressed up as a monster inevitably meets the real thing.
  24. A character looking over their shoulder for the monster inevitably bumps into it.
  25. The really obvious villain is either whiter than white... or blacker than black.
  26. Characters in the know often reveal the truth via tantalizing hints and cryptic clues.
  27. If it's 'just a cat', it's not just a cat.
  28. Convenient modes of transport rarely survive the first scenes.
  29. No one believes the crazy old guy who warns the characters of danger.
  30. Pure and innocent characters survive til the end -- don't do drugs, kids.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Tue Nov 28 15:28:25 2006