Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
5:00 PM 31st October 2023

12 Of The Scariest English Words For Halloween Chills

Image by SzaboJanos from Pixabay
Image by SzaboJanos from Pixabay
Halloween, a time for ghouls and ghosts, eerie tales, and spine-tingling frights, is here. As we prepare for the spookiest night of the year, it's only fitting to delve into the chilling lexicon of the English language. Some words, by their very nature, evoke a sense of dread and unease.

That’s why the language experts at Preply, have curated a list of the scariest English words that can add an extra layer of haunting allure to your Halloween festivities.


The word ephemeral conjures the fleeting nature of life and the ominous spectre of mortality. It reminds us that all things must pass, adding a melancholic touch to the ghostly ambience of Halloween.


A complex and otherworldly word, phantasmagoria describes a series of bizarre and shifting images. When used in a Halloween context, it invokes a sense of bewildering, supernatural landscapes that play tricks on your perception.


Derived from the Greek nekros (dead) and polis (city), a necropolis is a city of the dead. The word brings forth chilling imagery of ancient burial grounds, crypts, and mausoleums, making it a perfect addition to your Halloween vocabulary.


The word macabre encapsulates the grim and gruesome. It is often associated with death and horror and is ideal for describing the sinister aspects of Halloween.


Nocturnal refers to things related to the night, darkness, and creatures that come alive when the moon rises. It sets the scene for the mysterious and eerie atmosphere of Halloween.


This word describes a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds, perfect for describing the dissonant chorus of ghostly voices or the unsettling noises of the night on Halloween.


Malevolent suggests a wicked and harmful intent, perfect for characterising the motives of supernatural beings and creatures that lurk in the shadows on All Hallows' Eve.


Ominous implies a sense of foreboding and impending doom, making it the perfect word to set the mood for Halloween and all its mysterious occurrences.


A spectre is a ghostly or supernatural apparition. The word itself sounds eerie, making it an ideal term for Halloween conversations.


Eldritch describes something strange, eerie, or otherworldly. It's a term often used to depict the arcane and the unknown, making it a great addition to any Halloween-themed storytelling.


The very root of Halloween, hallow means to sanctify or make holy. Using this word in the context of Halloween adds depth and connects the celebration to its historical and spiritual origins.


A term borrowed from the world of art, chiaroscuro refers to the use of strong contrasts between light and dark. In a Halloween context, it evokes images of shadowy landscapes and the play of moonlight on eerie scenes.