Bad, Horrible, and Scary Ways to Die: A Writer's Guide

Updated on January 12, 2018
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Having many interests, and an inability to make up my mind about which one to focus on, is how I came up with my username: ControlledChaos1


So Many Ways To Die; So Little Time To Kill... Your Character

As an amateur writer, I am always trying to come up with interesting ways to kill or injure someone in my stories. I have found that unless you have a list you can turn to, coming up with different methods of dying on the spot is almost impossible. You can always highlight a death scene you're not sure about, but sometimes a key death scene can completely change the tone or ending of your tale; that's why I don't like to change them (unless I'm doing a complete re-write).

None of the suggestions below are in any particular order, but that shouldn't be a big deal if you're just looking for ideas. Let me stress that this article is for informational purposes only, and just about everything you read is illegal and will get you big jail time (or worse) if you try it in real life. So, be sure to use the info found below to make awesome stories and movies and nothing else. Thanks for giving it a chance.

To Die Or Not To Die

What do you find interesting about death scenes?

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Some Bad Ways To Die

  • Bitten By Poisonous Snake (When Head Has Been Cut Off): Many people don't realize that even if you cut off the head of a snake it can still bite you if you handle or brush up against it (reflex). None of the potency of the poison is lost just because a snake is dead, so be wary if someone is throwing snake heads at you.
  • Drowning In A Vat Of Milk: Some say that drowning is actually a peaceful way to go after the initial shock of having no air to breathe. Drowning in a bunch of milk would provide a very interesting visual over drowning in a clear liquid like water.
  • Stepping on a Pebble: Ordinarily not a serious injury, but if you're a construction worker 20 stories up, walking around barefoot because you just bought new boots and your feet are sore, you may have a problem if you lose your balance. Imagine the headline "Worker Falls To Death Because Of Pebble".

Annoying Ways To Die Song

More Ways To Bite the Dust

  • Walking Into The Rotor Blades of a Helicopter: Depending on where the blades hit, the visual effect could be spectacular. I've always wondered why people bend down when getting in a running helicopter even though the blades are clearly above their heads (no chance of survival if wrong).
  • One-Punch Killings: These occur more often than one might think, and don't forget about the fabled martial arts punch that can kill its victim days later.
  • Death By Energy Drinks: Drinking too much caffeine can cause you to have a heart attack. Not a problem in normal circumstances, unless you like downing concentrated energy drinks with abnormally large doses of caffeine.


Even More Horrible Ways To Die

  • Swallowing A Poisonous Lizard (On A Dare): There are all kinds of non-poisonous lizards, newts and worms, but there are a few that are deadly poisonous. If someone dares you to eat a lizard for 5 bucks, you best make sure it won't cause a fatal case of indigestion (hint: bright colors are a bad thing).
  • Random Item Falling On You: Just about anything with a little weight and dropped from high enough can kill or seriously injure a person if it hits them in the head. A few things that pop into my head are medicine ball, laptop, collectible belt buckle, roll of quarters, fork (pointy side down) and a CGC-graded copy of New Mutants #89 (1st Deadpool).

Shocking Super Villain Deaths

More Scary and Painful Ways To Give Up The Ghost

  • Exploding Tire: A person puts air into a large tractor tire and just won't stop. Eventually physics takes over, causing the tire to explode and knocking the person back into a jagged piece of metal.
  • Eaten Alive by Dogs: After smearing peanut butter all over themselves. The real mystery is in finding out why someone chose peanut butter instead of olive oil.

Electrocution, First State
Electrocution, First State | Source

More Ways To End Up Six Feet Under

  • Slapping a Bull: I should clarify that you will die from the repercussions of slapping such a beast. Actually, now that I think about it, there aren't many animals that wouldn't cause you serious harm if you dare to slap them.
  • Buried Alive In A Septic Tank: The ultimate nightmare scenario for many people is to be buried alive. That's why it's used in so many movies and books. In the scenario I've outlined I would find the in-flow pipe, take off my shirt and stop up the pipe. Hopefully, the tank will be dug up to clear the obstruction.
  • Objects Falling Back To Earth: Who hasn't thrown objects way up into the air only to watch them come crashing back down with unnerving quickness. As a kid, I used to do this often, but stopped the practice when my brother threw a lawn dart into the air and it came back down with enough force to impale his hand (luckily it wasn't his head).

Another One Bites the Dust

Short, Quick (And Sometimes Painful) Ways To Die

Burned Alive
Broken Neck

© 2017 Don

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