Engrossing Serial Killer Story Ideas (Updated in 2024)

serial killer story ideas

Are you looking for serial killer story ideas for your next writing project? Read on for prompts like a detective finding a murderer’s icy museum of kills, to a magician hiding his victims inside his magical mirror!

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Serial Killer Story Ideas Must-Haves

Serial killers are defined as criminals who have killed two or more people over a period of time with some down time in between. The typical motivation is psychological fulfillment.

Many of such cases involve sexual interaction with the victims, all of whom may have something in common: demographic profile, appearance, gender, race, etc. Serial killers’ goals may include vengeance, thrill-seeking, money gain, and publicity seeking. The FBI will frequently focus on a certain pattern serial killers follow in order to identify important clues towards locating the killer as well as their intentions.

Despite the fact that a serial killer is a different categorization distinct from a mass murderer, spree killer, or contract killer, there are conceptual parallels between them. One thing is clear, though. This genre is violent in nature and often involves gore, which, for some, begs the question…

Why Do Serial Killers Fascinate Us?

This article from Psychology Today attempts to explain our fascination with serial killers. Ultimately, the answer can be boiled down to our curiosity and desire to understand that which we cannot understand.

From Psycho to The Silence of the Lambs and many other pop culture entertainment revolving around the topic of serial killers, it is clear that it’s a popular genre that attracts a large audience. Due to its violent nature, it’s always prudent to include a trigger warning so your reader knows what they’re walking into.

Serial Killer Story Ideas and Prompts

So, without further ado! Here are some story ideas that will keep your audience on the edge of their seats! Please note that the genders in these writing prompts are just placeholders and are not meant to enforce any hurtful stereotypes or offend anyone.

Serial Killer Story Ideas: Modern

1. After a serial killer murdered her bestfriend, a brilliant nerd and wanted hacker immerses herself in research until she deduces the identity of the killer, transforming herself into someone who is the epitome of the killer’s ideal victim to trap him.

2. When a vicious snowstorm confines a vacationing woman alone with her ski instructor up in his mountain lodge, she has to engage in a game of cat and mouse after stumbling upon a nook full of his preserved, frozen victims.

3. After a doctor discovers that her daughter requires a periodic donation of a rare type of blood that requires the donors to be exsanguinated completely, they hack into the patient databases of all the hospitals in the country and goes on a hunt to secure the donors.

4. A brilliant doctor sets out to silently prove that he’s able to not only give but also take lives as he pleases. A nurse who works with him finds his secret and must attempt to stop him before he silences her for good and claims more victims.

5. During a layover in a foreign city, a serial killer who targets stewardesses finally meets his match when a stewardess he’s targeting fights back. It soon becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse in a city that’s foreign to the both of them. (Originally appeared in my post Crime Thriller Story Ideas that Captivate Us.)

Serial Killer Story Ideas: Fantasy

1. A newly widowed woman whose husband just died in a freak accident is possessed by the seven demons who are the seven stages of grief who then inspire her to go on a killing spree to mollify her grief.

2. A senior Hollywood starlet’s youthful beauty lies in the curse she puts on every one of her co-stars that leaves all of them dead within a year after working with her. A Hollywood newcomer notices this trend and swears to stop her before the senior actress claims more lives.

3. A bullied teen from a broken home discovers his family’s secret and gains a supernatural power that enables him to exact revenge on his bullies. It’s now up to the principal of the school to stop the teen before more kids die at his hands.

4. As advanced technologies has lengthened human life expectancy and dropped the mortality rate all across the Earth, Hades is getting lonely, and he goes into the mortal world to reap souls however he sees fit.

5. A lonely, young janitor in a traveling circus befriends the new, famous resident magician. What will the janitor do when he catches the latter using his magical mirror to hide his kills?

Picture Prompts

Here are some picture-based serial killer story prompts, because, a picture speaks a thousand words! Below are some image prompts as well as some prompt ideas to accompany each.

(Please click on the image for more information.)

1. A serial killer who plants a specific type of flower in the graves of their victims. 

2. Or, a botanist who traps their victims to be living hosts for a rare type of plant.

(Please click on the image for more information.)

1. A serial killer who targets gifted children.

2. Or, what about a child prodigy who’s a serial killer?


Other posts that you might find interesting:

Or browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category for more ideas! If you want to be in touch, feel free to contact me here. Until next time!

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