The horror genre is not frequently featured in middle school and high school literature. However, there are some effective places for it-- and not just at Halloween! Edgar Allen Poe's horror stories and poetry, like "The Telltale Heart" and "The Raven," are staples of some literature classes; other tales, such as "The Monkey's Paw" (W. W. Jacobs) or "The Lottery" (Shirley Jackson) are quite accessible to most students.
Here is a nice introduction to the horror genre. This presentation provides some anchor points that students can look for as they read. Literary features and storytelling techniques are easy to understand, and there's a little historical perspective on the horror genre, too.
If students are going to write their own horror stories, this presentation will help them compose a piece that is sensible. Sometimes students believe "horror" simply means "as much blood and gore as possible," but that's not the case.
Plus, this lesson includes some spooky music and a few well-timed screams that make this an entertaining presentation for your students! Hope you enjoy it! Lesson created by Stephen Campbell.