Scary Short Stories for Middle School ELA | Fun Activities & Escape Rooms


If you’ve been searching high and low for some fun ELA activities for your middle school students, you can stop the search here. This bundle of scary short story activities will help you thrill your students while also feeling prepared and effective.


Review literary elements like foreshadowing, suspense, mood, tension, plot structure, and many more with these engaging tasks and escape rooms for:

  • The Landlady
  • The Monkey’s Paw
  • The Elevator
  • The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street

Each short story will have literary activities students can complete after reading the short story and an accompanying escape room.

Here’s a breakdown of what is included:

“The Landlady” by Roald Dahl Activities

  • Plot Structure
  • Compare & Contrast Short Story & Film
  • Create a Wanted Person Flyer
  • Write a NY Times Feature Story
  • Explore various “what if” scenarios & create your own
  • Short Story One-Pager
  • PLUS my BEST-SELLING Escape Room

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs Activities

  • Cause & Effect with Three Wishes
  • Compare & Contrast Short Story & Film
  • Rewrite the Ending
  • Superstition Research
  • Dear “The Monkey’s Paw” Thank You Letter
  • PLUS another FAVORITE Escape Room

“The Elevator” by William Sleator Activities

  • Plot Structure
  • Finish the Story
  • Unwritten Social Rules
  • The Fear Factor
  • Podcast Pairing
  • The Great Debate
  • PLUS another Escape Room

“The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” by Rod Serling Activities

  • Plot Structure
  • Paired Text: Herd Mentality
  • Real World Connections
  • Compare and Contrast to The Twilight Zone’s film adaptation
  • Argue & Debate, “Who’s the real monster?”
  • Create a CharacterGram
  • AND another NEW THIS YEAR Escape Room

Everything included is available in digital (Google Drive) & print versions (PDF).

By purchasing the bundle, you save over 25% of the individual listing prices!


As a bonus for purchasing the bundle, you’ll also receive a set of “Compare and Contrast” tasks for students who have read multiple short stories. They’ll be asked to compare things like the theme, the plots, how the characters respond to conflict, and more! This is a great way to reach the Common Core Reading Literature standard 9!

What grade level is this best for?

I designed this resource to be used with my 6th grade Advanced Language Arts class, but it can easily be used for 7th or 8th grade classrooms. Please use your professional discretion as you view the preview to decide if it’s suitable for your students!

What prep is required?

The beauty of this purchase is that it is easy to print or assign & go! Of course, you’ll need to get your own copies of the story and read it beforehand.

If you assign the Google activities and your students receive an “Access Denied” error message, it is because your district has blocked students from opening Google files owned by someone outside your district. You can solve this by making your “teacher copy” of the activities, then sharing yourdocument links with the students.



⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Lisa says, “Thank you for creating high quality products that are both engaging and teach the standards. I have bought several of your products and have been “awed” by the engagement of my students.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐ Amy says, “This was a fantastic summer school enrichment unit! The students loved the story selections. We are looking forward to doing some of the breakouts later this week, and students are excited!”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Darci says, “Great resource! My students love these stories and corresponding activities/escape rooms. Customer service was fantastic and quick. I had purchased one of the sets separately and was given a prompt refund when I decided to purchase the whole bundle.”


Have a question?

Please check out the Q & A section or email me at I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

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Thanks so much,

Natayle Brown


Copyright © Hey Natayle.

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

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