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I'm acquainted with a guy who ran a horror one-shot at a convention. He did something quite clever, but if any of your prospective players read it, it would ruin the effect, so I'll...
put it here.:
He got an accomplice to join the game along with the players. In the first half-hour of the game, he killed the accomplice's character, and then 'made' the accomplice (who was in on the plan) leave the game and go home. Utterly shocked the rest of the players, and made them way more nervous about the rest of the adventure, thinking that at any moment they might die and have to leave. Of course, it was all for effect, he didn't plan on anyone else dying, and apparently everyone else had a spooky but fun time.