Is it even possible to top what heavycat posted? I can picture the main character being a skinny 12-13 year old boy with pale white skin which can give the player an extra sense of vulnerability. The dog is a real nice touch. If the environment is super misty/foggy, the dog can whimper (not bark because that'll just attract more enemies) and hide behind you and you know something is coming but you can't see what yet. Should you run? or stay to figure out who/what it is? The people playing can assume the old man won't stay around for long. He'll be good for teaching the boy the basic controls of the game in the beginning and then gets abducted or fights off an enemy in a cut scene so the boy can run away and excape. Since the boy is skinny, weak and inexperienced, a proper axe swing can take a few seconds so there's that suspense delay and you pray you've swung just in time before that monster gets ya.
I'm not a writer.. but I'm going to give it a try for fun
The main character will be a 35-40 year old Vitenam veteran with both his legs gone and he gets around in a wheelchair and crawls too in the game. His wife is a nurse and she insists on going out to get food and worries about a neighbor who often visits. Ever since the event at the bell tower, the phones have been dead and everyone who drives off to the city never comes back. The vet, due to some trauma from Nam, insist that they stay in the house and wait for help to come. The game starts when the vet wakes up..
*groan* "How long have I been out? (maybe he's on meds too)"
Vet gets himself out of bed and on his wheelchair.
"MARY!? Oh God no..."
He's really worried now and wheels himself to the living room.
"Well at least she took the dang dog (vet will probably curse alot)"
Vet looks out the window. It's dark as usual and the truck is gone. He strolls to the desk and pulls out the drawer. The gun is still there.
"Dang woman and her anti violence BS. If only.."
He takes the gun, puts the flat side of it against his forehead and shakes his head in disbelief. He's kinda hunched over and almost crying. Sudden stratching noise on the front door. It's just the dog and he's been hurt and scratched up (doggie doors were already boarded up just-in-case).
Backstory for the bell tower: There stood an abandoned church with a five story bell and clock tower. It was built by an old guy who recently passed away. The son of that guy was a big time architecture for the city. In memory of his father, he decides to rebuild the tower, but much bigger and taller so it can be seen from the city.
A bigger structure means a deeper foundation and little did they know, there was an ancient burial ground deep under the old building. They decided to remove all the remains they found and continue with the construction. Things started to happen, small things at first like getting sick or sudden rashes to some of the workers. Eventually it turned into minor injuries then missing employees. Workers were starting to believe it's haunted and most quit, but the son was determined to complete the building and just hired more people.
Incoming super far-fetched event..
Tower/church is finally complete. The grand opening went well and nothing extraordinary happened for the rest of the day. It's midnight and the bells were supposed to gently ring, but instead villagers were awaken by a scream of terror from the tower. Echoes of the shrill can still be heard from the vibrating bells. The day before that was also the last day the sun rose.
Neat feature for the game: Realistic wind that blows around window curtains, newspaper, squeaky doors, empty aluminum cans across empty asphalt road. "What was that? Maybe it was just the wind.." Add a Christian element to the game? Maybe it was God's plan all along to have the vet lose his legs which enables him to crawl through tight spaces, hide in small spots, climb well without the extra weight of legs.