halloween-poems

89 Best Halloween Poems That Will Make Your Hair Curl

Poetry can be a great tone setter for your ghostly parties, and below are some extremely atmospheric and eerie Halloween poems to get your Halloween celebrations started.

There are Halloween poems about ghosts and goblins, demons and specters, dead men returning to avenge themselves on the living, and a variety of other sinister and spooky scenarios.

Halloween originated as a celebration for those who practiced the occult. It has since evolved into something quite new. Halloween is all about dressing up and acting to be somebody else a night.

Trick-or-treating and toddlers indulging in much too much sweets. Attending costume parties and enjoying the thrill of a good fright are two of the favorite pastimes.

When reciting these Halloween poems, it is recommended that you dim the lights – or, better yet, turn them out entirely – and light a candle! Make sure some appropriately eerie music is playing softly in the background before beginning to read the poems aloud in a low, melodramatic voice.

Allow the words of each of the poems for Halloween to fascinate you, and allow their ideas of unknown powers lurking in the dark around you to trigger long buried primal anxieties.

‎Best Halloween Poems

Below are some of the best Halloween poems that are sure to set Halloween off to a frightening and atmospheric start. So take a deep breath, calm your anxiety, and then read your favorite poems.

1. Halloween

       by Arthur Peterson

Out I went into the meadow,
Where the moon was shining brightly,
And the oak-tree’s lengthening shadows
On the sloping sward did lean;
For I longed to see the goblins,
And the dainty-footed fairies,
And the gnomes, who dwell in caverns,
But come forth on Halloween.

“All the spirits, good and evil,
Fay and pixie, witch and wizard,
On this night will sure be stirring,”
Thought I, as I walked along;
“And if Puck, the merry wanderer,
Or her majesty, Titania,
Or that Mab who teases housewives
If their housewifery be wrong,

Should but condescend to meet me”—
But my thoughts took sudden parting,
For I saw, a few feet from me,
Standing in the moonlight there,
A quaint, roguish little figure,
And I knew ’twas Puck, the trickster,
By the twinkle of his bright eyes
Underneath his shaggy hair.

Yet I felt no fear of Robin,
Salutation brief he uttered,
Laughed and touched me on the shoulder,
And we lightly walked away;
And I found that I was smaller,
For the grasses brushed my elbows,
And the asters seemed like oak-trees,
With their trunks so tall and gray.

Swiftly as the wind we traveled,
Till we came unto a garden,
Bright within a gloomy forest,
Like a gem within the mine;
And I saw, as we grew nearer,
That the flowers so blue and golden
Were but little men and women,
Who amongst the green did shine?

But ’twas marvelous the resemblance
Their bright figures bore to blossoms,
As they smiled, and danced, and courtesied,
Clad in yellow, pink and blue;
That fair dame, my eyes were certain,
Who among them moved so proudly,
Was my moss-rose, while her ear-rings
Sparkled like the morning dew.

Here, too, danced my pinks and pansies,
Smiling, gayly, as they used to
When, like beaux bedecked and merry,
They disported in the sun;
There, with meek eyes, walked a lily,
While the violets and snow-drops
Tripped it with the lordly tulips:
Truant blossoms, everyone.

Then spoke Robin to me, wondering:
“These blithe fairies are the spirits
Of the flowers which all the summer
Bloom beneath its tender sky;
When they feel the frosty fingers
Of the autumn closing round them,
They forsake their earthborn dwellings,
Which to earth return and die,

“As befits things which are mortal.
But these spirits, who are deathless,
Care not for the frosty autumn,
Nor the winter long and keen;
But, from field, and wood, and garden,
When their summer’s tasks are finished,
Gather here for dance and music,
As of old, on Halloween.”

Long, with Puck, I watched the revels,
Till the gray light of the morning
Dimmed the luster of Orion,
Starry sentry overhead;
And the fairies, at that warning,
Ceased their riot, and the brightness
Faded from the lonely forest,
And I knew that they had fled.

Ah, it ne’er can be forgotten,
This strange night I learned the secret.
That within each flower a busy
Fairy lives and works unseen
Seldom is ‘t to mortals granted
To behold the elves and pixies,
To behold the merry spirits,
Who come forth on Halloween?

2. Halloween Wishes

       by Anonymous

Since this is the time for goblins and bats,
Halloween spirits, ghosts and cats,
Weird-happenings and witches brew,
These are the things I wish for you.

May the only spirit you chance to meet,
Be the spirit of love and warm friends sweet.
May the tricks that you are asked to do,
Be a trick to help you gain a friend or two.

So, by tomorrow, pick three friends sweet,
And give them all a Halloween treat.
You only have one day, so hurry!
Leave a treat on the doorstep, then flee in a hurry!

3. This is Halloween

       by Dorothy Brown Thompson

Goblins on the doorstep,
Phantoms in the air,
Owls on witches’ gate posts,
Giving stare for stare.

Cats on flying broomsticks,
Bats against the moon,
Stirring round of fate-cakes,
With a solemn spoon.

Whirling apple parings,
Figures draped in sheets,
Dodging, disappearing,
Up and down the streets.

Jack-o’-lanterns grinning,
Shadows on a screen,
Shrieks and starts and laughter–
This is Halloween!

4. Devil’s Night

       by Anonymous

Don’t go out on Devil’s Night.
Stay in your bed and keep on the light.
Little demons and ghouls have their fun all right,
outside on the streets this Devil’s Night.

You don’t want to know
what mischief they cause.
On Halloween Eve they run without pause,
flying and laughing, and breaking the laws,
you really don’t want to see the mischief they’ve caused.

Please heed my words, stay under the covers,
and tell your friends and your sisters,
and of course, your brothers.
Stay in bed, don’t even peek through the shutters,
Cause a goblin or ghost may spook you to stutters.

Just wait until daybreak on Halloween Day,
when you know all the ghouls and ghosts are away.
They hate the daylight, “it’s no fun,” they say.
So just please, please wait
to Trick or Treat on Halloween Day.‎

5. Her Strong Enchantments Failing

       by Alfred Edward Housman

A ghostly woman in a white dress.
Her strong enchantments failing
Her towers of fear in wreck
Her limbecks dried of poisons
And the knife at her neck

The Queen of air and darkness
Begins to shrill and cry
“O young man, O my slayer
To-morrow you shall die.”

O Queen of air and darkness
I think ’tis truth you say
And I shall die tomorrow;
But you will die to-day.

6. Black Trees, Ghosts, and Bumble Bees

       by Coral Leffew

Lying on your bed just like every other night,
There is something that’d give grown men fright,
There’s a black figure stalking in the night,
And it won’t go away until dark turns to light,
It’s the very thing that we all give up breathing,

It’s the latest toy it’s a werewolf being,
It’s so scary and it’s breathing in the night,
The creature jumps off and it takes to flight,
You can scream all you want to but that won’t scare,

Too small for a dragon but too large for a bear,
Leave your lights turned on and turn up your favorite song,
Call in your parents but they won’t help you now,
You’ve gone too far so you can’t get back out,

It’s not that silly monster in your closet,
Your Aunt’s picture in your heart shaped locket,
No old black magic or any trick of the mind,
It pulls you in and soon you’re entwined

7. The Stolen Child

       by W.B. Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve had our faery vats
Full of berry’s

And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;

To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;

Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast
Or see the brown mice bob

Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
then he can understand.

8. The Fairies

       by William Allingham

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake
With frogs for their watchdogs
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkille, he crosses
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with the music
On cold starry nights
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow
They thought that she was fast asleep
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake
On a bed of fig-leaves
Watching till she wakes.

By the craggy hillside
Through the mosses bare
They have planted thorn trees
For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring?
As dig them up in spite
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap
And white owl’s feather!

9. The Lake of the Dismal Swamp

       by Thomas Moore

They made her a grave, too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true;
And she’s gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp
Where, all night long, by a fire-fly lamp
She paddles her white canoe.”

“And her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see
And her paddle I soon shall hear;
Long and loving our life shall be
And I’ll hide the maid in a cypress tree
When the footstep of death is near.”

Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds –
His path was rugged and sore
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds
Through many a fen where the serpent feeds
And man, never trod before.

And when on the earth he sunk to sleep
If slumber his eyelids knew
He lay where the deadly vine doth weep
Its venomous tear and nightly steep
The flesh with blistering dew!

And near him the she-wolf stirr’d the brake
And the copper-snake breath’d in his ear
Till he starting cried, from his dream awake
“Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake
And the white canoe of my dear?”

He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface played –
“Welcome,” he said, “my dear one’s light!”
And the dim shore echoed for many a night
The name of the death-cold maid.

Till he hollow’d a boat of the birchen bark
Which carried him off from shore;
Far, far he follow’d the meteor spark
The wind was high and the clouds were dark
And the boat return’d no more.

But oft, from the Indian hunter’s camp
This lover and maid so true
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp
To cross the Lake by a fire-fly lamp
And paddle their white canoe!

Scary Halloween Poems

Halloween comes just once a year, but it can be enjoyed for a whole month with last-minute outfits and must-see Halloween horror flicks. If you want to spice things up, read these scary Halloween poems. Here are some scary poems that we have picked specifically for you.‎

1. A Child’s Nightmare

       by Robert Graves

Through long nursery nights he stood
By my bed unwearying,
Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,
Purring in my haunted ear

That same hideous nightmare thing,
Talking, as he lapped my blood,
In a voice cruel and flat,
Saying forever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!”

That one word was all he said,
That one word through all my sleep,
In monotonous mock despair.
Nonsense may be light as air,

But there’s Nonsense that can keep
Horror bristling round the head,
When a voice cruel and flat
Says forever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!”

He had faded, he was gone
Years ago, with Nursery Land,
When he leapt on me again
From the clank of a night train,

Overpowered me foot and head,
Lapped my blood, while on and on
The old voice cruel and flat
Says forever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!”

Morphia drowsed, again I lay
In a crater by High Wood:
He was there with straddling legs,
Staring eyes as big as eggs,
Purring as he lapped my blood,
His black bulk darkening the day,
With a voice cruel and flat,
“Cat! … Cat! … Cat! … Cat!” he said, “Cat! … Cat!”

When I’m shot through heart and head,
And there’s no choice but to die,
The last word I’ll hear, no doubt,
Won’t be “Charge!” or “Bomb them out!”
Nor the stretcher-bearer’s cry,
“Let that body be, he’s dead!”
But a voice cruel and flat
Saying forever, “Cat! … Cat! … Cat!”

2. The Vampire

       by Conrad Aiken

She rose among us where we lay.
She wept, we put our work away.
She chilled our laughter, stilled our play;
And spread a silence there.
And darkness shot across the sky,
And once, and twice, we heard her cry;
And saw her lift white hands on high
And toss her troubled hair.

What shape was this who came to us,
With basilisk eyes so ominous,
With mouth so sweet, so poisonous,
And tortured hands so pale?
We saw her wavering to and fro,
Through dark and wind, we saw her go;
Yet what her name was did not know;
And felt our spirits fail.

We tried to turn away; but still
Above we heard her sorrow thrill;
And those that slept, they dreamed of ill
And dreadful things:
Of skies grown red with rending flames
And shuddering hills that cracked their frames;
Of twilights foul with wings;

And skeletons dancing to a tune;
And cries of children stifled soon;
And over all a blood-red moon
A dull and nightmare size.
They woke, and sought to go their ways,
Yet everywhere they met her gaze,
Her fixed and burning eyes.

Who are you now, —we cried to her—
Spirit so strange, so sinister?
We felt dead winds above us stir;
And in the darkness heard
A voice fall, singing, cloying sweet,
Heavily dropping, though that heat,
Heavy as honeyed pulses beat,
Slow word by anguished word.

And through the night strange music went
With voice and cry so darkly blent
We could not fathom what they meant;
Save only that they seemed
To thin the blood along our veins,
Foretelling vile, delirious pains,
And clouds divulging blood-red rains
Upon a hill undreamed.

And this we heard:  “Who dies for me,
He shall possess me secretly,
My terrible beauty he shall see,
And slake my body’s flame.
But who denies me cursed shall be,
And slain, and buried loathsomely,
And slimed upon with shame.”

And darkness fell.  And like a sea
Of stumbling deaths, we followed, we
Who dared not stay behind?
There all night long beneath a cloud
We rose and fell, we struck and bowed,
We were the ploughman and the ploughed,
Our eyes were red and blind.

And some, they said, had touched her side,
Before she fled us there;
And some had taken her to bride;
And some lain down for her and died;
Who had not touched her hair,
Ran to and fro and cursed and cried
And sought her everywhere.

“Her eyes have feasted on the dead,
And small and shapely is her head,
And dark and small her mouth,” they said,
“And beautiful to kiss;
Her mouth is sinister and red
As blood in moonlight is.”

Then poets forgot their jeweled words
And cut the sky with glittering swords;
And innocent souls turned carrion birds
To perch upon the dead.
Sweet daisy fields were drenched with death,
The air became a charnel breath,
Pale stones were splashed with red.

Green leaves were dappled bright with blood
And fruit trees murdered in the bud;
And when at length the dawn
Came green as twilight from the east,
And all that heaving horror ceased,
Silent was every bird and beast,
And that dark voice was gone.

No word was there, no song, no bell,
No furious tongue that dreams to tell;
Only the dead, who rose and fell
Above the wounded men;
And whisperings and wails of pain
Blown slowly from the wounded grain,
Blown slowly from the smoking plain;
And silence fallen again.

Until at dusk, from God knows where,
Beneath dark birds that filled the air,   
Like one who did not hear or care,
Under a blood-red cloud,
An aged ploughman came alone     
And drove his share through flesh and bone,
And turned them under to mould and stone;
All night long he ploughed.

3. The Little Ghost

        by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I knew her for a little ghost
That in my garden walked;
The wall is high—higher than most—
And the green gate was locked.

And yet I did not think of that
Till after she was gone—
I knew her by the broad white hat,
All ruffled, she had on.

By the dear ruffles round her feet,
By her small hands that hung
In their lace mitts, austere and sweet,
Her gown’s white folds among.

I watched to see if she would stay,
What she would do—and oh!
She looked as if she liked the way
I let my garden grow!

She bent above my favourite mint
With conscious garden grace,
She smiled and smiled—there was no hint
Of sadness in her face.

She held her gown on either side
To let her slippers, show,
And up the walk she went with pride,
The way great ladies go.

And where the wall is built in new
And is of ivy bare
She paused—then opened and passed through
A gate that once was there.

4. The Shadow on the Stone

       by Thomas Hardy

I went by the Druid stone
That broods in the garden white and lone,
And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows
That at some moments fall thereon
From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing,
And they shaped in my imagining
To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders
Threw there when she was gardening.

I thought her behind my back,
Yea, her I long had learned to lack,
And I said: ‘I am sure you are standing behind me,
Though how do you get into this old track?’
And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf
As a sad response; and to keep down grief
I would not turn my head to discover
That there was nothing in my belief.

Yet I wanted to look and see
That nobody stood at the back of me;
But I thought once more: ‘Nay, I’ll not unvision
A shape which, somehow, there may be.’
So, I went on softly from the glade,
And left her behind me throwing her shade,
As she were indeed an apparition—
My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

5. Night of Fright

       by Jasmine

Monsters stalking through the night.
Halloween is the Night of Fright.
Fear is what this night brings,
Along with many other things.

Are you sure you are prepared?
Tonight, is not for the easily scared.
Creatures from hell roam on this night,
For tonight is the Night of Fright.

Trick or treat you say,
You should not have waited until the end of the day.
Tonight, you will lose your tricks and treats,
For the monsters need to eat.

You better not take this night lightly,
Or else you will truly learn what fright means.

In ancient times people feared this night,
The night they greeted with fright.
Why they were so scared you will soon see,
On this “All Hollows’ Eve.”

6. The King of Owls

       by Louise Erdrich

They say I am excitable! How could
I not scream? The Swiss monk’s tonsure
spun till it blurred yet his eyes were still.
I snapped my gaiter, hard, to stuff back

my mirth. Lords, he then began to speak.
Indus catarum, he said, presenting the game of cards
in which the state of the world is excellent described
and figured. He decked his mouth

as they do, a solemn stitch, and left cards
in my hands. I cast them down.
What need have I for amusement?
My brain’s a park. Yet your company

plucked them from the ground and began to play.
Lords, I wither. The monk spoke right,
the mealy wretch. The sorry patterns show
the deceiving constructions of your minds.

I have made the Deuce of Ravens my sword
falling through your pillows and rising,
the wing blades still running
with the jugular blood. Your bodies lurch

through the steps of an unpleasant dance.
No lutes play. I have silenced the lutes!
I keep watch in the clipped, convulsed garden.
I must have silence, to hear the messenger’s footfall

in my brain. For I am the King of Owls.
Where I float no shadow falls.
I have hungers, such terrible hungers, you cannot know.
Lords, I sharpen my talons on your bones.

7. From the hand of Glory

       by R.H Barham

On the lone bleak moor, at the midnight hour
Beneath the Gallows Tree
Hand in hand, The Murderers stand
By one, by two, or three!

And the Moon that night, With a grey, cold light
Each baleful object tips;
One half of her form, is seen through the storm
The other halves hid in Eclipse!

And the cold wind howls, And the Thunder growls
And the Lightning is broad and bright;
And altogether, It’s very bad weather
And an unpleasant sort of a night!

8. From the Lady of the Manor

       by George Crabbe

Next died the Lady who yon Hall possessed;
And here they brought her noble bones to rest.
In Town she dwelt: – forsaken stood the Hall:
Worms ate the floors; the tapestry fled the wall:
No fire the kitchens cheerless grate displayed;

No cheerful light the long-closed sash conveyed;
The crawling worm, that turns a summer-fly,
Here spun his shroud and laid him up to die
The winter-death: – upon the bed of state,

The bat shrill-shrieking wooed his flickering mate;
To empty rooms the curious came no more,
From empty cellars turned the angry poor,
And surly beggars cursed the ever-bolted door.

9. From the Haunted Place

       by Edgar Allen Poe

And travelers, now, within that valley
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody

While, like a ghastly rapid river
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh – but smile no more.

10. The New House

       by Edward Thomas

Now first, as I shut the door
I was alone
In the new house; and the wind
Began to moan.

Old at once was the house
And I was old;
My ears were teased with the dread
Of what was foretold,

Nights of storm, days of mist, without end;
Sad days when the sun
Shone in vain: old griefs and griefs
Not yest begun.

All was foretold me; naught
Could I foresee;
But I learnt how the wind would sound
After these things should be.

Short Halloween Poems

It’s that time of year again! Bring out your jack-o’-lantern and your creepy mask, for we’re here to start a month of terror with these short Halloween poems. Our collection of short Halloween rhymes will get you, your pals, and your entire extended family in the mood for a spooky Halloween.

1. Halloween Chills

       by Denise M.

On this night of spooks and gnomes
Of swooning leaves and cringing crones
Of legends told from ear to ear
Of shrieking cats that grin and sneer

Over the hill and past the tree
A haunted house there said to be
With chill and mist to pierce your soul
And whispering winds to keep you cold

Heed the whispers straight from hell
To keep you safe from witchy spells
For through this night of devilish play
All who tread will rue the day

2. From the city of Dreadful Night

       by James Thomson (B.V)

The city is of Night, but not of Sleep;
There sweet sleep is not for the weary brain;
The pitiless hours like years and ages creep
A night seems termless hell. This dreadful strain

Of thought and consciousness which never ceases
Or which some moments’ stupor but increases
This, worse than woe, makes wretches there insane.

They leave all hope behind who enter there:
One certitude while sane they cannot leave
One anodyne for torture and despair;
The certitude of Death, which no reprieve

Can put off long; and which, divinely tender
But waits the outstretched hand to promptly render
That draught whose slumber nothing can bereave.

3. From the Haunted Wood

       by Isaac McLellan

It is said that the Spirits of buried men
Oft come to this wicked world again;
That the churchyard turf is often trod
By the unlaid tenants of tomb and sod.

That the midnight sea itself is swept
By those who have long beneath it slept.
And they say of this old, mossy wood
Whose hoary trunks have for ages stood

That every knoll and dim-lit glade
Is haunted at night by its restless Shade.

4. Dusk in Autumn

       by Sara Teasdale

The moon is like a scimitar,
A little silver scimitar,
A-drifting down the sky.
And near beside it is a star,
A timid twinkling golden star,
That watch likes an eye.

And thro’ the nursery window-pane
The witches have a fire again,
Just like the ones we make,
And now I know they’re having tea,
I wish they’d give a cup to me,
With witches’ currant cake.

5. From Stonehenge

       by Thomas Stokes Salmon

Whence the poised fragment tottering seems to throw
A trembling shadow on the plain below
Here oft, when evening sheds her twilight ray
And gilds with fainter beam departing day

With breathless gaze, and cheek with terror pale
The lingering shepherd startles at the tale
How at deep midnight by the moon’s chill glance
Unearthly forms prolong the viewless dance;

While on each whispering breeze that murmurs by
His busied fancy hears the hollow sigh.

6. Candy Corn

       by Jan R

Against the black void, looms the lunar sphere.
Hungry ghosts haunt, satisfied by fright.
Oh my! The children’s faces blanch in fear.
And thus, the small summit embodies white.

Dwindle do the autumn leaves to the ground.
From the fire, the cold meets its warm demise.
Halloween’s favorite gourd, carved and round
And thus, the middle is where orange lies.

Farms and tractor-pulled rides, hay is handy.
The black cat’s eerie eyes gleam from its face.
The vegetable tastes not like the candy.
And thus, concludes yellow to form the base.

White, orange, and yellow make something sweet.
Enjoy some candy corn, Halloween’s treat!

7. Spooky Halloween Night

       by Jacey Vantimmeren

It’s very spooky on Halloween night.
The ghosts and goblins will give you a fright.

Watch your back, do not be blind.
If you’re not careful, who knows what you’ll find?
You might see things like little black bats,
Or you might see things like scary black cats.

On every porch there’s a pumpkin or two,
With their creepy grins smiling at you.
It’s very spooky on Halloween night.

8. Mr. Macklin’s Jack O’Lantern

       by David McCord

Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.

Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack’s, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is

Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade
And lights the candle in Jack’s skull.
Then all the inside dark is made
As spooky and as horrorful

As Halloween, and creepy crawl
The shadows on the tool-house floor,
With Jack’s face dancing on the wall.
O Mr. Macklin! where’s the door?

9. Hallowe’en

       by Joel Benton

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn, or stack
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stumps-straws wet with dew-
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide
Mischiefs that on moonbeams ride
Are their deeds, —and, by their spells,
Love records its oracles.

Don’t we all, of long ago
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall?

Every shadows were they then-
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen?
Precious would-be Hallowe’en.

10. Spell Bound

       by Emily Bronte

The night is darkening round me
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.

Funny Halloween Poems

You might know a few Halloween poems by heart, but you could also be looking for a funny Halloween poem to put as a commentary on your seasonal Instagram post. If you fall into the later type, we’ve got you covered with this collection of funny Halloween poems.

1. My Next-Door Neighbor Is a Witch

       by Samiya Vallee

My next-door neighbor is a witch,
And she lives way down in a ditch.
Her clothing is a little strange,
Because she never wants to change.

She has a black robe and a black hat,
Green skin and a smelly black cat.
A big fat wart grows on her nose,
And seventeen pimples on her toes.

But…her food is EVEN worse,
Because she eats it course by course.
Her first course is seven dead bats,
Laid on top of seven rats.

Then she has twenty flies
With lots and lots of llama eyes.
Her main course is a horrible soup,
Because it’s made with doggie poop.
But worst of all is her dessert.
Its little children rolled in dirt.
 
Last night she had a witch’s feast
And turned into a greedy beast.
I think she cooked my best friend Tilly
And ate her with some peas and broccoli.

2. Could Be Halloween

       by Anonymous

Yowling, prowling, growling cat
Why do you switch your tail like that?
Why do your eyes flash gold and green?
Could be–must be–Halloween!

Slinky, inky, blinky cat,
Why do you arch your back like that?
What scary creatures have you seen?
Could be–must be- Halloween!

3. Halloween

       by Cora May Preble

I’m not afraid on Halloween
Because my mother said
I should not fear those funny things
But laugh at them instead.

For orange faces in the night
That stare with eyes so wide,
Are only pumpkins on a porch
With candlelight inside.

And there are no such things as ghosts . . .
Those figures shining white,
Are only children just like me
Wrapped up in sheets so tight.

I do not fear a single thing
On Halloween you see,
Because I know they really are
Not what they seem to be.

For ghosts and goblins, witches, spooks,
And other scary folks
We hear about on Halloween
Are really only jokes.

4. Halloween

       by Harry Behn

Tonight, is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.

Tonight, is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.

Tonight, is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
Everywhere,
When ghoul and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It’s Halloween.

5. Magic Mommy Kisses

       by Anonymous

Each night I tuck you into bed
I brush my hand across your head
and in each tiny little fist
I place a magic mommy kiss.

Full of love and hope so bright
To keep you safely through the night,
Mommy kisses in your hand
To guide you off to slumberland.

If you should dream of monsters mean
Or witches with faces masked in green,
Of snakes that squeeze you oh-so-tight
Or darkness with no sign of light.

When nightmares hold you stiff with fear
A part of mommy still is nearby.
Just open up your hand and blow
One mommy kiss and nightmares go.

6. If You’ve Never

      by Elsie Melchert Fowler

If you’ve never seen an old witch
Riding through the sky–
Or never felt big bat’s wings
Flopping, as they fly–

If you’ve never touched a white thing
Gliding through the air,
And knew it was a ghost because
You got a dreadful scare–

If you’ve never heard the night owls,
Crying, “Whoo-whoo-whoo?”
And never jumped at pumpkin eyes
Gleaming out at you–

If all of these exciting things
You’ve never heard or seen,
Why then–you’ve missed a lot of fun,
Because–that’s HALLOWEEN!

7. Who Will Trick-or-Treat with Me?

       by Anonymous

The first year she was a pumpkin
and she donned a bright orange smock.
Her daddy took her trick-or-treating,
though she had not learned to walk.

The next year she was a bunny
and on one leg, she would hop
while her left ear stood up straight
and the right would swing and flop.

Then a bride costume from Grandpa;
a long skirt and lacy blouse,
but she tripped over the train . . .
so, daddy carried her to each house.

The fourth year brought us Lion King
and she roared both day and night.
She was either “Simba” or was “Nala.”
(I never could get that right!)

The next Halloween as she got dressed,
she just kept on asking why–
if she was indeed “Supergirl,”
why then could she not fly?

Her sixth year, she was all in pink
protecting us all from danger,
as she kicked and “karate-chopped” the air
as “Kimberly, the Power Ranger.”

When she was seven, she wore a yellow gown.
She was “Beauty,” to say the least,
insisting that her little sister,
by default, was the “Beast.”

In my heart I knew the time would come;
and this year our walk together ends.
She said, “it’s not cool for mom to go;
I want to walk with all my friends.”

So, I’m figuring out what I will say;
rehearsing one excuse after another,
in case she notices the “ghost” behind her
walks a little bit like her mother!

And I still have Halloweens to come;
my other daughter is only three.
What worries me is . . . when she grows up,
who will trick or treat with me?

8. Ghosts and Fashion

       by Elaine Equi

Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,

the ghost must still consider fashion—

must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to “appear” in public.

Some traditional specters favor
the simple shroud—

a toga of ectoplasm
worn Isadora-Duncan-style
swirling around them.

While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.

Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly—

or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.

Classic Halloween Poems

Some of literature’s most famous poets have been inspired to create gloomy verses of classic Halloween poems that have lingered like a phantom through the years. Perhaps you’ll discover a frightening favorite among these classic poems for Halloween, suitable for Halloween or any other time you feel strange. ‎

1. The Apparition

       by John Donne

When by thy scorn, O murd’ress, I am dead
And that thou think’st thee free
From all solicitation from me,
Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,

And thee, feign’d vestal, in worse arms shall see;
Then thy sick taper will begin to wink,
And he, whose thou art then, being tir’d before,
Will, if thou stir, or pinch to wake him, think

Thou call’st for more,
And in false sleep will from thee shrink;
And then, poor aspen wretch, neglected thou
Bath’d in a cold quicksilver sweat wilt lie
A verier ghost than I.

What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
I ‘had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
Then by my threatening rest still innocent.

2. The Hag

       by Robert Herrick

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devill and shee together:
Through thick, and through thin,
Now out, and then in,
Though ne’r so foule be the weather.

A Thorn or a Burr
She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble, she rides now,
Through Brakes and through Bryars,
O’re Ditches, and Mires,
She followes the Spirit that guides now.

No Beast, for his food,
Dares now range the wood;
But husht in his laire he lies lurking:
While mischiefs, by these,
On Land and on Seas,
At noone of Night are working,

The storm will arise,
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the Tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Cal’d out by the clap of the Thunder.

3. Darkness

       by Lord Byron

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth

Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts

Were chilled into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,

Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gather’d round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye

Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contained;
Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks

Extinguished with a crash—and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down

And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up

With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d

And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl’d
And twin’d themselves among the multitude,

Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart

Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought—and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men

Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assailed their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept

The birds and beasts and famished men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur’d their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,

And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer’d not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,

And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap’d a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak’d up,

And shivering scrap’d with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up

Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other’s aspects—saw, and shriek’d, and died—
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow

Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.

The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropped

They slept on the abyss without a surge—
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,

And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the Universe.

4. Haunted Houses

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapoursdense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night, —

So, from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

5. Haunted

       by Siegfried Sassoon

Evening was in the wood, louring with storm.
A time of drought had sucked the weedy pool
And baked the channels; birds had done with song.
Thirst was a dream of fountains in the moon,
Or willow-music blown across the water
Leisurely sliding on by weir and mill.

Uneasy was the man who wandered, brooding,
His face a little whiter than the dusk.
A drone of sultry wings flicker’d in his head.
The end of sunset burning thro’ the boughs
Died in a smear of red; exhausted hours
Cumber’d, and ugly sorrows hemmed him in.

He thought: ‘Somewhere there’s thunder,’ as he strove
To shake off dread; he dared not look behind him,
But stood, the sweat of horror on his face.

He blundered down a path, trampling on thistles,
In sudden race to leave the ghostly trees.
And: ‘Soon I’ll be in open fields,’ he thought,
And half remembered starlight on the meadows,

Scent of mown grass and voices of tired men,
Fading along the field-paths; home and sleep
And cool-swept upland spaces, whispering leaves,
And far off the long churring night-jar’s note.

But something in the wood, trying to daunt him,
Led him confused in circles through the thicket.
He was forgetting his old wretched folly,
And freedom was his need; his throat was choking.

Barbed brambles gripped and clawed him round his legs,
And he floundered over snags and hidden stumps.
Mumbling: ‘I will get out! I must get out!’
Butting and thrusting up the baffling gloom,
Pausing to listen in a space ‘twixt thorns,
He peers around with peering, frantic eyes.

An evil creature in the twilight looping,
Flapped blindly in his face. Beating it off,
He screeched in terror, and straightway something clambered
Heavily from an oak, and dropped, bent double,
To shamble at him zigzag, squat and bestial.

Headlong he charges down the wood, and falls
With roaring brain-agony-the snap’t spark-
And blots of green and purple in his eyes.
Then the slow fingers groping on his neck,
And at his heart the strangling clasp of death.

6. The Haunted Oak

       by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Pray why are you so bare, so bare,
Oh, bough of the old oak-tree;
And why, when I go through the shade you throw,
Runs a shudder over me?

My leaves were green as the best, I trow,
And sap ran free in my veins,
But I saw in the moonlight dim and weird
A guiltless victim’s pains.

I bent me down to hear his sigh;
I shook with his gurgling moan,
And I trembled sore when they rode away,
And left him here alone.

They’d charged him with the old, old crime,
And set him fast in jail:
Oh, why does the dog howl all night long,
And why does the night wind wail?

He prayed his prayer and he swore his oath,
And he raised his hand to the sky;
But the beat of hoofs smote on his ear,
And the steady tread drew nigh.

Who is it rides by night, by night,
Over the moonlit road?
And what is the spur that keeps the pace,
What is the galling goad?

And now they beat at the prison door,
“Ho, keeper, do not stay!
We are friends of him whom you hold within,
And we fain would take him away

“From those who ride fast on our heels
With mind to do him wrong;
They have no care for his innocence,
And the rope they bear is long.”

They have fooled the jailer with lying words,
They have fooled the man with lies;
The bolts unbar, the locks are drawn,
And the great door open flies.

Now they have taken him from the jail,
And hard and fast they ride,
And the leader laughs low down in his throat,
As they halt my trunk beside.

Oh, the judge, he wore a mask of black,
And the doctor one of white,
And the minister, with his oldest son,
Was curiously bedight.

Oh, foolish man, why weep you now?
‘Tis but a little space,
And the time will come when these shall dread
The mem’ry of your face.

I feel the rope against my bark,
And the weight of him in my grain,
I feel in the throe of his final woe
The touch of my own last pain.

And never more shall leave come forth
On the bough that bears the ban;
I am burned with dread, I am dried and dead,
From the curse of a guiltless man.

And ever the judge rides by, rides by,
And goes to hunt the deer,
And ever another rides his soul
In the guise of a mortal fear.

And ever the man he rides me hard,
And never a night stays he;
For I feel his curse as a haunted bough,
On the trunk of a haunted tree.

7. The Spider and the Fly

       by Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to shew when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection, I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome–will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So, he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.

Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple–there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings, she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue–

Thinking only of her crested head–poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour–but she ne’er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

8. The Night Wind

       by Eugene Field

Have you ever heard the wind go “Yooooo”?
’Tis a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
With a strange and speechless fear.

’Tis the voice of the night that broods outside
When folks should be asleep,
And many and many’s the time I’ve cried
To the darkness brooding far and wide

Over the land and the deep:
“Whom do you want, O lonely night,
That you wail the long hours through?”
And the night would say in its ghostly way,
“Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!”

My mother told me long ago
(When I was a little lad)
That when the night went wailing so,
Somebody had been bad;

And then, when I was snug in bed,
Whither I had been sent,
With the blankets pulled up round my head,
I’d think of what my mother’d said,

And wonder what boy she meant!
And, “Who’s been bad today?” I’d ask
Of the wind that hoarsely blew,
And the voice would say in its meaningful way,
“Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!”

That this was true I must allow —
You’ll not believe it, though!
Yes, though I’m quite a model now,
I was not always so.

And if you doubt what things I say,
Suppose you make the test;
Suppose, when you’ve been bad some day
And up to bed are sent away

From mother and the rest —
Suppose you ask, “Who has been bad?”
And then you’ll hear what’s true,
For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone:
“Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!
Yoooooooo!”

9. The Witch

       by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.

I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.

I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart’s desire?
She came—she came—and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.

It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

10. The Only Ghost I Ever Saw

       by Emily Dickinson

The only Ghost I ever saw
Was dressed in Mechlin—so—
He wore no sandal on his foot—
And stepped like flakes of snow—

His Gait—was soundless, like the Bird—
But rapid—like the Roe—
His fashions, quaint, Mosaic—
Or haply, Mistletoe—

His conversation—seldom—
His laughter, like the Breeze—
That dies away in Dimples
Among the pensive Trees—

Our interview—was transient—
Of me, himself was shy—
And God forbid I look behind—
Since that appalling Day!

Spooky Halloween Poems

Halloween night is here! Are you prepared? These spooky Halloween poems are a terrific way to keep the excitement going all month long. Have fun sharing these spooky poems for Halloween with your friends and family.

1. Theme in Yellow

       by Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.

On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me

Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth

And the children know
I am fooling.

2. Some One

       by Walter de la Mare

Someone came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking,
I’m sure—sure—sure;

I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a-stirring
In the still dark night;

Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping on the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl’s call,

Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So, I know not who came knocking,

At all, at all, at all.

3. Autumn Offering

       by Judith A. Lawrence

I shall be Autumn
this Halloween,
with leaf draped skirt,
and folds of
boysenberry velvet wine
flowing to the ground.

Brown-stained face,
eyes rimmed in gold,
nails dripping sunset,
a crown of twigs
to cover my head.

You may gather from me
the spring of my youth,
my summer of maturity,
and hold onto with me,
the solace of these days
of remembering
before the frost.

4. Monster

       by Richard Maxson

Love was in the hopelessness of you,
each word a part of how you would be.

Imaginings have a way of forming themselves
from a wish for light, a wager to conceive a ghost.

This is how you were born from her, barely born herself.
You, created twice, a story and a story’s child.

A god less knowing watched her write each page,
the glory and the fear that was your life,

rising out of her desire, rising from a myth
before her eyes, piece by piece, from dream to fire.

5. Fairy-tale Logic

       by A.E. Stallings

Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,

Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,

The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

6. Dead Man’s Hate

       by Robert Ervin Howard

They hanged John Farrell in the dawn
amid the marketplace;
At dusk came Adam Brand to him
and spat upon his face.

“Ho neighbors all,” spake Adam Brand
“See ye John Farrell’s fate!
‘Tis proven here a hempen noose
is stronger than man’s hate!

For heard ye not John Farrell’s vow
to be avenged upon me
Come life or death? See how he hangs
high on the gallows tree!”

Yet never a word the people spoke
in fear and wild surprise
For the grisly corpse raised up its head
and stared with sightless eyes.

And with strange motions, slow and stiff
pointed at Adam Brand
And clambered down the gibbet tree
the noose within its hand.

With gaping mouth stood Adam Brand
like a statue carved of stone
Till the dead man laid a clammy hand
hard on his shoulder bone.

Then Adam shrieked like a soul in hell;
the red blood left his face
And he reeled away in a drunken run
through the screaming market place;

And close behind, the dead man came
with a face like a mummy’s mask
And the dead joints cracked and the stiff legs creaked
with their unwonted task.

Men fled before the flying twain
or shrank with bated breath
And they saw on the face of Adam Brand
the seal set there by death.

He reeled on buckling legs that failed
yet on and on he fled;
So, through the shuddering market-place
the dying fled the dead.

At the riverside fell Adam Brand
with a scream that rent the skies;
Across him fell John Farrell’s corpse
nor ever the twain did rise.

There was no wound on Adam Brand
but his brow was cold and damp
For the fear of death had blown out his life
as a witch blows out a lamp.

His lips were writhed in a horrid grin
like a friend’s on Satan’s coals
And the men that looked on his face that day
his stare still haunts their souls.

Such was the fate of Adam Brand
a strange, unearthly fate;
For stronger than death or hempen noose
are the fires of a dead man’s hate.

7. The Spider and the Ghost of the Fly

       by Vachel Lindsay

Once I loved a spider
When I was born a fly,
A velvet-footed spider
With a gown of rainbow-dye.

She ate my wings and gloated.
She bound me with a hair.
She drove me to her parlor
Above her winding stair.

To educate young spiders
She took me all apart.
My ghost came back to haunt her.
I saw her eat my heart.

8. Continual Conversation with a Silent Man

       by Wallace Stevens

The old brown hen and the old blue sky,
Between the two we live and die —
The broken cartwheel on the hill.

As if, in the presence of the sea,
We dried our nets and mended sail
And talked of never-ending things,

Of the never-ending storm of will,
One will and many wills, and the wind,
Of many meanings in the leaves,

Brought down to one below the eaves,
Link, of that tempest, to the farm,
The chain of the turquoise hen and sky

And the wheel that broke as the cart went by.
It is not a voice that is under the eaves.
It is not speech, the sound we hear

In this conversation, but the sound
Of things and their motion: the other man,
A turquoise monster moving round.

9. Cirque

       by Sara Barkat

The clown is dead when last we found
a grave excuse to look around
and peer inside the shadowed door
upon the third and final floor
we listened but heard not a sound.

The house sits back upon the ground—
suspended, still, a merry-go-round
and no one goes there anymore
the clown is dead.

There’s nothing left to tell of now
except perhaps the tale of how
we found him there, when we explored
but then again, we’re pretty sure
that none would cry out, in the town—
the clown is dead.

10. The Witch’s Song, from Macbeth

       by William Shakespeare

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burns and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burns and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Happy Halloween Poems

These happy Halloween poems can make excellent Halloween Instagram captions to remember your Halloween party! After all, you’ll want to flaunt your handcrafted outfit and magnificent embellishments, won’t you? ‎

1. Happy Halloween

       by Anonymous

It’s late and we are sleepy,
The air is cold and still.
Our jack-o-lantern grins at us
Upon the window sill.

We’re stuffed with cake and candy
And we’ve had a lot of fun,
But now it’s time to go to bed
And dream of all we’ve done.

We’ll dream of ghosts and goblins
And of witches that we’ve seen,
And we’ll dream of trick-or-treating
On this happy Halloween.

2. It’s Halloween

       by Jack Prelutsky

It’s Halloween! It’s Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can’t be seen
On any other night.

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.

In masks and gowns
we haunt the street
And knock-on doors
for trick or treat.

Tonight, we are the king and queen,
For oh tonight it’s Halloween!

3. Happy Halloween

       by Anonymous

White ghost, white ghost, what do you see?
I see a black bat looking at me.
Black bat, black bat, what do you see?
I see a green skeleton looking at me.

I see a brown owl looking at me.
Brown owl, brown owl, what do you see?
I see a red mask looking at me.
Red mask, red mask, what do you see?

I see a black cat looking at me.
Black cat, black cat, what do you see?
I see a jack-o-lantern looking at me!
Happy Halloween!

4. Hello Halloween

       by Anonymous

Honored and hallowed be the name of God on this night also
And may the life and safety of children everywhere be realized
Laughter and fun, joy and kindness; may you rule the whole night through!
Love and respect, sweet candies and sweet people; shine bright and strong!

Open every package and bars of treats, with never a sign of ill will or evil intent
We, at our church, have set aside a special night to treat and sweeten the kids
Each child is a part of His plan, and is the object of His great love and affection
Every child, red and yellow, black, brown, and white are precious in His sight

Noise and laughing tonight! let there be bright lights tonight! it’s the night of saints!

5. Happy Halloween

       by Anonymous

Happy Halloween
All the fireworks
Light up the sky
Let’s go trick or treating
One by one
We knock on the door
Everyone gives us sweets
Everyone has good time
Now it’s time to have a party!

Halloween Poems for School

You’ve arrived to the perfect place if you’re seeking for great Halloween poems for school. We all know that nothing beats cute Halloween poems for creating the ideal ambiance for this occasion. So here are a few poems for you to enjoy.

1. Halloween Party

       by Kenn Nesbitt

We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I dyed my hair black, and I cut off my bangs.
I’m wearing a cape and some fake plastic fangs.

I put on some makeup to paint my face white,
like creatures that only come out in the night.
My fingernails, too, are all pointed and red.
I look like I’m recently back from the dead.

My mom drops me off, and I run into school
and suddenly feel like the world’s biggest fool.
The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.

2. Skeleton Parade

       by Jack Prelutsky

The skeletons are out tonight,
they march about the street,
With bony bodies, bony heads
and bony hands and feet.

Bony bony bony bones
with nothing in between,
Up and down and all around
they march on Halloween.

3. Halloween

       by Anonymous

We mask our faces
and wear strange hats,
and moan like witches
and screech like cats,

and jump like goblins
and thump like elves,
and almost manage
to scare ourselves!

4. Oh Boy! It’s Halloween Night…

       by Cissy Ramirez

Oh Boy! Oh Boy!
It’s Halloween Night . . .
My, oh my . . .
What an interesting sight!
It’s glowing . . . it’s gleaming . . .
I think I’m in fright!
It’s howling . . . it’s leaping . . .
Come share my delight!

5. Boo!

       by Anonymous

B is for broomsticks witches to fly,
O is outrageous spooks that go by,
O is for orange pumpkins so bright,
These are the signs of a Halloween night.

6. Three Little Ghosts

       by Anonymous

Three little ghosts on Halloween night
Saw a witch and shrieked in fright
The witch just laughed and shouted, “Boo!”
One ghost ran home and then there were two.

Two little ghosts who shiver and shook
With every single step they took.
When the door opened wide
One little ghost said to the other…

I’m going home and stay with my mother.
One little ghost can’t have much fun,
So, he ran home, and then there were none.

7. The Goblin

       by Anonymous

There’s a goblin as green
as a goblin can be.
Who is sitting outside?
and is waiting for me.

When he knocked on my door
and said softly, “Come play!”
I answered, “No thank you,
now please, go away!”

But the goblin as green
as a goblin can be.
Is still sitting outside
and is waiting for me.

Halloween Poems for Adults

Adults find Halloween poetry about a black cat, skeletal bodies, a white ghost, or small bats frightening. This is the reason we decided to come up with these Halloween poems for adults.

1. Mystic Magination Night!

       by Patricia L. Cisco

On one mystic, magic night,
Jack O Lanterns glowing bright,
kids with bags of candy sweet,
roam door to door and street to street,
all dressed up for trick or treat!

Wizards with wands, pirates with hooks,
monsters and clowns with spooky looks,
kings and queens with capes and crowns,
a princess in her royal gown,

witches with warts and fairies with which
movies stars with sparkling rings,
vampires with fangs that bite,
ghost that boos all dressed in white.

Imaginations taken flight,
on that one mystic, magic night.
Oh, the fun of Halloween,
be young or old or in between!

2. Homecoming

       by Anne Pollock

Shiver me timbers, rattle me bones,
it’s All Hallows’ Eve, and I’m on my way home.
Home to me wifey, me Katy, me best–
been three hundred years since they laid us to rest.

Through bolted door I’ll slither,
one night alone I’ll stay;
though shrieking mortals scatter,
naught shall bar the way.

Sure, I am to find her as in the bygone days,
knitting me tatters and mending me frays;
rocking and turning a pale, toothy grin
to greet her dear Johnny and welcome me in.

Loosed from the grave to become the walking dead,
we’ll toast our health with a bottle of red;
then taunt our hosts with stories retold
of the good old days before we grew mold.

Haunting the house, we once called home,
one night of the year with Katy, my own.
Teasing and carousing ’til the crack of dawn
When I lose her again to the black beyond?

3. All Hallowe’en

       by Pauline Clark

Witch and warlock all abroad
Revels keep by field and yard.

In the firelight of the farm
Boy and maiden one by one
Place their chestnuts in the grate
And for omens quietly wait;

To a string their apples tie,
Twirl them till they fallen lie
Those whose fruits fall in a hurry,
They shall be the first to marry.

Witch and warlock all abroad
Revels keep by field and yard.
Apples from the beam hang down
To be caught by mouth alone,

Mugs of ale on Nut-Crack Night
And many a tale of ghost and sprite,
Come to cheer and chill the heart,
While the candles faint and start,

While the flickering firelight paints
Pictures of the hallowed saints.
Witch and warlock all abroad
Revels keep by field and yard.

4. A Trick of a Treat

       by Nancy Hughes

Dressed up little creatures
on a dark October night
run from door to door
giving everyone a fright.

They come and ring your doorbell
and before they will retreat,
they beg you for some candy
by yelling “trick or treat”.

When their bags are full,
they run home to eat their fill.
They taste a bit of everything
and by morning they are ill!

So, to keep the youngsters healthy,
I’ve figured out a deal.
This year instead of candy,
I’ll give them all oatmeal!

5. The Unreturned

       by Wilfred Owen

Phantom soldiers walking across a battlefield.
Suddenly night crushed out the day and hurled
Her remnants over cloud-peaks, thunder-walled.

Then fell a stillness such as harks appalled
When far-gone dead return upon the world.
There watched I for the Dead; but no ghost woke.
Each one whom Life exiled I named and called.

But they were all too far, or dumbed, or thralled
And never one fared back to me or spoke.
Then peered the indefinite unshapen dawn
With vacant gloaming, sad as half-lit minds

The weak-limned hour when sick men’s sighs are drained.
And while I wondered on their being withdrawn
Gagged by the smothering Wing which none unbinds
I dreaded even a heaven with doors so chained.

6. This Livinghand

       by John Keats

An old person’s and a young person’s hands touching.
This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb
So, haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights

That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood
So, in my veins red life might stream again
And thou be conscience-calm’d – see here it is –
I hold it towards you.

7. Sibilla’s Dirge

       by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

A creepy looking graveyard at night.
We do lie beneath the grass
In the moonlight, in the shade

Of the yew-tree. They that pass
Hear us not. We are afraid
They would envy our delight
In our graves by glow-worm night.

Come follow us, and smile as we;
We sail to the rock in the ancient waves
Where the snow falls by thousands into the sea
And the drown’d and the shipwreck’d have happy graves.

8. I Wouldn’t Live in A Haunted House

       by Rick W. Cotton

I wouldn’t live in a haunted house;
It’s something I just wouldn’t do.
Not in creepy haunted house.
Not with me or even with you.

There’s ghosties that hide in the shadows,
And spiders spin webs down the walls.
Things going bumpety all night long,
And footsteps go stomping down halls.

Voices that whisper when nobody’s there
And shadows abound in the nighttime.
And just when you think all the ghouls have moved out,
They return for some serious fright-time.

They’ll give you a poke on the back of your neck,
Or someone unseen tugs your hair.
You just know there’s someone standing behind
If you dare to look…nobody’s there.

I wouldn’t live in a haunted house,
But on the last of October,
I might drop in for a quick little stay
And bring all my candy right over.

When the sun goes down at the edge of town
And the moon rises glorious yellow,
There’s something in Halloween’s glowing time
That makes all the ghosties quite mellow.

Then little ones come, dressed in costumes galore.
A haunted house might be just dandy
For you and I, Love, to spend our Halloween
On our haunted porch, handing out candy!

9. My Friend Jack

       by Rick W. Cotton

Jack comes every year to visit me,
And his grin just makes me smile.
Nearly toothless, he doesn’t care.
He happily laughs all the while.

Eyes glowing in mirth and merriment,
He makes this time of year happy,
Though he’s not much in conversation,
And he has no repartee snappy.

Jack just stays for a few weeks
Every year when the leaves turn yellow.
He’s as welcome as he could possibly be.
He’s quite the fun old fellow.

Now the sun goes down and the moon comes up,
And the costumed monsters come calling.
Light a candle to get Jack going!
Fast! The eventide’s falling!

All Halloween night he sits with me,
Grinning to greet the neighbors
Till his candle’s gone and he goes to sleep.
These are hours that I truly savor.

So long old Jack, tomorrow’s November!
We’ll see you again next year!
When you come to visit from the pumpkin patch,
We will all be waiting right here!

10. The Listeners

       by Walter De La Mare

A spooky house in a wood.
“Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:

And a bird flew up out of the turret
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
“Is there anybody there?” he said.

But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes
Where he stood perplexed and still.

But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:

Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair
That goes down to the empty hall
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.

And he felt in his heart their strangeness
Their stillness answering his cry
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;

For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:-
“Tell them I came, and no one answered
That I kept my word,” he said.

Never the least stir made the listeners
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:

Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup
And the sound of iron on stone
And how the silence surged softly backward
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Halloween Poems for Kids

Let us now look at some Halloween poems for kindergarten. Many people believe that poetry is boring or corny, but these Halloween poems for kids will stir the spirit and, in some cases, shiver your bones. ‎

1. Five Batty Bats

       by Anonymous

Five batty bats
We’re hanging ‘neath the moon.

“Quiet!” said the first.
“The witch is coming soon.”

“She’s green,” said the second,
“With a purple pointy nose.”

“Black boots,” said the third,
“Cover up her ugly toes.”

“Her broom,” said the fourth,
“Can scratch you–that I know!”

“I’m scared,” said the fifth.
“I think we’d better go.”

Five batty bats
Escaped into the night.

“Dear me,” said the witch.
“That’s a scary sight!”

2. Three Little Witches  

       by Anonymous

One little, two little, three little witches
Fly over haystacks and fly over ditches
Fly over moonbeams without any hitches
Hey, it’s Halloween night.

One little, two little, three little witches
Fly over barb wire and tore their britches
Had to go home and get some stitches
Hey, it’s Halloween night.

3. Pumpkins

       by Suzy Wolf

Pumpkins are a curious thing,
They don’t dance and they don’t sing.
They don’t have hair, they don’t meow,
They don’t look much like a cow.

They just sit around all day,
Out in the fields among the hay,
Sometimes they gather by the stable,
Sometimes they end up on the kitchen table.

But what brings a pumpkin to full life,
Is a guided hand with a carving knife.

4. Five Little Pumpkins

       by Anonymous

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, “Oh my, it’s getting late”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”

The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun!”
Wooooo, went the wind
And out went the light
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

5. Pumpkin

       by Anonymous

We bought a fat orange pumpkin,
The plumpest sort they sell.
We neatly scooped the inside out
and only left the shell.

We carved a funny funny-face
of silly shape and size,
A pointy nose, a jagged mouth
And two enormous eyes.

We set it in a window
and we put a candle in,
Then lit it up
for all to see
Our jack-o-lantern grin.

6. Bobbing for Apples

       by Anonymous

I am bobbing for an apple,
A shiny red apple,
I am bobbing for an apple,
But no apple can I get.

I cannot get an apple,
Not one single apple
My sister got an apple,
But all I got was wet!

7. Ghost Bus

       by Joe Wayman

Underneath the lamp post,
In the middle of the night,
A ghost bus makes a silent stop,
A strange and fearful sight.

At the bus top at your corner,
Something big and green climbed down.
It’s looking for your bedroom,
And it has searched all over town.

You thought it couldn’t find you,
That you were safe and you were sound.
You thought that you could hide,
Where you never could be found.

But now it’s almost here,
You know it loves the dark of night.
There’s only one thing you can do,
Quick! Turn on the light!

Whew!

8. Witch, Witch

       by Anonymous

Witch witch, where do you fly?
Under the clouds and over the sky.

Witch, witch, what do you eat?
Little black apples from Hurricane Street.

Witch, witch, what do you drink?
Vinegar and good red ink.

Witch, witch, where do you sleep?
Up in the clouds where the pillows are cheap.

9. Witches Stew

       by Gareth Lancaster

Halloween poems and rhymes kids Bubble blubber, squirm and gloop,
Boiling broth of bat’s tail soup.
Wobble, slobber, liquid goo,
Add the sole of one old shoe.

Spooky shadows dance around,
Of frogs and rats and snarling hounds.
Steam swirls rising to the roof,
Add one small ear and one old tooth.

Gnarly, scratchy, tickle and itch,
Stir round and round to make it rich.
Mushy, sticky, sizzle and stew,
They’re making mischief just for you!

10. A Magic Chant

       by Samuel Exler

If in the dark you’re frightened,
Here’s all you have to do.
Say: Igga bigga,

Hunka bunka,
Dinka danka doo.
These words give you protection
From ghosts-and witches, too.

Say: Igga bigga,
Hunka bunka,
Dinka danka doo.
So, if at night a monster

Should whisper, I’ll get you,”
Yell: Igga bigga,
Hunka bunka,
Dinka danka doo.

Final Thoughts on Halloween Poems

What is the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the words “Happy Halloween!”? Isn’t that poetry? No? Okay, so Halloween poems might not be at the top of your list of holiday must-dos, but by the time you’re finished with these Halloween poems, your kids will be donning their outfits in order to read a poem before trick or treating!

Halloween is the perfect night to gather around a solitary candlelight or a flickering flame of a log fire and conjure up spooky pictures of ghosts and ghouls, beasties, and creatures that go screaming in the night.

We looked to literary fiction, current eerie cinematic classics, and other appropriately creepy sources to locate these famous Halloween poems to get you in the mood for Halloween.

Use these poems for Halloween carefully throughout October—you don’t want to spend all of your creepy energy before Halloween even arrives. Last but not least, save the greatest ones for last.

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