Halloween Poems to Read by Candlelight


Halloween is a time of year we love to get scared by ghosts, witches, monsters and other spooky things that go bump of the night. Here is a collection of new and old poetry that has been inspired by the darkness. So light your candles, turn off the light and read these creepy Halloween poems and try not to get too spooked!

We’ll be adding new poems throughout the month of October! Contact us if you’ve got a British or Irish themed ghost, creepy or Halloween poems for our collection!

Halloween Poems

Here are some new Halloween poems

When Night Falls by Barry McCann

For Living

When night falls
Air breaths silently
Gravitating cold

When night falls
The knocking begins
Dowsing for fear

When night falls
It takes my name
And whispers it back

Sometimes she appears
Then fades away
Like breath on a mirror

For Passed

When night falls
I walk alone
Seeking consort

When night falls
I send words
That cannot reach him

When night falls
My fingers seek his
But never connect

Oh, to touch
The radiance of flesh
A rhythm of pulse

… When night falls

Woodhenge by Chris Newton

In the witchwood, there is a woodhenge.
They say it aligns with the stars
They say it is older than the town

In the witchwood, there is a woodhenge. 
Amidst the rowans and the beeches 
Beneath the leaf mould and the twigs 

A ring of mossy stumps, already ancient when they were felled
To bind some eldritch energy
To weave a wicker spell.

Here it is in the clearing
Here it is atop the hill
Rotting apples pave a path
Where the birds are croaking still.

There are songs sung in the dead of night
Of sorrow and revenge
The flames they are a-crackling still
In the witchwood, there is a woodhenge. 

Familiar by Kevin Patrick McCann

In her cottage, wattle and daub
Not gingerbread, the black cat,
Goldeneyes, is swallowing this scene:
A witch peels willow stalks, 
Bruises aromatic leaves,
Half-chewed fragments
Of Latin and Greek 
Spilling from her lips.

The scene is familiar
But the cat is not hers.

It’s exactly the other way round.

Ghost Story by Kevin Patrick McCann

Nothing is seen,
Someone said,
Just heard:
Rustle of crinoline,
Small hours weeping,
Footsteps on the stairs.

Awake suddenly,
His eyes rake through shadows,
Breath staining the air
As a weight, unseen,
Lifts off a creaking chair
Sheets and blankets roll back,
An Arctic chill pools the pillow,
Nuzzles his sweat matted hair.

Emily (Who Wanders Amberley Castle) by Petula Mitchell

There’s a castle here, deep in Sussex
Where Emily walks the halls.
She roams the rooms after midnight
When the night creatures hunt and call.

Her visage is battered and bloody,
Her body broken and sore.
Her cries are those of a tortured soul
As she wanders from floor to floor.

A young woman wronged by the Bishop
A very long time in the past.
She gave him her heart and her virtue
But her happiness did not last.

When she found she was having his baby,
He rejected her out of hand.
She threw herself off the tower,
Her blood staining forever the land.

So if you hear her cries in the kitchen,
Or find her at the foot of your bed,
Fear not this poor wretched creature,
Who has come from the realm of the dead.

Her poor tender heart it was broken
By a man who was selfish and cruel.
She is destined to wander forever,
As a bloodied, pitiful ghoul.

‘The Hat’ by Chris Newton

The hat was perfect for the play
Black satin, velvet lined and decorated with a band of lace.
I asked her where she got it, she said she didn’t know
Some dusty old antique shop down some old and dusty road?

The props department sent it back, all polished and renewed
Genuine. Dickensian. A perfect fit for Scrooge. 
We arranged the stage and angled the lights
Everything was set for the opening night. 

Hurrying home from Aldgate station
I was sure I heard footsteps following behind. 
I glanced over my shoulder and saw nothing but darkness
Just feverish imaginings of an overworked mind. 

In bed, I had nightmares I cannot recall 
Of screaming and bleeding and words upon walls
When I woke in the morning I found, with a fright,
A red rash round my neck from my left ear to right

My throat was so hoarse I could scarce talk out loud
My head it was pounding, and as for my bowels… 
My stomach was churning in the grip of some bug
But the show must go on, so I ran for my bus.

The matinée was mayhem, the evening was worse
And Marley opined the production was cursed 
I sat for some time in Tiny Tim’s dressing room
Nursing a whiskey alone in the gloom

I pondered our failures, the prompts and the props
And dreaded the reviews when news spread of our flop.
I gazed at the wardrobe, consoled knowing that
None could criticise the cloaks and the hats

My eyes fell on the old top hat, resplendent on its stand
And I wondered once more how it came into our hands 
I took it down with care, quite careful not to stain
And searched the lining of the rim for some monogram or name

And there, within the fold, lay something faded and aged
A letter from a name? A logo for a maker? 
I gave up trying to fathom it, its secret lost to time 
And removed a single silver hair from within its velvet lining. 

The following day my malady worsened, by the time I awoke it was almost midday
I called up the theatre and croaked my apologies, rasping the words ‘I’m running quite late.’
My face was a sight, my skin drawn and pale. Red marks on my cheeks. I looked older and frail.
The rash on my neck so red and so vast, I resorted to covering it with a scarlet cravat. 

I trudged to the theatre, though thoroughly unfit
To find the backdrop collapsed with Bob Cratchit beneath it 
His leg badly broken, concussed from the blow
We were left with no choice but to cancel the show 

Tearing down posters and cursing misfortune, I wondered how it had all come to this
Was Marley correct in thinking us hexed? Was this why all was amiss? 
We started so well, so slick and professional
What was it that changed? Made our luck so abysmal?

My mind conjured a theory, too absurd not to laugh at
But everything was perfect till we found that old top hat
I staggered backstage – still fighting my fever –  
And tore it from its stand to destroy it forever.

I glanced at the faded inscription inside 
An O, an R, and…  could that be an I? 
Resolving to seek a second opinion,
I stumbled immediately to Aldgate East station 

To the home of the props girl who’d found it somewhere 
In the hope she’d remember, and take me straight there
To an antique outfitter who just might understand 
The meaning of old letters and logos and brands

When I arrived at her house the lights were all out
The door was ajar, but no soul was about.  
I called out her name, and received no reply
Just the sinister echo of my own fearful cry

I knew I should leave, but some dreadful foreboding 
Told her abode held answers within 
Stumbling, quite weak, into the dark of the hall
I peered through the blackness to see stains on the wall

It was as if some foulness had been covered by paint
But beneath the emulsion had still left a trace
I paid it no mind and called out once more
As I felt for the handle of the living room door. 

I heard not a pin drop, saw no speck of light 
But the stench of decay was the source of my fright
What I saw as my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness
Had once been a person, but now was a carcass 

No flesh remained on its skeletal face, its entrails covered the floor
I spluttered and wretched and struggled to walk as I blindly groped for the door
And there, in the hall, the words on the wall not faded but bleeding through
A message scrawled by devilish hands in a deadly crimson hue. 

‘My deepest thanks for finding, and sprucing up my hat
But the time has come for you to die and me to take it back.
You came so close to catching me, and naming me at that
But I shan’t stop ripping them till I do get exorcised. 

Yours sincerely, 

From Hell,


Classic Halloween Poetry

Did we include your favourite Halloween poems? Tell us about your favourite ghost poetry in the comments section below!


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