Petrifying Poems




Wanted ~ a witch's cat.
Must have vigor and spite,
Be expert at hissing,
And good in a fight,
And have balance and poise
On a broomstick at night.

Shelagh McGee



Who lives in this haunted house?
"I do!" I do!" says the mouse
"See my aunts and all my cousins
scamper through it by the dozens."
Who else might be living here?
"Spiders, spiders, yes my dear!
Our webs grow bigger by the day
No broom or mop sweeps them away."

Who likes this haunted house the most?
"I do!" I do!" says the ghost.
"I can float from room to room,
having fun while spreading gloom.
This haunted house has stairs that creak.
Windows rattle. Hinges squeak.
It's such a lovely place to be
for someone who's a ghost like me!"

Bobbi Katz



Look at that!
Ghosts lined up
at the laundromat,
all around the

Each has
and some

Each one seems to
think it

to take a spin
in a
washing machine

before the

Lilian Moore



If you are getting tired
Of plain old witches' brew,
Next time you have a party
Try gourmet monster stew.

Put on an old black apron
Borrowed from a witch;
Then scoop in murky water
From a brackish ditch.

Pond slime is the next thing,
A bucketful or two;
But if you don't have pond slime,
Some moldy soup will do.

Now measure in an owl-hoot,
Two grumbles and a groan.
To make it really tasty,
Add an eerie moan.

Now if your guest are monsters,
You cackle while they eat.
They'll say your stew is gruesome,
A most delightful treat!

Judith Kinter



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 walk is built in new
And is of ivy bare
She paused--then opened and passed through
A gate that once was there.

Edna St. Vincent Millay



When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble
of the struttin' turkey-cock
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded,
and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here-
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock-
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the rossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries-kind' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below-the clover overhead!-
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin' s over, and your wimmern-foks is through

I don't know how to tell it-but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me-
I'd want to 'commodate 'em-all the whole-indurin' flock-
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

James Whitcomb Riley



Let's be spooky. Lets have fun!
We'll scare ourseves before we're done
with ghosts and goblins - winds that howl -
Things that fly and things that prowl.
We'll talk about such creepy stuff
until we both get scared enough
to hear things that we cannot see
and see things that just cannot be.
Let's be spooky - you and me.

Bobbi Katz



When the moon
rides high,
up overhead -
and I am snug
and warm,
in bed -
in the autumn dark
the ghosts move 'round
making their
moaning sound.
I listen to know
when the ghosts
go by.
I hear a wail,
and I hear a sigh.

But I can't quite tell
which I hear
the most -
the wind,
or the wail
of some passing ghost.



Underneath the lamppost,
In the middle of the night,
A ghost bus make 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!


Joe Wayman



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.

Samuel Exler



Johnny drew a monster.
The monster chased him.
Just in time
Johnny erased him.

Lilian Moore



A teeny, tiny ghost
no bigger than a mouse
at most,
lived in a great big house

It's hard to haunt
a great big house
when you're a teeny, tiny ghost
no bigger than a mouse
at most.

He did what he could do.

So every dark and stormy night
the kind that shakes the house with fright -
if you stood still and listened right,
you'd hear a
teeny tiny


Lilian Moore



Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,-
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:-
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' allher blood-an' kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, and' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black things a-standin' by her side,
an' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin' bugs in dew is all squenched away,-
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
'er ' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

James Whitcomb Riley



I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,
an' things'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
for, when I'm tucked up warm an' snug
an' when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" an' takes away the light
an' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!

Sometimes they're in the corner,
sometimes they're by the door,
sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
sometimes they are a'sitting down,
sometimes they're walking round,
so softly and so creepylike they never make a sound!
Sometimes they are as black as ink,
an' other times they're white--
but the color ain't no difference when you see things at night!

Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
an' Father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat;
I woke up in the dark an' saw things standin' in a row,
a-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me--so!
Oh my! I wuz so skeered that time I never slept a mite--
it's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!

An'so, when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the tempter's voice 'at urges me within.
An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at's big an' nice,
I want to--but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice!
No, ruther let starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight
than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!

Eugene Field (1850-1895)

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