Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays by children and adults alike, simultaneously filled with joyous levity and breathtaking macabre. As soon as October pumpkins rear their lit up faces, you can jump into fun ways to get your brood ready for the coming festivities. Read them some of the spookiest and most entertaining Halloween poems for kids. Exploring the fantastical costumes, candy, and joys of running through the neighborhood, all of these creepy poems capture some of the magic and mayhem of All Hallows' Eve.
Short and Spooky Poems for Kids
Just like the trick or treat rhyme, kids love literature that is as short as their attention span. Short and spooky poems inspired by the Halloween season are perfect for kids of all ages, but especially for those just getting into the holiday fun for the first time.
By Paul Perro
A zombie shuffles and staggers,
Eyes rolled, arms outstretched,
"The Walking Dead,"
It's often said,
(But I think that's far-fetched).
By Ada Clark
I'm not afraid - I will not be!
I'm brave as any kid you see;
When ghosts and witches pass me by,
I never, never run and cry.
And when a jack-o'-lantern blinks,
I only wonder what he thinks.
I'm not afraid, I will not be,
I'm brave as any kid, you see.
By Paul Perro
There are lots of monsters about tonight,
But you'll be safe, don't worry.
The jack-o'-lantern will scare them off,
They won't be back in a hurry.
Classic Halloween Poems for Kids
No kid is too young to enjoy the beautifully written and haunting pieces from classical literature that evoke the sentiments of All Hallows' Eve. Spanning works from romantic writers to those from just a few decades ago, you can entice your kids to slide into the past using these historic Halloween poems.
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.
By Wilfred Owen
I am the ghost of Shadwell Stair.
Along the wharves by the water-house,
And through the cavernous slaughter-house,
I am the shadow that walks there.
Yet I have flesh both firm and cool,
And eyes tumultuous as the gems
Of moons and lamps in the full Thames
When dusk sails wavering down the pool.
Shuddering the purple street-arc burns
Where I watch always; from the banks
Dolorously the shipping clanks
And after me a strange tide turns.
I walk till the stairs of London wane
And dawn creeps up the Shadwell Stair.
But when the crowing syrens blare
I with another ghost am lain.
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.
Fun Halloween Poems for Kids
Contrary to popular belief, Halloween poems can serve so many more functions than just being something to read; you can toss them onto custom holiday cards, put them in commemorative scrapbooks, or even work them into some homemade decorations and crafts. Check out just some of the many haunted Halloween poems available at your fingertips.
What Shall I Be for Halloween?
By Kelly Roper
Halloween is coming so,
I wonder what I should be?
How about a witch who flies her broom
High above the trees?
Maybe I'll be a princess
In a shimmering pink gown,
With lots of pretty rhinestones
Glued all over my crown.
Maybe I'll be a scary ghost
Floating around under a sheet.
And I'll shout "Boo!" and wave my arms
At everyone I meet.
Maybe I'll be a naughty black cat,
Who sneaks from house to house,
And meows and scratches at people's doors
Until they give some candy out.
Or maybe I'll be a gypsy girl,
And wear a scarf over my hair,
And I'll offer to tell people's fortunes,
As I fix them with an icy stare.
I'm still not sure what I should be,
But one thing's very clear.
If I don't make up my mind soon,
I'll miss Halloween this year.
An Ode to Candy Corn
By Kelly Roper
Colored white, orange, and yellow,
candy corn, my favorite Halloween treat,
Shaped like a triangle and oh so sweet.
Chewy and yet oh so mellow,
I could eat you by the pound,
But I fear I'd grow quite round.
So I'll miss you all the months in between,
And we'll meet again next Halloween.
Cutting Through the Cemetery on Halloween Night
By Kelly Roper
Cutting through the cemetery
On Halloween night,
My brother and I
Had a terrible fright.
Behind a gravestone,
We heard a creepy rustle.
We said to ourselves,
We'd better hustle.
We ran across the graves,
Hopping tombstones as we went,
But that rustle followed us
Just like it was hell-bent.
The cemetery wall
Loomed up ahead,
We had to make it over,
Or we'd meet that thing we dread.
My brother shimmied up that wall
And over with amazing speed,
But as I was climbing over,
Something tried to grab my feet.
Brother reached up for my hands,
And pulled me over and to the ground.
And as my feet broke free,
I heard a most distressing sound.
The thing gave a grunt, and then
A blood-curdling shriek.
And then it rustled into the dark,
Howling with defeat.
The moral of this story
Is listen to your mother.
Stay out of the cemetery on Halloween,
Or you may never see another.
The House on Galveston Street
By Kelly Roper
I warn you do not trick or treat
At the house at 306 Galveston Street.
There's something there you don't want to meet,
Behind that darkened door.
Don't walk through that gate that creaks,
Don't walk up that overgrown path.
Don't knock on that weathered front door,
Or you may feel its resident's wrath.
It's covered in fur and has pointy ears,
And it lets out a terrible howl.
If you get close enough to smell its breath,
You'll find it smells most foul.
True, the creature is just eight inches tall,
But don't let its size fool you.
That Chihuahua can latch onto an ankle,
And seek its teeth right through!
Confessions of a Halloween Prankster
By Kelly Roper
I egged Mrs. Wilson's house
While out celebrating Halloween.
I did the deed planning to run away fast,
And I thought I would get away clean.
So imagine my surprise when I realized
There was a witness at the scene.
Mrs. Wilson's big dog came barreling out,
Growling and looking quite mean.
That dog chased me all the way to my house,
And started barking and causing a scene.
Pretty soon Mrs. Wilson tracked him down
And found out the egg thrower was me.
Tomorrow I'll go back to Mrs. Wilson's house
To clean up the scene of my crime,
And then I'll go home and up to my room
Where, for the next two weeks, I'll serve time.
Three Little Skeletons
By Kelly Roper
Three skeletons came out to play
Beneath the silvery Halloween moon.
They danced and merrily frolicked away,
To the sound of a distant tune.
And as they danced around they spied
Some trick-or-treaters with jaws hanging open.
Their eyes were filled with disbelief,
But not a single word was spoken.
So the three little skeletons turned to them,
And gave them their very best smiles,
And held out their arms to invite them all
To join their dance for a while.
"Little children come dance with us,
We don't mean you any harm.
We're just three little skeletons,
And there's no cause for alarm."
"We may look a little bit scary, but
We love Halloween just like you do,
Surely there's room for all to have fun,
So we'd like to trick-or-treat with you."
Despite the skeletons' friendly words,
The children refused to take part,
And they ran away, every last one
With fiercely beating hearts.
The skeletons were disappointed,
But they shrugged their shoulders and said,
It's too bad they wouldn't join us, so
We'll just trick-or-treat by ourselves instead.
Interactive Halloween Poems for Kids
There aren't any rules when it comes to poetry, and so many spoken word poets of the modern age have incorporated interpretative movements to go along with their vocal performances. Take their practice as inspiration for your own kids as you help them get into the spirit of Halloween via engaging poems and fingerplays that include hand or body motions.
Use the rhythm of the classic nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill" for this simple interactive poem about trick-or-treating.
Ghost and Witch
By Michele Meleen
(Hold up the pointer finger, then middle finger on the right hand to represent the characters).
Went to the door
(Hold the left hand up flat to be the door and make the finger characters walk through the air to the "door").
asking for some candy.
(Put hands together in prayer position and shake on each syllable).
Ghost saw a clown
(Put one finger on the right hand back up).
and ran back down
(Make the finger move behind your back).
to the safety of his Mama.
(Bring the finger back in front of you and wrap the opposite hand around the finger).
Show Me Your Costume
Modeled after the nursery rhyme "Little Boy Blue," this active poem allows kids the chance to get creative and make up some of their own movements. It's best to do this entire rhyme while standing. Each time you reach the end, choose a child who can show or tell what their actual Halloween costume will be.
by Michele Meleen
(Wave to another person).
Show me your costume!
(Stand and twirl in a circle).
I'm going as a monster,
(Make a scary face and hold hands up like claws).
she's going as a queen.
(Do a bow or curtsy).
But, what will your costume be?
(Put both hands up at shoulder height with palms up and shrug like you're asking a question).
Counting poems are great for younger kids and can be adapted to any element of Halloween. In each verse of this candy inspired poem, you'll hold up the appropriate number of fingers as described.
Five Little Candies
by Michele Meleen
Five little candies,
(Hold up five fingers on your right hand).
handed out at the door,
(Reach your hand out as if giving candy).
one jumped into my mouth,
(Bring one finger up to your mouth quickly).
and then there were four.
(Hold up four fingers on the right hand).
Four little candies waiting just for me,
(Cradle four fingers with your other hand and rock them).
one jumped into my mouth, and then there were three.
Three little candies left for me to chew,
(Bring hands toward the mouth and move mouth as if eating a lot).
one jumped into my mouth and then there were two.
Two little candies yum, yum, yum, yum, yum,
(Rub belly with one hand).
one jumped into my mouth and then there was one.
One little candy left for me to eat,
(Make bowl shape with one hand and point one finger from opposite hand onto the center of the palm).
it jumped into my mouth, my last Halloween treat!
Start Your Spooky Season Off Right
Halloween poems run the gamut from silly to spooky and everywhere in between. Make sure the poems you choose are suitable for the children who'll have the opportunity to enjoy them, and include them with the rest of your Halloween activities. After all, since Halloween only comes one night a year, you'll want to prep your eerie poetry before the spooky season starts, to ensure you and all the kids in your life don't miss out on any of the fun!