“The Procession” by Harriet Prescott Spofford is not only a poem about a Halloween parade, but it also shows there was a time when trick or treating was not always guaranteed for youngsters on Halloween. Google Books has plenty of other vintage poems as well. Pauline More Wetzel penned “October,” “The Yellow Leaves” and “Their Surprise” while Clara Kendrick Blaisdell wrote her own “October” and Hilda Rose Stice wrote “My Jack-o’-Lantern.” That’s all contained in the same link, by the way. Carrie Stern’s “Hallowe’en” is an interesting read, as are the birth stone poems by an unknown author. The ones for March and October certainly got my attention. Alvin Lincoln Snow’s “The Haunted Mansion” and Joel Benton’s “Halloween” are the last of the vintage material as we move on to modern works like William Michael Mott’s “The Awakening of a Zombie,” Carole Marsh’s “A Marrow Escape,” Ann K. Schwader’s “Jaded” and F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre’s “Improbable Bestiary: The Ghoul.” The rare 80’s wrestling horror comedy Blood Circus had special “Scream Bags” issued to everyone who attended its only showing. Said bags had a poem printed on them, presumably written by the director Santo Gold.
The first installment of “Vile Verses” included some Cthulhu senryu and now it’s time for some Cthulhu limericks by Jeff Bagato and Darell Schweitzer. And what collection of Lovecraftian poetry would be complete without some selections from Lin Carter’s “Dreams from R’yleh”: “Arkham,” “The Old Wood,” “Tsathoggua,” “The Return,” “The Dream-Daemon,” “The Silver Key,” “The Accursed” and “The Million Favored Ones” are only some of the poems contained within those links.
Halloween Machine magazine has plenty of great poems. Lucifer Fulci’s “Season Of The Witch” is what first got my attention, but what really drew me in was the work of the magazine’s undisputed poetry king: Kurtis Primm. Primm is responsible for “Halloween Machine,” “Believe,” “Let Them Come,” “A Bunch of Hocus Pocus,” “Halloween Is Near,” “In The Pumpkins Glow” and “On Every Porch, A Pumpkin” (to only name a portion of his contributions). Want to know something really scary? He has even more poems available in the Amazon previews for his books Primmsylvania Prose and Primmsylvania Prose 2
Although Benjamin A. Fouché is best known around here for his horror stories, he’s also crafted “Secrets of Silence” and other dark poems. Michael Benedikt has a collection of poetry called “Spooky Poems for Halloween (& All Year Round)” and Icky Ichabod celebrates the joys of “Halloween Day.” The Saturday Evening Post brings us a “Warning on Halloween” by Gladys McKee and a “Halloween Visitor” by Betty Jane Baich while Stephen Dobyns’ “Pursuit” is downright chilling. His other works seem to indicate the poem is about time rather than a monster, but existential horror is still horror in my book!
Finally, Wikipedia brings us two poems about death. The first is Henri Cazalis’ “Danse Macabre” (which shares a connection with the famous musical composition by Camille Saint-Saens) and the other is inspired by the alleged ancient Japanese custom known as “Ubasute.”