It’s Halloween and it’s a Saturday—a fantastic combination of good weather and time to enjoy every minute of it with family and friends.
At home, we’ve been preparing for the thrills and chills of Halloween night by watching horror movies: some classics, like Son of Frankenstein, and others that are terrible and campy in the very best way.
Here’s some poetry to heighten the tension and help create a spooky atmosphere.
GARDEN UNDER LIGHTNING—Leonora Speyer (Published in 1921)
Out of the storm that muffles shining night
Flash roses ghastly-sweet,
And lilies far too pale.
There is a pang of livid light,
A terror of familiarity,
I see a dripping swirl of leaves and petals
That I once tended happily,
Borders of flattened, frightened little things,
And writhing paths I surely walked in that other life—
My specter-garden beckons to me,
ALL HALLOWS NIGHT—Lizette Woodworth Reese
Two things I did on Hallows Night:—
Made my house April-clear;
Left open wide my door
To the ghosts of the year.
Then one came in. Across the room
It stood up long and fair—
The ghost that was myself—
And gave me stare for stare.
From SPIRITS IF THE DEAD, by Edgar Allan Poe
“Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.”
MR. MACKLIN’S JACK O’LANTERN—David McCord
Mr. Macklin takes his knife
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! Oh 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?