Quick! What's the first thing that comes to mind when someone say, "Happy Halloween!"
Okay, so perhaps Halloween poems aren't at the top of your list of holiday must-dos, but by the time you finish reading this, your children will be donning their costumes in order to recite a poem before trick or treating!
On this blog I ceaselessly promote the joys of poetry and one of the best experience you can give your child is the gift of memorizing a poem with them. So many people are under the impression that poetry is dull or trite, but these Halloween poems for kids and families will stir the soul and some of them might even chill your bones. What could ever be boring about that.
We've done the work of finding the best Halloween poems for you. Below you will find the following:
- Classic Halloween poems that you can print out to read or memorize. Some are sweet as candy, others are as creepy as ghouls
- Links to several classic poems that are too long for our printable, but are great for older kids to learn
- A selection of modern Halloween poems that you'll love, but we can't include in our printable due to copyright issues
- For those of you who prefer books, a few of our favorite collections of Halloween poetry; add them to your Halloween picture book reading!
TIP: Having trouble convincing your child to memorize a poem? Make it a condition of keeping their Halloween candy! [insert evil laugh here]
Classic Halloween Poems for Kids and Families
Fill out the form below to have a printable of the following seven poems fly speedily into your email inbox:
- "Hallowe'en" by Joel Benton
- "The Only Ghost I Ever Saw" by Emily Dickinson
- “Double, Double Toil and Trouble” by William Shakespeare
- "October" by Evalyn Callahan Shaw
- "Dusk in Autumn" by Sara Teasdale
- "This Living Hand, Now Warm and Capable" by John Keats
- "The Night Wind" by Eugene Field
Long Classic Halloween Poems
- "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe
- "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti
- "Halloween" by Robert Burns (for advanced poetry readers)
Contemporary Halloween Poetry
Below are some of our favorite modern Halloween poem selections. I've listed the first few lines of each and linked to the full poem in the citation (links are orange). Several of these are especially wonderful for young children.
We’re having a Halloween party at school.Halloween Party by Kenn Nesbitt
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I spot the hillsTheme in Yellow by Carl Sandberg
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins. ...
You are food.The Witch Has Told You a Story by Ava Leavell Haymon
You are here for me
to eat. Fatten up,
and I will like you better.
Mr. Macklin takes his knifeMr. Macklin’s Jack O’Lantern by David McCord
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
It's Halloween, It's Halloween,It's Halloween by Jack Prelutzky
The Moon is full and bright.
Our grandma kissed a pumpkinOur Grandma Kissed a Pumpkin by Darren Sardelli
on a Friday afternoon.
Halloween Poetry Books
It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutzky and illustrated by Marylin Hafner
Poetry for Young People: Edgar Allen Poe by Brod Bagert and illustrated by Carolynn Cobleigh
The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep
by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
More Halloween and poetry fun:
- Halloween coloring pages. TIP: have your child color while you read poetry out loud.
- Halloween themed early chapter books
- Funniest poems for kids
- Classic poems for kids to memorize
And don't forget to prepare for Thanksgiving because nothing goes better with pumpkin pie than a side of Thanksgiving poetry.
We love reading Halloween poetry! I LOVE the idea of putting a poem in trick-or-treat bags, but we never get any trick-or-treaters on our block 🙁 Anyway, I wanted to share one of our favorite Halloween poetry books -- it's a single poem in picture book form, The Ride-By-Nights, by Walter de La Mare & illustrated by Carolina Rabei -- My son and I both highly recommend! Happy Halloween 🙂