Halloween Poems

A collection of classic spooky poems for All Hallows’ Eve

Spain, Fog at morning in forest of Navarra
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Here’s a selection of classic poems about ghosts, goblins and spirits for All Hallows’ Eve, the night when the division between earthly reality and the spirit world vanishes:

  • William Shakespeare,
    The Witches’ Spell from Macbeth (1606)
  • John Donne,
    “The Apparition” (1633)
  • Lord Brooke Fulke Greville,
    Sonnet 100 (1633)
  • Robert Herrick,
    “The Hag” (1648)
  • Traditional ballad,
    “Tam Lin” (recorded by Francis James Child, 1729)
  • Robert Burns,
    “Halloween” (1785)
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron,
    “Darkness” (1816)
  • Edgar Allan Poe,
    “Spirits of the Dead” (1827)
  • Edgar Allan Poe,
    “Dream-Land” (1844)
  • Edgar Allan Poe,
    “The Raven” (1845)
  • Edgar Allan Poe,
    “Ulalume” (1847)
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
    “Haunted Houses” (1858)
  • Christina Rossetti,
    “Goblin Market” (1862)
  • Walt Whitman,
    “The Mystic Trumpeter” (1872)
  • Abram Joseph Ryan,
    “Song of the Deathless Voice” (1880)
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar,
    “The Haunted Oak” (1903)
  • Edith Wharton,
    “All Souls” (1909)
  • Conrad Aiken,
    “The Vampire” (1914)
  • Adelaide Crapsey,
    “To the Dead in the Graveyard Underneath My Window” (1915)
  • Robert Frost,
    Ghost House” (1915)
  • Winifred M. Letts,
    “Hallow-e’en 1915” (1916)
  • Carl Sandburg,
    “Theme in Yellow” (1916)
  • Thomas Hardy,
    “The Shadow on the Stone” (1917)

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And there’s more: a contemporary Halloween poem from our 9/11 anthology, Poems After the Attack:

  • Tony Brown,
    “Dispatch from the Home Front: Halloween 2001”

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Another contemporary Halloween poem from our archive of InterBoard Poetry Competition winners:

  • Jim Doss,
    “Searching for Poe’s Grave on Halloween, Baltimore, MD” (2004)

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And from other About.com sites, more Halloween lit:

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
    Totentanz” (in German, with its English translation, “Dance of Death,” trans. Edgar Alfred Bowring)

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