Scary Halloween Poems for Children

A selection of scary Halloween poems for older children written in the nonsense style. If you're unsure whether you'll enjoy the poems, or end up with your metaphorical pants scared off, The Ghost of Long Tom Mouse is a gentle introduction which should help decide whether you've got the stomach for the task ahead.

Beware, A Ghostly Mouse Lurks

A ghostly mouse that haunts your house. What could be worse than that?

Poem Title

The Ghost of Long Tom Mouse

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

8-14

Key Stage

KS2, KS3

Length

12 lines

The Ghost of Long Tom Mouse

I woke up to a funny noise, it went scrape, scrapity, scrape,
It did not sound like flesh or foul, like halibut or hake,
It was the ghost of Long Tom Mouse, a phantom rodent dark,
Who’s haunted every bungalow, from here to Duthie Park.

Some say he met a grisly end at the paws of an old tom cat,
While others say a carving knife sliced him here upon this mat,
But never mind, we have no time for hairy, scary, talks,
His spirit now it is abroad, he creeps, he creaks, he walks!

And on a silver moonlight night when owls do hoot and cry,
Please turn your face o’er to the wall as old Long Tom goes by,
Be sure to leave some cheese and curds, some token of respect,
Or else he’ll haunt your skirting boards when e’re you least suspect!

He's Not Someone You'd Want To Meet On A Dark Night

A cautionary tale about Shuggy McGurk, a horrible character who lives in a cellar and is said to eat children.

Poem Title

The Ballad of Shuggy McGurk

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

9-14

Key Stage

KS2, KS3

Length

12 lines

The Ballad of Shuggy McGurk

Down in the cellar where the bed bugs lurk,
There lives an old man called Shuggy McGurk,
His face is black as day-old pitch, his suit is made of rags,
And he wears a hat of finest silk and ancient canvas bags.

They say that he eats children, I suppose it could be true,
His teeth are stained, his lips are chapped, how does it look to you?
He sleeps all day and stalks by night, look out, he’ll come your way!
He's carrying a knife and fork, don’t hang around today!

Just buy a ticket to Timbuktu and get there by first class,
Or he’ll have you on his luncheon plate with a grubby pint of Bass,
So lock that cellar door, m’dears, make sure that it’s shut tight,
And keep old Shuggy safely in, so you can sleep tonight.

Meet The Incredibly Scary Pumpkin Men

The Pumpkin Man is a dark and distinctly sinister force that roams the land, leaving death and destruction in his wake.

Poem Title

Pumpkin Men

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

9-14

Key Stage

KS2, KS3

Length

20 lines

Pumpkin Men

The pumpkin man strode through the night,
His eyes were fire, he looked a fright,
His ragged legs of inky black,
His scarecrow hat, his smile so slack,

His crooked grin, his flaming eyes,
His tattered coat and striding thighs.
And as wan moon began to shine,
Dead things began to creep and dine,

And witches’ cats and leaping lizards,
Sucked fireflies down their grizzled gizzards,
And graves yawned forth, spewed up their dead,
Some missing flesh, some missing heads,

And goblins gathered on garden walls,
While ghosts were seen in moonlit halls,
And children huddled in their beds,
With blankets clutched above their heads,

While pumpkin men patrolled the night,
And drew a veil ’twixt dark and light,
And babes slept soundly till the dawn,
With a pumpkin man on their front lawn.

Mr Schlepington Face Whiskers Is Singularly Sinister

There's something very strange about Mr Schlepington Face Whiskers, who is never seen in daylight and preys on unfortunate children.

Poem Title

The Ballad of Mr Schlepington Face Whiskers

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

14-

Key Stage

KS3

Length

14 lines

The Ballad of Mr Schlepington Face Whiskers

He lives in that old mansion on the corner of the street,
In the darkest of the shadows and his name we dare not speak,
His windows are all curtained in the blackest black of crepe,
And they say that all his suits are cut from undertakers' drape.

He is never seen in sunlight and only seldom by the moon,
He has shuttered up his windows and he hates the nights of June,
He a modern day Rip Van Winkle, a somnambulant Fred Astair,
And he sleeps on ostrich pillows in the blackness of his lair.

No children dare to play there and the birds don’t even sing,
He has shot the Jolly Postman and of sleepers he is king,
He is seen on stormy midnights on the rooftops with his kites,
And he sleeps the hours of daylight to facilitate his nights.

So do not wake the sleeper, walk by on tippy-toes,
For if he finds you he will kill you, no matter where you goes.

So What's A Boondock?

After you've read the poem, you still won't know what a Boondock is, but you will know why you wouldn't want to meet two Boondocks (Boondocks always hunt in pairs) on a dark night.

Poem Title

Boondockc

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

8-14

Key Stage

KS2, KS3

Length

16 lines

Boondock

Oh gather round my children, beware the cloak of night,
And quiver while I tell to you, an awful tale of fright,
For they gather in the gutters, they assemble on the stairs,
The Boondocks they are coming, and they always hunt in pairs.

They are stropping up their razors and sharpening their knives,
They’ve already killed their children and they’re going to kill their wives,
They will spot your open window and sniff-out your unlocked door,
And they’ll fillet you with their carving knives, it really will be sore.

You’ll be lying in your bed at night, when suddenly you’ll hear sighs,
And in the velvet blackness, you’ll see their beady eyes,
They live amongst the Cajuns, in the creepy, sleepy swamp,
For Boondocks cannot function, if they have not dark and damp.

They just hate bright sunny colours, and skies distinctly blue,
They live for night and thunder, when they can come for you.
So take care to court the sunshine, pursue the light of day,
And Boondocks will not get you, oh no, not never, nay!

More Perplexing Than Petrifying

The Mystery Boom is a scary Halloween poem wrapped inside a contemporary interpretation of nonsense verse.

Poem Title

The Mystery Boom

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

6-14

Key Stage

KS1, KS2, KS3

Length

12 lines

The Mystery Boom

Shhhh! Do you hear it? Hear it in the room?
Hear it in the corridors, it’s called the Mystery Boom!
It pounces at the dead of night, creeps about by day,
Crawls around your attic, always knows the way.

When you’re sleeping in your bed, feel its beady eyes,
When the wind blows in the trees, listen to its sighs,
It’s with you when you brush your teeth, veiled in shadows deep,
It shies away from sunshine, walks while you’re asleep.

Don’t ever feed it gingerbread or melon-seed-paste cakes,
The Boom will swell to twice its size when fed on choice home bakes,
Just leave a tiny dish of milk and a plate of meat,
And the Boom will stay behind the walls and leave your life in peace.

Now Oyster Hunting Shoudn't Be Too Tricky

One of the themes of nonsense verse is that heroes and heriones have fantastical names. The hero of this tangled tale, a boy who goes hunting for oysters and meets a sticky end, has a truely magnificent name.

Poem Title

The Oyster Hunter

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

14-

Key Stage

KS3

Length

16 lines

The Oyster Hunter

Alfred Alfredo Magnificent Jones,
Was a boy who lived only on oyster bones,
He camped by the sea and hunted by night,
With mirror and candle, he caused quite a fright.

As he tiptoed through rock-pools 'neath dark midnight sky,
While the Man in the Moon, he winked a green eye,
And oyster after oyster was gobbled with glee,
Crunching their bones as he waded in the sea.

So the oysters went out to the king of the deep,
Your Highness, our bones, we would like for to keep,
Protect us, we beg you, from the marauding young Jones,
Who prowls in the dark for fresh oyster bones.

So Neptune, he sent out an octopus black,
Who carried slimy things in a big burlap sack,
And when Alfred went out, with his net, from the shore,
The octopus pounced, and he was heard of no more.

A Poem With An Incomprehensible Title. What Fun!

A nonsense poem about a missing boy, dancing and death which may leave you petrified, or perhaps much morel likey mystified.

Poem Title

Tango de los Muertos

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

14-

Key Stage

KS3

Length

18 lines

Tango de los Muertos

Deep in the forest at the dead of night,
Oliver is dancing in the campfire light,
Oliver is ten years old, out there with his tent,
In a small suburban house they say, where did he went?

Mum looks in the kitchen, Dad looks in the shed,
But Oliver is gone, clear gone, he isn’t in his bed,
He’s out upon the woodland night, dancing the quadrille,
He’s dancing with the squirrel lords, dressed in orange peel.

Goblin folk are singing songs, owls eat mice on toast,
Oliver can dance all night, he has been heard to boast,
A ghost, a wraith, a thing of dark, flitting past the moon,
Morning light will break the spell, it hints it’s coming soon.

Red sun-fingers stroke the sky, dawn scents clover air,
All the midnight dancing folk begin to have a care,
One by one they flit away, back to sleepy lair,
Till Oliver must dance alone, lonely last one there.

Morning mists caress his cheek, leave it cold as stone,
A statue in his graveyard plot, that stands aloof, alone.

A Poem With A Possessive Apostrophe

A lighter poem to conclude the scary poems, in which we meet the weird and wonderful cast of characters attending the Monsters' Ball.

Poem Title

Monsters’ Ball

Author

Style

Halloween Nonsense Poems

Age Range

6-14

Key Stage

KS1, KS2, KS3

Length

16 lines

Monsters’ Ball

Get your tickets for the monsters' ball,
Come in your hundreds, come one, come all,
Join the Frankenstein Monster and the Man in the Moon,
And that awful creature from the Black Lagoon.

There’s Dracula’s daughter with her bloated tummy,
The son of Kong, and, of course, his mummy,
The Invisible Man and the Deadly Creature,
And Robbie the Robot in his own B-feature.

The curséd Werewolf and the angry Godzilla,
But not the Phantom, he’s retired to a villa,
With Doctor Cyclops and the Shrinking Man,
Who’re sleeping rough in a caravan.

So buy your ticket and book your place,
Don’t wash your body or shave your face,
When the world stands still and world’s collide,
Come to the party with Frankenstein’s bride.

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Funny Poems and Nonsense Verse for Kids
Copyright © Nonsense Poems for Kids / Patrick Winstanley 2002-2013 All Rights Reserved.
Individual poems are copyright Max Scratchmann and used with permission