Category Archives: Halloween

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

On Halloween, every child has faith
that if they show up as a zombie or wraith
and say “Trick or Treat!” and hold out their hand,
that simply by making  this threatening demand,
the folks will produce a sugary treat.
Then quick as a whip, they’ll make their retreat.
Impelled by the promise of one reward more,
they’re off to pound on another closed door.

Without maps, without compass, they’ll all zero in
on former houses where they have been
that give the best treats, like whole Hershey bars,
their parents all sitting, resigned, in their cars,
monopolized drivers one night of the year—
giving independence, yet hovering near,
and perhaps making sure that the threat clearly stated,
if the treat’s not a good one, though surely debated,

never comes true. No car windows soaped,
no trees that are left gaily toilet-roll-roped.
Over decades, this holiday’s earned such renown,
that  it’s the same in town after town.
Small ghosts and small ghouls and witches and fairies
go house-to-house restating their queries
and as though it is magic, no one can resist
a candy-filled pumpkin hung from a small wrist.

Prompt words today are: compass, monopolize, wraith, impel and hand.

A Halloween Primer

A Halloween Primer

Bloodcurdling screams of banshees and the moans of other specters
are signals to skirt graveyards and other creepy sectors.
Do not go close to water. La Llorona* lingers there.
Hobgoblins roam on Halloween. Please take extra care
that you aren’t impeded by your costume’s girth and weight
so just in case, you can maintain the proper speed and gait
to insure escaping witches, vampires, ghosts and ghouls
who inhabit Halloween and make up all the rules.
Heed well my past instructions of where you should not go.
Get home before the witching hour. These warnings you should know
lest you become another statistic of the night
set aside for horrors, for hauntings and for fright.
Halloween is filled with fun: the costumes, pumpkins, candy,
and if you heed my warnings, everything should turn out dandy.
Just stay away from witches of the authentic sort—
the kind with real black three-inch nails and a genuine wart.
Make sure the vampire’s fangs aren’t real, that ghost is in a sheet.
Assure the authenticity of every friend you meet.
It does not do to make new friends. Be guided by your fear
and do not talk to strangers on this one night of the year.

*In Latin American folklore, La Llorona (pronounced [la ʝo.ˈɾ], “The Weeping Woman”) is a ghost of a woman who lost her children and now cries while looking for them in the river, often causing misfortune to those who are near, or who hear her.

Go HERE to read more spooky poems.

For the dVerse Poet’s Pub scary poem prompt.


Click on first photo to enlarge all.

“I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.”     —Robert Brault


They watch the clock, waiting for dark,
impatient for their All-souls lark.
Small ghosts and goblins screech and moan,
their ghastly act to finely hone.
“Eye of newt and toe of frog,”
Mother prompts, as off they jog—
little witches in Walmart capes
with itchy tags upon their napes.

Meanwhile, other ghastly things
soar in on brooms, flap in on wings.
They’ve found that yearly secret door
under the earth, under the floor,
and creaked it open. Joining the flood
who lust for treats, they lust for blood.
Who among us might ace the task
of sorting countenance from mask?

That little vampire, newly gone—
was his blood real or painted on?
“Double double toil and trouble,
cauldron boil and cauldron bubble.”
Were those lines recently rehearsed
or are these witches instead well-versed
in brewing up a recipe
of wing of gnat and eye of bee?

Which ghoulies real and which ones playing?
Which ones begging? Which ones preying?
What other night of any year
do we open doors, devoid of fear
for such strange beings? Who thinks of this—
Hershey’s kisses or vampire’s kiss?
A silly poem. When small ghosts boo, they
offer no real threat. Or do they?




Prompts for today are the secret door, adage, screech, treat and clock. Since one of the prompt words was “adage,” rather than use the actual word in the poem, I used a quote (an adage of sorts) by Robert Brault as inspiration for this poem.

Christmas in October

For the eighteen years I’ve lived in Mexico, I have watched Halloween taking over the imaginations of kids here to the point where its displays far-exceed those of Day of the Dead in Walmart. Many rue this tendency, but Day of the Dead still remains the more authentic and widely-celebrated holiday for adults and I both buy bags of candy to contribute to our yearly distribution to kids at the gate of the Raquet Club and construct a Day of the Dead altar honoring my husband, parents, friends and pets who have died.

This year, the displays of bagged Halloween candy, costumes and jack-o-lanterns was the largest I’d ever seen here and luckily, I bought my Halloween candy early, for when I returned ten days before Halloween to buy more bags for friends who are in the states and who wanted me to buy bags for them to contribute to the give-away, the huge Halloween displays in Walmart had vanished, replaced by storewide Christmas decorations!  I took these photos of the trees going up, and the next day at least six big sections were filled with Xmas decorations. Today I went back to buy a curtain rod and found this one little sad abandoned jack-o-lantern hidden away on a box in the Xmas display. What is wrong with us that we can’t even celebrate one October holiday before shoving it aside for Xmas? Pretty soon it will be Easter it is shoving aside. 

Please click on first photo to enlarge all.

On the Wagon (A Vampire’s Lament)

Matt is turning Halloween on us, demanding that we imagine being turned into a vampire for the month of October for the rest of our lives.  I just wrote a vampire poem for another prompt, Matt, but oh well, here I go again!!!

On the Wagon
(A Vampire’s Lament)

I’m facing a whole month of sober
now that it’s almost October.
Passing up my gin and tonic
for a drink more histrionic.

Need I say I merely ask
liquid refreshment from a flask?
All said and done, I much prefer
to drink from glass and not from her.

I find this other way of curbing
my addictive thirst disturbing.
All that blood that sucking draws
is neater when it’s done through straws.

Alas, I find this vampire curse
most distressing. Nothing worse
could be my fate except perhaps
karma so far kept under wraps.

An Easter curse would be the dregs—

to spend all April sucking eggs!

For Matt’s Vampire Prompt.


image from the public domain


The barker at the Carnival was handsome, dark and winning.
One hand signaled passersby, the other hand was spinning
round and round a roulette wheel covered with glassware jars
around them, painted pentagrams of circles around stars.

“Throw a penny in the jar and win your ticket in.
A Mephistophelian experience—a masquerade of sin.
An excruciating onslaught of abominable sights.
Scenes of hair-raising evil and abnormal delights.”

He pitched a hall of horrors with carriages to carry
all the thrill-seekers who might freeze in fear or tarry
too long before each spectacle of blood-curdling fright
set up to fill the need for fear this All Hallows’ night.

One maiden threw her penny and he drew her in with charm,
folding a gentle prodding hand around her virginal arm.
“My adorable mortal darling, please heed well my advice.
The hawks of evil here are set to feed on you like mice.

Get ready for their onslaught—the excruciating shock
of these All Hallows’ creatures who closely watch the clock
as its hands sweep close to midnight and that hour that decrees
that all the creatures of the night may frolic as they please.

A blood-letting bonanza, a nerve-wracking display
will unleash as midnight calls us to the fray.
So climb into my carriage to begin the eerie trip
that will take you through the fun house. I will keep you in my grip.
See these shadowy images careening through my globe?
they say they see your fortune flashing here beneath my robe.

The dagger that I carry seeks a home in thee,
but I have you in my power. I know you will not flee.
You scurry across the meadow with my shadow far above.
I swoop at thee, my pretty, my quarry and my love.

Some passion’s writ in flowers and some passion’s writ in blood.
I feel your life flow out from you and toward me like a flood.
I’ll drink it like the sweetest wine. With it I’ll take thy soul.
To keep it with me always will be my evening’s goal.

Life is a wicked carnival, my dear, now can you see?
When you threw your penny in the jar, the prize you won was me.”

The prompt words were: Mephistophelian, Adorable, Masquerade, Meadow, Advice, Globe, Signal, Bonanza, Excruciating and Onslaught, Nerve-wracking, Eerie, Abominable, Hair-raising, Evil, Abnormal. For extra brownie points, the scene was to be set in a carnival and to qualify as the Monster Mash Halloween Basher, to have as the main character a Vampire or a Phantom.  Phew!!! Hope I can find all the links. 

Prompters were:  A Guy Called Bloke



Costume Party

Matt at Daily Inkling wants to know the most original Halloween costume I ever wore and where I wore it.

Can you guess what I went as?

Judy stealing candy

It’s the day after Halloween, and for some reason, I have re-donned my Halloween costume, which was the unlikely choice of a Cigarette Girl!  Was this my mother’s idea? Mine? Seems a strange choice and I certainly hope the real Cigarette girls of this eras wore longer skirts or more interesting underwear.  At any rate, I can’t remember whether my sister caught me in this pose or staged it.  I think I was going for the caramels in the center of the table. Like spreading seed for birds.

Oh, wait!  Now I can see that those were Halloween cookies in the shape of pumpkins that I was going after.  My sister Patti, 4 years older than me, had a costume party in the basement the night before and I think I was dipping into leftover refreshments. Her costume, a harem girl, was even more inappropriate than mine. Scarf crisscrossed over her budding chest, a lace curtain wound around her hips, bare midriff, veil and dangle over her forehead.  If I were home, I’d show you a photo. 

For trick and treating, she changed into a cowboy.

And I seem to have traded in my cigarettes for a large haul of candy. Perhaps they were candy cigarettes in my tray?

Happy Halloween from Morehouse, Missouri

Thanks to bah humbug Forgottenman for letting me turn the porch light on to lure Trick or Treaters.  I had to be reacquainted with the intricacies of candy distribution after offering the bowl to the first two little boys and having them grab eight candy bars and start to reach for more!  I’m a quick learner and afterwards  handed out the candy!  Here are this year’s crop of Trick or Treaters. I love Halloween.

(Click on any photo to enlarge all.)

Are you curious about that last costume?  The mother told me he didn’t want to come as anything violent, so he requested to come as bacon!  I love it. We had our last visitor at eight and turned out the porch light at 8:30, as all the neighbors had done the same.  But, as you can see below, the candy carnage had just begun!

To see the end of the story, go HERE.