Scary Poetry Prompts

poetry prompts

Poetry prompts that might scare you.

Poetry prompts are great for those times when you have the creative itch but just can’t seem to reach around to scratch it. Hey, we can’t be inspired every single day.

Writing exercises like poetry prompts challenge us while stirring our creativity.

And these ones are just in time for Halloween.

All Hallow’s Eve

Halloween comes from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the time of year when people slaughtered livestock for the coming cold months.

Because it marked a new cycle, this festival was viewed as a kind of new year celebration. It was also the time of year when the fog between our world and the world of the deceased evaporated, which meant the dead could move about in our world and wreak havoc.




During this festival, people wore costumes. They might have been disguising themselves in order to hide from evil spirits. Maybe they were trying to pacify the dearly departed.

Poetry Prompts

These poetry prompts honor the tradition that is Halloween. Love it or hate it, it’s right around the corner and before you know it, those little witches and goblins will be gobbling up all your candy (or else you’ll be warding off tricks and pranks).

The rules are simple and you can change them as you see fit. Choose one of the word groups below and write a poem that contains all the words and phrases on the list. Or, scramble the lists to come up with new ones of your own.

Feeling really creative? Write a single poem containing all the words from all the lists below. Good luck.

Sheer Horror Ghostly Ghouls Kids and Candy
  • scythe
  • mask
  • bloody corpse
  • footsteps
  • screaming
  • deadly
  • chase
  • haunted
  • visions
  • hiding
  • knock-knock
  • dragging
  • lifeless
  • creep
  • frills
  • trickery
  • little beggars
  • dentists
  • sugar
  • costumed
  • clever

Have fun with these poetry prompts, and feel free to share your poems in the comments, or if you publish them online, drop a link.

And keep writing!

Got any poetry prompts or writing exercises to share? Leave a comment!

Creative Writing Prompts

Poetry Prompts for Fall

poetry prompts

Poetry prompts celebrating the fall season.

It seems like summer always passes too quickly and winter lasts too long. Maybe that’s why fall is my favorite season. It seems to hang around just long enough. It’s not too hot, not too cold. A mild, colorful, and comfortable season.

Every fall, my creativity goes into overdrive, and I doubt this year will be any different. I’m not sure what it is about all the rusty and golden hues that fills me with inspiration, but I’m always grateful when the leaves start to turn because I know that my imagination is about get fired up.




It’s the perfect time of year to write a little poetry. The seasons have been inspiring poets for millennia, and it’s up to us modern-day writers to keep the tradition alive. The poetry prompts below are a great way to get started.

Poetry Prompts

Poetry prompts are simple. Below, you’ll find three lists of words. Your task is to compose a poem using all of the words from one of the lists. You can also get creative any use any of the following alternatives:

  • Mix and match random words from the three lists. Try to use 5-10 words to prompt your poem.
  • Write three poems, each based on one of the lists.
  • Write a single poem using all of the words from all of the lists.

Once you’re done writing your poem, set it aside and let it sit overnight. Come back to it the next day and spend some time polishing it. You can add words, remove words, put it into form (or take it out of form). Focus especially on deleting extraneous words and phrases. Try to keep the poem as tight and concise as possible. Also, make an effort to infuse the poem with vivid imagery, which is the key to writing great poetry.

List One List Two List Three
  • September
  • Equinox
  • Rake
  • Golden
  • School
  • Apples
  • Jacket
  • Harvest
  • October
  • Halloween
  • Rust
  • Scarves
  • Moon
  • Witches
  • Feast
  • Fire
  • November
  • Holiday
  • Stormy
  • Mittens
  • Squash

Can you think of any fall-related words to add to these lists? Share your suggestions in the comments.

Discover and Share

Once you’ve finished using these prompts to write a poem (or several poems), come back and tell us what you discovered or learned through the process. Did you write a poem about autumn or did some other topic emerge? Did you come up with any compelling images for your piece? How did revising your poem improve it? Leave a comment to share your experience. And keep writing!

Creative Writing Prompts