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

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.


5 Responses to “Scary Poetry Prompts”

  1. Greg Cameron says:

    (I’m using the words in the ‘sheer horror’ prompt as the basis for an improvised poem. Enjoy, if you can….)

    The Scythe

    you happen upon a chance discovery
    freeze, look this way and that
    one foot in the air
    like a deer
    you have no use for screaming
    the world is such a deadly place
    but, oh, what a splendid surprise!
    you bolt outside
    gather fresh flowers
    lay them by my bloody corpse
    – someone did the job for you! –
    and you rejoice
    lick the blood from my corpse
    pinch my nose
    say ,”Death becomes you, my precious.”
    throw your arms up
    Reality is Good
    God is Good
    Chance is Good
    whoever was so good
    as to kill me
    – what a thoughtful person –
    took no care to cover the crime
    you remedy the matter
    concealing the entrance
    so that no one may
    I might remain
    forever a secret
    and you might return once in awhile
    to dance
    forgetting in your frenzy
    the scythe cuts
    for us all….

    (Greg Cameron, Poem, Surrey, B.C., Canada, December, 2010)

  2. MaisyB says:

    I wrote a poem using the sheer horror prompts. If I write one using the others I’ll let you know. Take a look here


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  1. […] poem came from this website, which I do realise is a bit late. Anyway, this is just a short horror poem. I hope you like […]