31 October Poetry Prompts

Spooky season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with some scary-good poetry prompts? With 31 prompts to choose from, you can make sure this October is full of daily frights and new poems. 


  1. The fearful elements of a scary story aren’t always obvious at first. Write an unexpectedly scary poem.

  2. Write about a heart being haunted by the ghosts of its past.

  3. Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “H-A-U-N-T.”

  4. Use the words “fear,” “dark,” and “scare” in a poem.

  5. Write a poem about a specific Halloween night with as much detail as you can. Entice readers and lure them in with a spooky storyline.

  6. Choose a common fear (e.g. the dark, spiders, narrow spaces) and write a poem about it.

  7. Think about some of your own fears, and reflect on one of them through poetry.

  8. Write a poem from the perspective of a Halloween villain: e.g. Mister Babadook, The Wicked Witch of the West, The Sanderson Sisters.

  9. Think about a cool, October morning and describe the scene to your readers.

  10. Let a classic spooky poem inspire a piece of your own. (Think of poems such as Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Haunted Houses)

  11. Create an October themed poem using iambic pentameter.

  12. Write a poem that doubles as a ghost story or cautionary tale.

  13. Not all stories—especially spooky ones—have a neat and tidy end. Create a poem with a cliffhanger ending.

  14. Think of common Halloween images: black cats, spiders, witches, etc. Incorporate one or more of them into a poem.

  15. Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “O-C-T-O-B-E-R.”

  16. Think back on your experiences with Halloween as a kid. Write a nostalgic poem about it.

  17. Choose a spooky location as the setting of a poem, such as a graveyard, haunted house, or foggy forest.

  18. Describe your heart as if it were a Jack-O-Lantern. What would it look like? What experiences have carved it into its current state?

  19. Write a poem using as many words as you can that rhyme with “night.”

  20. Create a poem using flickering candles as inspiration. You can mention them directly or use them as a starting point for brainstorming a piece.

  21. Write a love story that started on a Halloween night.

  22. Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “S-P-O-O-K-Y.”

  23. Use the words “shiver,” “caution,” and “darkness” in a poem.

  24. Listen to a classic Halloween song as inspiration and write a poem immediately after. (Who doesn’t love an opportunity to listen to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”?)

  25. Write a poem including Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster. Consider taking elements of each character and modernize them.

  26. Write a Halloween haiku.

  27. Write a poem that incorporates Halloween themes with each of your senses. (e.g. you hear the wind rustling through the forest trees; you see the fog ominously floating past the slumbering stones in the cemetery)

  28. What do you love about October? Write a poem about it.

  29. Write a star-crossed love poem between two Halloween creatures—for instance, a vampire and a zombie.

  30. Explore the idea of “trick or treat” in a poem.

  31. Describe the month of October as though you’re creating a travel brochure. What elements of this month would you be sure to include? What elements would you use to attract attention? 


I hope these prompts provide you with a little spooky motivation to make the most of all that October has to offer.