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.
- The fearful elements of a scary story aren’t always obvious at first. Write an unexpectedly scary poem.
- Write about a heart being haunted by the ghosts of its past.
- Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “H-A-U-N-T.”
- Use the words “fear,” “dark,” and “scare” in a poem.
- 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.
- Choose a common fear (e.g. the dark, spiders, narrow spaces) and write a poem about it.
- Think about some of your own fears, and reflect on one of them through poetry.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a Halloween villain: e.g. Mister Babadook, The Wicked Witch of the West, The Sanderson Sisters.
- Think about a cool, October morning and describe the scene to your readers.
- 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)
- Create an October themed poem using iambic pentameter.
- Write a poem that doubles as a ghost story or cautionary tale.
- Not all stories—especially spooky ones—have a neat and tidy end. Create a poem with a cliffhanger ending.
- Think of common Halloween images: black cats, spiders, witches, etc. Incorporate one or more of them into a poem.
- Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “O-C-T-O-B-E-R.”
- Think back on your experiences with Halloween as a kid. Write a nostalgic poem about it.
- Choose a spooky location as the setting of a poem, such as a graveyard, haunted house, or foggy forest.
- 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?
- Write a poem using as many words as you can that rhyme with “night.”
- Create a poem using flickering candles as inspiration. You can mention them directly or use them as a starting point for brainstorming a piece.
- Write a love story that started on a Halloween night.
- Write an acrostic poem spelling out the word “S-P-O-O-K-Y.”
- Use the words “shiver,” “caution,” and “darkness” in a poem.
- 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”?)
- Write a poem including Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster. Consider taking elements of each character and modernize them.
- Write a Halloween haiku.
- 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)
- What do you love about October? Write a poem about it.
- Write a star-crossed love poem between two Halloween creatures—for instance, a vampire and a zombie.
- Explore the idea of “trick or treat” in a poem.
- 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.