I have a penchant for dark fantasy, and dark poems fill me with glee. What better month than October to shine the spotlight on these treasures? In honor of the cool fall weather and long dark nights, I offer these spooky poems.

Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

This poem lives in infamy with my family. My mother used to read it over and over to my brother. She thought he loved the poem. In reality, it terrified him!

The Bridegroom by Alexander Pushkin

I discovered this Russian poem when Tech studied world literature. Even though written about 200 years ago, it depicts a strong woman seeking justice–for murder.

The Wife of Usher’s Well by Anonymous

This wife’s response to the loss of her sons in this poem fascinated me so much that I wrote a short story adapted from the tale.

by Joan Walsh Anglund

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

While technically a tragic romance, this poem qualifies as spooky based on the setting, repetition of words, and imagery with the color red. It’s driving rhythm sends readers’ hearts beating with adrenaline.

The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allan Poe

No spooky collection is complete without the master of the supernatural. From the beautiful heights to the ghostly depths, Poe describes the somber ruin of a kingdom.

I hope these spooky poems put a chill in your October nights.