By Richard Jones

Halloween is the perfect night to gather by the light of a lone candle, or to sit by the flickering flame of a log fire and tell each other ghost stories.

Poetry can make an excellent mood setter for your ghostly tales and on this section of the Haunted Britain site we present some really atmospheric Halloween Poems to get your sinister celebrations well and truly underway.

When reciting these poems we suggest that you gather in small groups and turn the lights down low - or even better switch them off altogether!

Then simply gather round a candle (please ensure you take necessary precautions as open flames are, of course, a fire hazard) and begin your Halloween poetry reading in a low voice.

The first of our Halloween poems was written by Richard Jones and for his 2001 book Haunted Britain and Ireland.


In screaming woods and empty rooms
or gloomy vaults and sunken tombs
where monks and nuns in dust decay
and shadows dance at close of day.

Where the bat dips on the wing
and spectral choirs on breezes sing;
Where swords of ancient battles clash
and shimmering shades for freedom dash.

Where silver webs of spiders weave
and blighted lovers take their leave
Where curses lay the spirits low
and mortal footsteps fear to go.

Where death holds life in grim embrace
its lines etched on the sinners face
Where e’er the march of time is flaunted
voices cry - "this place is haunted."

The next Halloween poem is about a ghost trapped in a room in a house. It was written by Richard Jones for his 2004 book Haunted Houses of Britain and Ireland.


I live in a house with no windows
a black curtain hangs on my door
The voices of conscience torment me
I live in a room with no floor.

There’s dirt in the corner I can’t see
there’s water that runs down the wall
There’re mice in the attic above me
and rats playing games in the hall.

I live in a house with no windows
and sleep in a room with no heat
The darkness of life that surrounds me
Keeps out the sounds of the street.

I wake when the shadows have fallen
and walk when the memories cease
When purpose in life has no meaning
and only the wicked find peace.

Each night you sense that I'm by you
you feel my breath as you sleep
It's me you keep thinking you're seeing
as out from the shadows I creep

I live in a room with no windows
I live in a house that’s now yours
It’s my voice you think that you’re hearing
for I died in this room with no doors.

The final poem is not a spooky Halloween Poem as such but was written by Richard Jones on the Hill of Tara in Ireland.

It has recently been put to music by the Australian band Spiral Dance and will appear on their forthcoming album.


I shall tell you tales of heroes
and of Gods who walked as men
On mountains where the wild wind blows
or across the darkling fen.
I shall tell you tales that minstrels told
of vengeful queens and warriors bold
Of Kings who sleep and ne'er grow old
in caves their dreams residing.

I shall tell you tales of outlaws
and of hounds that roam the night
Of hidden realms through secret doors
where saints and giants fight.
I shall tell you tales of long-lost lands
buried now 'neath shifting sands
Where dancing maids have long held hands
in stone their spirits writhing.

I shall tell you of the future
but disguise it as the past
For youth decays and beauty fades
and empires seldom last.
I shall tell you tales of battles fought
of knightly quests that come to naught
Of freedoms dream so bravely sought
and of lives laid down to find it.

So, come gather by the fire
let the moonlight be our stage
The stars shall be our choir
and the darkness be our page.
Bring forth the souls of days gone by
with a thousand tales they'll fill the sky
Till the glowing embers fade and die
and the night's cloak wraps around us.