October 29, 2009

A Halloween Tale

This is a spooky little story poem I wrote in honor of Halloween. I hope you enjoy it!

I wandered lost upon some road,
A weary traveler far from home.
To come upon at daylights end,
A welcome sight to tired eyes.
A country inn, with windows bright.

“A fine place here to spend the night.”

I entered through the rough oak door,
But no one seemed to be about.
Just fire well laid, and on a plank
Fresh bread and cheese, with wine uncorked.
A note left in a spidery hand,

“Will return soon, please help yourself.”

“How strange?” I thought, but knowing not
The customs of this foreign place,
Sat down to rest, and to partake,
Near starved by my long trek abroad.
Yet, such quiet seemed an eerie thing.

"So odd to be here all alone."

No other travelers rested here,
But I soon was lost within my glass,
And nodded off with no more thought.
Then suddenly waking, oh so cold!
Rising up, I gazed about.

"What! Who's there? Be known to me!"

The fire out, the lantern dimmed,
And something not as it had been.
The table that had once been laid
With fine libations now lay bare,
And covered with a thin fine dust.

“I must be deep within my cups!”

Stumbling through the unlit rooms,
I found a bed to rest upon.
To lay my head, and gather thoughts,
And wait for morning’s saner light.
I barely closed my eyes when - there,

“That sound must mean the keeper’s back.”

The smallest footsteps, lightest rap,
A rustling movement overhead.
Slight scrabbling of small fingernails,
And then, much quieter came this plea,
A sigh so soft as whispering,

“Oh, please sir, won’t you let me in…”

My eyes flew open, and trembling,
Felt icy waves upon my back.
“Who’s there!” I begged, but no reply.
My heart beat wildly, then again,
That voice that brought on shivering.

“Come closer now and let me in…"

The rusted latch upon the door
Began to rattle, the wood to creak.
The curtain, caught by some faint wind,
Blew gossamer drifts in pale moonbeams.
And then much louder than before,

“You truly should have let me in!”

I felt quite faint, and stuck as stone,
Then patting pockets in wild array,
I scrambled for a match, to light
My mind, to reason on this night,
And bring some sense to what I felt.

“Where was this voice arising from?”

Finding but a candle stub,
A life vest to a drowning man,
I lit the wick and staring thus,
The bed that I had slept upon.
This room much different than before.

"This could only be a waking dream..."

In such disuse for many a year,
Cobwebs littered every spot.
With broken panes that now allowed
Dry brittle leaves upon the floor,
And droppings from some furry thing.

"This can't be true, I've gone insane!"

Shaking off my disbelief,
I knew I need make my escape
From something that was far from good.
An evil presence beguiling me, and
darkest happenings on this night.

“I must reach safety or surely die!”

I rushed headlong to reach the door,
Where once the latch had rattled so,
To find it gone, and in it’s stead
Rough nails to lock the door in place,
And every window boarded up!

"Lord, save me from this demon's grasp!"

I now reside within these walls.
No visitor here, but left to stay.
The “keeper” of sorts of some sad thing.
So, should you stumble by at night
Be sure to listen for my cry,

“Won’t someone please to LET ME OUT!”


  1. Hi Cynthia,

    Blogger says you posted this five days ago which will put it a long way down on people's readers. Remember to alter the date and time before publishing a draft.

    This is creepy. I'm glad I wasn't travelling with you!

  2. Cynthia ,this is marvellous.Ballad poems are certainly your forte.Jaw droppingly good.Very
    Edgar Allan Poe.Congratulations!

  3. Cynthia Allan Poe! I hope this one is going in a collection of haunted tales at the local Barnes and Noble! I was very impressed.

  4. Happy Halloween, Cynthia! Great combination of Rip van Winkle and The Cask of Amontillado and a little Tales from the Crypt. Very seasonal and great fun!

  5. Your homespun iambic tetrameter, old-fashioned diction, and slant rhyme deliver a new poem which sounds like it's been a classic folktale for centuries. The gradually greater-then-greater tension, and the louder-then-louder quotes "let me in/LET ME OUT" reminds me of that spooky campfire story for children. Happy Halloween!

  6. Neat story-as-a-poem, poem-as-a-story. It has the feel of both a ghost story and a fairy tale. I like the twist at the end, but also how the "I" in the poem doesn't quite "deserve" his fate, how it comes more as misunderstanding than punished transgression.

  7. Like David, I also liked the twist at the end and the way the narrator doesn't deserve the fate that befalls them. You put the "POE" back in POEM! Very well constructed Cynthia. I enjoyed the panicked cries in italics. They add tension and foreboding. Thanks for adding to the spirit of the season!

  8. Cynthia I like your yarn spinning poem that has the reader hanging on its coat-tails.

  9. I have walked the vailed path,
    Across brittle leaves musty molded,
    I have felt the darkness grasp,
    My soul in demons hands t'was folded.
    Gosh, your poem stirs visions, high school Halloween dares to visit the cemetary and lay down on a grave or walk alone at midnight down crowded forest path. Ehhhh, goosebumps. I think I'm going to read this to my grandkids tomorrow night. Loved it.

  10. Oh, this is a fun one. Good job, girl.
    Love the "YOU TRULY SHOULD HAVE LET ME IN!" My what-if side wants to know...

  11. cynthia a very festive piece that was much enjoyed. this story moves along swiftly and coherently, especially enjoy the self-thought interjections in between stanzas. your narrator's voice is strong, and that picture adds a wonderful depth and dimension to the piece on the whole. enjoyed the read and cheers to fright. -lawrence

  12. Hi Cynthia, I love the energy and pace of this! Great Halloween piece.

  13. I love this. It reads great out loud. The meter is awesome; it just propels me along through the story.