Poetics: Outside looking in… Haunted Houses


For this Poetics Prompt I want us to be voyeurs, peeping through windows and doors of a house One that has no family connections, no memories of our own to call upon .

See the source image


Every town should have a haunted house,
It’s a requirement of Nature.
A kid’s rite of passage.

There must be porches and sunken cellarways,
Tattered curtains that filter shadows,
And always an attic.

Daring boys, in front of girls, ensures them company.
Tiptoes after dark with widened eyes,
As cobwebs ensnare the brave.

The ‘nothing’ inside holds a static charge,
Lonely walls, crowd any investigator,
And the wind does the rest.

A final dash and leap for your life
Licenses the survivors to conjure
Any tale they want- rumored ripples.

No police report of missing children needed.
Yet, year after year, they’ll grow in numbers
Until, the property is razed.

Every town should have a haunted house.
It’s a requirement of Nature.
And, all kids’ rite of passage.


https://dversepoets.com/2021/08/10/poetics-outside-looking-in/

32 thoughts on “Poetics: Outside looking in… Haunted Houses

  1. Love the feeling and vibe this brings–something chilling in memory but even more tragic in its story with the disappearance of children. It makes you wonder what went on in that house and what was inside it to make this happen in the first place. So many questions. I like how you draw us in with the fun idea of a haunted house at the beginning:

    “Every town should have a haunted house,
    It’s a requirement of Nature.
    A kid’s rite of passage.”

    And then, as you gradually reveal the inside of it, we see the horrors that lie beyond the rumors, that words alone leave to the imagination to think of what might have happened. Magnificent and haunting (sorry, had to, hahaha) writing! I enjoy reading your work. πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks! I’m glad it was ‘haunting ‘ for you. I left a loophole on the ‘missing children’ by saying no police report was filed. Now, did they disappear? Or was that local legend that grew from rumors? 😳 We won’t ever really know.

  2. I really like your poem Susan. It sounds to me like you have been in a few haunted houses. Your images are great. Tattered curtains that filter shadows,
    and… cobwebs ensnare the brave.

  3. so very well conjured – the allure of the haunted house perfectly encapsulated in “The β€˜nothing’ inside holds a static charge,” but I especially loved
    “As cobwebs ensnare the brave”

  4. We had one, down beyond the end of Hazard Ave (I kid you not). You describe it perfectly. Though no one ever vanished, they rarely revisited either.

  5. We had an ancient house in my hometown, I cannot think of one kid who ventured inside. We all β€œknew” it must be haunted! I enjoyed your haunted house mandate ~~ yes I did.

  6. sanaarizvi

    This is absolutely stellar writing πŸ˜€ I enjoyed the glimpse into a haunted house especially; “Daring boys, in front of girls, ensures them company. Tiptoes after dark with widened eyes, As cobwebs ensnare the brave.” πŸ’πŸ’

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