Archive for ‘Horror’

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Widow’s Halloween by Wyatt Prunty

The pumpkin’s hollow head returns her gaze;
His yellow eyes are dancing in the flame.
And she, she has him on her window sill
Within a draft that flickers on his brain.

His jagged smile and diamond eyes
Are mirrored in the darkened panes.
Set to be seen, not see, to blaze before the wind
Or wither on the wick and snap black out.

Grinning backwards into the room.
On either side and looking in.
His gaze, she feels, was sharply cut
To burn beneath her dresses’ hems

Or follow her when reaching for the broom;
She wears the latest fashions as her age
But feels the flicker of his gaze
And will not pass near him.


Date: 1976

By: Wyatt Prunty (1947- )

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Widow by Martha Keller Rowland

Never give their clothes away
If you want the dead to haunt you
Dusk or dark or dawn or day,
Bar no ghost from glass, they say,
If you want the dead to want you.

Leave them there by the birchwood bed,
Coat and breeches and shirt and shoes.
Fit the living or fit the dead,
Hang them up on the hooks, I said—
The hooks he used to use.

Set the table with fork and knife.
Plump the pillow and coverlid.
Where would a man who loved his wife
Lie except where he lay in life—
Same as he always did?

Leave the mirror upon the nail.
Yes, I know that the first one who
Looks in it will perceive the pale
Dead therein—and his heart will fail.
Do what I tell you to.

Set the mirror the way it was.
Let the crepe that has hid it fall.
What thing better could come to pass
Than to find my dead in the looking-glass
Hanging upon the wall?

From: Harper’s Magazine, Volume 181, 1940, Harper & Brothers, Publishers: New York and London, p. 171.

Date: 1940

By: Martha Keller Rowland (1902-1971)

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Ordinary Women by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Ordinary women are
they are the epitome,
the definition,
the classification
of the underestimated
and that is what makes them

because no one expects an
ordinary woman to
stab her boyfriend in
the throat, to castrate him
with gardening shearers,
or set the house on fire he sleeps.

Ordinary women
are a hazard, a loose cannon
of psychopathy waiting
for the precise moment
to go off, because ordinary
is camouflage and that’s
what makes them a


Date: 2015

By: Stephanie M. Wytovich (19??- )

Monday, 31 October 2016

Even a Man Who is Pure in Heart by Curt Siodmak

Even a man who is pure in heart,
And says his prayers by night
May become a Wolf when the Wolfbane blooms
And the autumn Moon is bright.


Date: 1941

By: Curt Siodmak (1902-2000)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Wolf by Carina Bissett

I’ll never forget the first moment I saw you
flying across field and fallow
in a wild ride to grandmother’s house—
scarlet cape streaming out behind you,
white hands urging that black steed
to madness, to death, to certain ruin.

Like one of the furies you appeared,
a creature not of this tame green place
but of my land,
where the lamia creep in crags and caves
and the bogey haunt misty borderlands.
A country where ghouls devour the sun
and the whirlwind stirs the fog on a whim.

I watched and waited.
And when I realized nothing pursued you,
not a demon’s furious hunt or a spurned lover.
I smiled
and followed quietly on the forest fringe.

And now as the darkness approaches,
my appetite whetted by the rising moon,
ravenous thoughts consuming me,
forcing me to madness at the lush pain of it all
I raise my voice to the stars
and surrender.

I can’t stand the fierce seduction a moment more—
that thick, dark pelt of sable hair and scarlet hood
hiding the heat of your throbbing pulse
from my ears, eyes and mouth.
I can’t bear the torment, the bliss,
the fear of your savage secrets.

I love you so.
I’ll gobble you up.


Date: 2015

By: Carina Bissett (19??- )

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Skeleton’s Defense of Carnality by Jack Foley

Truly I have lost weight, I have
lost weight,
grown lean in love’s defense,
in love’s defense grown grave.
It was concupiscence
that brought me to the state:
all bone and a bit of skin
to keep the bone within.

Flesh is no heavy burden
for one possessed of little
and accustomed to its loss.
I lean to love, which leaves me lean
till lean turn into lack.

A wanton bone, I sing my song
and travel where the bone is blown
and extricate true love from lust
as any man of wisdom must.

Then wherefore should I rage
against this pilgrimage
from gravel unto gravel?
Circuitous I travel
from love to lack
and lack to lack,
from lean to lack
and back.


Date: 2003

By: Jack Foley (1940- )

Monday, 18 July 2016

Allayne by Kevin Nicholas Roberts

The dawn of day is drawing near—
Would that explain
Why I should wake and find you here,
My lost Allayne?

I see you wear the look of saints,
The face you feign,
To hide the hungry beast that waits
To strike, Allayne.

But parted lips betray the thirst
You can’t restrain,
And kissing them would make them burst
And bleed, Allayne.

So relish now the single kiss
Real love has lain,
And when you die, remember this
In hell, Allayne:

To love you was my single sin—
Could I abstain?
Fair flesh has felled far better men
Than I, Allayne.

Your perfect mouth was made to please
And bring me pain
With brazen teeth that taunt and tease
My soul, Allayne.

That I should chasten you by the rod
The gods ordain.
What breed of fierce infernal god
Forged you, Allayne?

What sort of strange sadistic spawn,
What brand of bane,
Made you a dark delicious pawn
Of death, Allayne?

When you were born, the devil swore
He would obtain
Your body and the soul it bore
With shame, Allayne.

Your Lord’s perversely pulsing heart
Was torn in twain
That he might place the blackest part
In you, Allayne.

But when he tore you from the womb
Did you complain,
Or did you like his torrid tomb
Much more, Allayne?

He filled you with each kind of curse
You could contain,
And left you with a lust far worse
Than his, Allayne.

Henceforth you were his cherished prize
And chatelaine;
You rule the world of grim demise
With glee, Allayne.

You hold his horde of fiends in thrall,
A queen you reign,
And walk in shadows where they fall,
By night, Allayne.

And though you hate me for it, yet
I still maintain,
I love you, though you would forget
I lived, Allayne.

A sweet and subtly scented sea,
Your splendid mane
Excites my soul, enticing me
To drown, Allayne.

Your shameless cryptic shoulder’s curve
Is half profane;
It shifts with fire in every nerve
That burns, Allayne.

But of your charms that mesmerise
And seek to chain,
Your brilliant black voracious eyes
Are best, Allayne.

They seethe with all the eager slaves
Your love has slain;
You sent them gladly to their graves
Alone, Allayne.

The pressure of your piercing teeth
Would prick the vein
And draw the flood that flows beneath
The flesh, Allayne.

The fragments of their fleeting lives
Would rush and rain
To feed the fiendish life that thrives
In you, Allayne.

You flourish by the fevered lips
And life you drain;
With lusty sighs and hungry sips
You drink, Allayne.

You seem a vile, envenomed thing
And less than sane;
Your kiss so like a serpent’s sting
Can kill, Allayne.

The poison in that brutal kiss
Now wracks my brain
And sends my blood to mortal bliss
In you, Allayne.

Against your scarlet silken dress
The nipples strain
And raise to meet the hard caress
You crave, Allayne.

But you could never stoop to love,
Nor would you deign
To hold a mortal man above
Yourself, Allayne.

Your only longing is for death
And things arcane;
Your breathing is the tainted breath
Of tombs, Allayne.

Destroying me will be the cost,
And what you gain
Is freedom from the soul you lost
Long since, Allayne.

But when I’m gone will you forget,
Or entertain,
The passions you could not permit
To grow, Allayne?

I’ve one last wish, but would my wishing
Be in vain?
Just once, I’d hear the hateful thing
You hide, Allayne.

So now I ask you to confess,
By love of Cain,
The joy it gives you to possess
My gift, Allayne.

I leave you something that will stay,
A fatal stain,
That you could never wash away
With blood, Allayne.

The touch of my deferring hand
You will retain,
A touch you may well understand
In time, Allayne.

Until the end of all your days
It will remain,
And then the fiend you dared to praise
Will fall, Allayne.

Angelic armies will descend
And him arraign;
They’ll bring about his brutal end
On earth, Allayne.

The remnant of his writhing form
Will wax and wane
And perish in a reeking storm
Of dust, Allayne.

You’ll stand alone to face the fall
Of his domain
And watch the ruin of every wall
He built, Allayne.

And then, my love, we both will see
If you disdain
The only soul that would not flee
Your touch, Allayne.

I sink into the strangest sleep,
Whilst you sustain;
As dark as death and twice as deep
I doze, Allayne.

With death die all my mortal fears
I shan’t regain,
And I can wait a swarm of years
For you, Allayne.

You think you’ve seen the last of me,
You slavish swain,
But mine will be the face you see
In dreams, Allayne.

I swear it now, my wicked thing,
We’ll meet again.
Then will you wear the devil’s ring…
Or mine, Allayne?


Date: 2000

By: Kevin Nicholas Roberts (1969-2008)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Lorelei Reformed by Agnes Louise Wathall Tatera

Don’t set your will to cross the stream, my love,
when I stand opposite and waiting.
The thinning, thicking mists swirl from my eyes.
My lips are traitor to my words, and baiting.

Our hands seem close enough to touch, my love,
but waves ride treacherous in the narrows
and if you trick a path from rock to rock
you’ll find them mossy stepping-stones to sorrows.

So kiss me only with your eyes, my love–
then turn your back on love’s confusion.
I take no dark delight in drownings, love:
my song is powerless, and my spell illusion.


Date: 1985

By: Agnes Louise Wathall Tatera (1907-2004)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Excerpt from “The Vampire Bride” by Henry Thomas Liddell

Five yards under ground a coffin they found,
Of strange unwonted shape;
And the cold wet clay was red where it lay,
And the coffin-lid did gape!

They lifted the lid, and the shroud they undid,
But what they saw underneath—
The horrible sight that congeal’d them quite—
I almost fear to breathe.

Beneath a shroud, stain’d and spotted with blood,
A female naked lay!
On her clenched hand shone a sapphire stone,
In her corpse there was no decay!

Her eyes did stare with a demon glare,
A girdle bound her waist;
And words unknown on the charmed zone
Mysteriously were traced.

Her veins accurs’d seem’d ready to burst,
She was gorged with infernal food;
And the vampire mouth foam d with crimson froth;
Her very pores oozed blood.

The lab’rers shrunk—and, fainting, sunk
Back from the hideous sight;
And the priests fled the church, and rush’d out at the porch,—
They almost went mad with affright.

But the Virgin Bride in her maiden pride,
In her love and virtue brave,
A crucifix press’d to her noble breast,
And sprung into the grave.

“That which was given in the sight of Heaven,
I bid thee, Fiend, restore;
That ring I claim in His awful name,
Whom the Powers of Hell adore:

“By His holy sign, I bid thee resign,
Demon, thy right for ever;—
Whom God doth join at His sacred shrine,
Presume not thou to sever.”

The Vampire shook at the words she spoke,
In an instant the palm open’d wide;
From its finger she drew the sapphire blue,
As drops from the icicle glide.

When the zone they unlaced from around its waist,
Its bright eyes with fury gleam’d;
When they thrust a dart through its swollen heart,
It convulsively shiver’d and screamed;

And the red blood thereout did gush and did spout,
Till it sprinkled the chancel roof;
So vehement it sprung, that no fountain e’er flung
With like force its waters aloof.

But the carcass foul of the carrion Goule
Grew flaccid, and meagre, and thin—
As a huge bladder blown, when the air is gone
Shrivels up into wrinkled skin.

They lifted the bier from its sepulchre,
Holy water they sprinkled around,
And lo! where it lay on the blood-stain’d clay,
A passage went under ground.

It led to the tombs and the long catacombs
Beneath the churchyard wall;
Where the Goules and Sprites keep on Sabbath nights
Their unholy Carnival.

And spiders unclean, and huge earth-grubs, were seen
Beneath the coffin to twine;
But the spider and worm own’d the pow’r of the charm,
For never a one crawl’d within.

From the loathing shrine of Saint Peter divine
They cast the Vampire forth,
But none could declare how it ever came there,
In consecrated earth.

From: Liddell, Henry, The Wizard of the North; The Vampire Bride; and Other Poems, 1833, William Blackwood: Edinburgh and T. Cadell: London, pp. 49-53.

Date: 1833

By: Henry Thomas Liddell (1797-1878)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Goblin Tower by Frank Belknap Long

The Goblin Tower stood and stood
And stood for years and years:
And it was haunted splendidly
By twenty thousand Fears.
The Fears were tall and very old,
With scars upon their faces;
And there were Greek and Hindoo Fears,
And Fears of Saxon races.
The Tower’s window looked upon
A moat of thunderous green;
And red lights shone behind the panes
Where gallant ghosts had been.
The ghosts were shyer than the rats
That lived in Roland´s hall;
And they reposed upon the chairs
Or walked upon the wall.
Until the Fears took up the lance
And chased them screaming hence;
And now they wander in the moat
Or climb the castle fence.
I dreamed the Goblin Castle fell
And vanished in the night:
And yet for years and years and years
It was a gorgeous sight.


Date: 1935

By: Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994)