Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales

This Scholastic book, The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales, published in 1970, includes 80 pages of pure delight for the young and not so young reader. 

It has some of the best poems written about death and ghosts, I have ever read. They all are very creative, plus many of them are scary, which makes it even more fun.

This book is excellent entertainment for the whole family. It is no longer published, so some copies in good condition are going for a high price. I think this is because so many people remember this anthology, with such fondness from their childhood. 

But you can still find paperback copies on Amazon for a reasonable price.

In 1970, when the book was published a companion album, and then later a cassette was also released with the text under the same title. This recording is also really well done. 

I have included these recordings at the bottom of this post. Both the book and record are mostly poems, but it also includes several traditional scary stories, two of which I have shared in other posts--The Velvet Ribbon (sometimes published under the title, The Green Ribbon) and The Cradle That Rocked By Itself.

Here are just three samples of the quality of poetry that is included in this book:

The Haunted House

Not a window was broken
And the paint wasn’t peeling,
Not a porch step sagged--
Yet there was a feeling

That beyond the door
And into the hall
This was a house of
No one at all.

No one breathed
Nor laughed, nor ate
Nor said "I love,"
Nor said, "I hate."

Yet something walked
Along the stair
Something that was
And wasn’t there.

And that is why weeds
On the path grow high,
And even the moon
Races fearfully by--

For something walks
Along the stair--
Something that is
And isn’t there.

By Vic Crume

It isn’t the cough
That carries you off;
It’s the coffin 
They carry you off in.



Agatha Morley 
All her life
Grumbled at dust
Like a good wife.

Dust on the table,
Dust on the chair,
Dust on the mantle
She couldn't bear.

She forgave faults
In man and child
But a dusty shelf
Would set her wild.

She bore with sin
Without protest,
But dust thoughts preyed
Upon her rest.

Agatha Morley
Is sleeping sound
Six feet under
The moldy ground.

Six feet under
The earth she lies
With dust at her feet
And dust in her eyes.

By Sydney King Russell

Here are the recordings of this book:


sfdoomed said...

I remember ordering this from Scholastic Books when I was in 2nd grade or so (late 70's). This brings back a lot of good memories of childhood Halloween. Thanks for posting!

Virginia Lamkin said...


Unknown said...

I was 11 years old when I ordered this book. We had an assignment to recite a poem in front of my 5th grade class. I chose "Agatha Morley." I can still recite it by heart. Brings back allot memories.

Unknown said...

This is a most beautiful poem. I ge goosebumps everytime I read it.

Unknown said...

4th grade got to order this book and it arrived just before Halloween 1970. Best Halloween EVER! The book also came with a record which I still have. I can still recite it all!

retalangheim218@gmail.com said...

I was in 5th grade. Read the reader then got the record. I played it so much that my mom even remembered the stories and poems. To this day, I remember almost the whole record. Love it still.

Anonymous said...

Yes you all are right this was good reading and fun compared to kids now .Do they even sell these books anymore.Children are really missing out.