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Salem's Lot, a Poem for Halloween

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.


Salem's Lot

She comes from "out the night,"

That time of deepest fright

And eerie nightmares.

Her search was for someone,

And not to be unsung

Until her plan was done,

And she had no cares.

When Halloween was here

She filled their hearts with fear,

And hid in shadows.

There, by the full moon's light,

When fearful most take flight

From awful things that bite,

On this All Hallows Night.


"She's here! I warn you all.

Prepare that she may call

And you will regret.

You think she has forgot

The sins you'd rather not,

That you have beset?"

"At last you stress, I know.

Well, now you'll have a show'

If looks can frighten.

Beware the hollow tree

Where hung young Nell McPhee.

A witch they said, was she,

When the clock strikes ten."


"Just now you're running scared,

But even if she cared

Her ire will not cease.

And hiding in the dark

She soon will make her mark,

So heed the sound of larks

In the hanging tree."

So when she makes her move

I'm sure you'll wish you'd moved.

She'll have nothing to prove.

You should have studied!

For now, I'll take my leave,

Yours truly, Harold S Cleave.

But please don't be deceived,

This could get bloody."


In next week's Daily Pride

I saw a friend had died.

It was upsetting.

I read, "The town of Strife

Has lost another life

On this All Hallows Night."

Revenge unrelenting.

But, though I warned the town

They should have known by now.

Their ignorance astounds,

They will soon forget.

For although another bled,

In their complacent heads

Foolishness abounds.


Each year someone has died

And mourners always cry.

They just can't fathom why!

These executions,

They just don't seem to stop

On this one cursed spot,

Once called "Salem's Lot."

it's retribution!

Off the Shelf

I included this poem in my Off the Shelf series, even though I don't currently possess a hard copy of Salem's Lot by the master of horror, Stephen King. I used to have a copy years ago, but now I only have the eBook.

Stephen King wrote the novel Salem's Lot in 1975, and it was only his second published novel. In two separate interviews King said that, of all his books, Salem's Lot was his favourite.

The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, where he had lived as a child, only to discover that the residents are turning into vampires. Wikipedia

© 2018 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 18, 2019:

Um, sorry about that Denise. I hope you don’t have nightmares from reading it, but thanks for reading and commenting. Blessings.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 18, 2019:

Okay, you know it's a good poem when a shiver runs up your spine. I hope I don't have nightmares tonight. And I don't live anywhere near Salem.



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 13, 2018:

Hey Lora, thank you so much for reading. My hope was that I captured the “chill factor” in the poem, so to speak. So, I am glad I achieved that. Writing a scary poem or story is my little way of celebrating Halloween which is not really done in this country (although just starting to gain some popularity.)

Lora Hollings on October 13, 2018:

Wonderful poem for Halloween, Jodah that even Stephen King would approve of as a poetic translation of his horror classic. If I was in Salem’s Lot right now especially on Halloween, I certainly would be full of fear as this poem’s message makes it very clear! Skillfully written, with a lot of style and wit, with imagery and phrases that conjure up a place... that no one would want to get anywhere near! A very enjoyable read but I have to save that while I read it, it certainly gave me a few shivers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2018:

Wow! Kshipra, I am blown away by your wonderful comment. Thank you so much for reading this poem and I am glad you enjoyed it. I would love to read the poem you mention that you recited long ago that the first few lines reminded you of. Much appreciated.

Kshipra Pal on October 06, 2018:

Hi John...

When I started off with the first few lines of your beautiful poem, I was suddenly reminded of a poem that I recited long back and my favourite lines in that - "she walks in beauty like the night, of cloudless climes and starry skies..." As I carried on with rest of the poem, I realized that this one is more powerful, unique and different... You are a phenomenal phenomenal poet and really very inspiring with a unique blend of the classical and the modern. Looking forward to reading more of your masterpieces... Thank you for this!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Thank you, Patrick. Your comment is much appreciated.

Patrick from Nairobi on October 05, 2018:

We don't celebrate Halloween in my country (Kenya) but this poem gives a sense of what I imagine it to be (SPOOKY) :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 03, 2018:

Thanks for reading this Mel. Yes, I admit to being a little early but as you said the grocery stores beat me by a couple of weeks. It sounds like you have read Stephen King in order of publication of his books. Yes, I also agree that Salem's Lot is one of his best.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on October 03, 2018:

Creepy poem to get us in the mood for the upcoming fall festivities. The Halloween candy on grocery shelves probably predated your poem by two or three weeks, however.

Salem's lot was the second Stephen King I read and still probably my favorite.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 02, 2018:

Venus, Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your kind comment. It's much appreciated.

Venus Mary from Panamá on October 02, 2018:

Hi John. A very interesting horror poem, I loved reading it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 01, 2018:

Hi Mark, I am glad this poem had the scare factor. Hope you enjoy Halloween anyway.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on October 01, 2018:

I’m definitely staying home for Halloween and locking my doors. Thanks, John for the terrific treat.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 01, 2018:

Shauna, Halloween is slowly becoming popular here because of US tv shows and movies mainly. Now many stores have started selling costumes and accessories associated with it and my grandkids have even been going trick or treating the last couple of years. Though it is still the minority rather than the majority who celebrate it, we still love to read about it, and as a writer it gives me a chance to write some darker scarier stuff. Thanks for reading this.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 01, 2018:

You're certainly getting into the spirit of Halloween, John! Is it celebrated in Australia?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2018:

Yes, Rajan, only a month away. Halloween is not a big event yet here in Australia but it is gaining popularity especially with the children because of US television shows and movies. It is good food for writers though and I usually publish something to suit. Salem's Lot is worth the read.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 30, 2018:

Almost the time of the year again John and feels good experiencing it a bit. I would love to read Salem's Lot. I've always been fond of horror stories.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2018:

Hey Cynthia, Glad you enjoyed this poem for Halloween. Thanks for reading.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on September 30, 2018:

Well now, that's the way to get into the spirit of the season! I enjoyed this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2018:

Oh MizB, it’s my fault making you return to check this out. When I said “revenge here wasn’t exactly sweet” I just meant her actions couldn’t be classed as sweet, but you were right in the context of the saying. Wow, fancy having Salem ancestors. Oh no, I have bent little fingers too...I must have been a witch too in a previous life.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2018:

Hey, Bill. Sounds like a wonderful day in your part of the world. I am glad this poem appeared first up in your Facebook feed. I do normally post links on Facebook but on my authors page John D Hansen and not normally in my general page. Maybe I should share in both places is this will get to a lot more people. I use the titles of books I have got inspiration lately but none of my work is based on the book itself. I just apply my own interpretation to the title. Great to talk to you as always. Thanks for reading.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 30, 2018:

John, I went back and reread your poem to see if I had missed something. I don't think I did. I meant revenge was sweet -- to her. BTW, I've traced my ancestry back to Salem, I think. I just don't have the documentation yet. Mystics believe some people reincarnate in their own family lines, and I have crooked little fingers. (They broke witches' little fingers, you know.) Makes me wonder. Hmmm.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on September 30, 2018:

30-09-2018-----10:43 A.M:.Eastern Daylight Time USA, North America.


It's a beautiful Autumn day here on Cape Cod, at the edge of the Atlantic. Warm sunshine and 70 degrees. Taking advantage of such a morning, I was outside doing a few things, mostly nothing, except enjoying the bright balmy. I didn't get around to opening the computer until just now. I went to Facebook and the first thing that jumped out at me were these lively and colorful stanzas that may have been based on Master King's work, but were truly yours alone. Great job as usual John. Thanks for posting on FB. I'm sure it helps boost traffic when you do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2018:

Finally, someone who has read the book and seen the movie, Nell. Quite a coincidence that your ancestors migrated to Massachusetts and that my protagonist's name was Nell :) Thanks for reading and the kind comment.

Nell Rose from England on September 30, 2018:

I love Salems lot book and film too. But love your poem more! spooky stuff! Funnily enough my GG Scots/Irish ancestors went to live in Massachusetts so I am sure one of them got up to all sorts of witchy stuff and paid for it! lol!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Hey, Flourish. We don't even really celebrate Halloween here (though it is starting to catch on) but it is a great time for writers and gives us the opportunity to try out our darker scarier side. Yep, it's vintage King.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 29, 2018:

I enjoyed this topic, as Halloween is my favorite time of year. I haven’t heard of this King novel but it sounds really scary and vintage Stephen King.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

I'm not sure if the revenge her is exactly "sweet" MizB :) but glad you enjoyed this, and yes it seems as though Salem's Lot may have escaped a lot of Stephen King fans.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 29, 2018:

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. Good poem for Halloween, John. I liked it. Somehow I've never gotten around to reading Salem's Lot, although I like Stephen King.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Mary, I am so glad you enjoy my poetry. Thank you for your encouragement. I am sure Thomas Dylan's A Child's Christmas was wonderful. I would love to hear it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Hey PoetikalyAnointed, thank you for reading another of my poems and glad this one did the trick of providing a few scares.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 29, 2018:

Reading your poem gave me shivers. I love good poetry as it addresses my depth.I wish I can write poetry like you do. Last night after dinner, we listened as a group, to Thomas Dylan's A Child's Christmas in Wales. It was powerful.

PoetikalyAnointed on September 29, 2018:

I love a good scared and this did the trick for it was a treat.

Great Horror Story with complimentary pics and video.

Awesome job, John!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Stephen King is th master of horror but generally I prefer his forays into things such as The Green Mile, and in fact they can contain spiritual elements but rather on a different plane than yours manatita. I am happy this poem manages to convey the Halloween spirit and was scary. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Hi Linda. It was his second novel after Carrie. I agree probably best read in daylight hours. As I told Eric it has the AABCCCB rhyme scheme which is unusual and I have not attempted before. Glad you liked it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Hi Eric, I am sure you will be heading in the right direction when passing from here :) I am glad you liked this. I don’t know what this type of rhyme is called or if it even has a name but I followed the same scheme as the A B Paterson poem called the “The All Right Un” which is AABCCCB.

manatita44 from london on September 29, 2018:

I have heard a lot of Stephen King. Pity I stopped reading novels so long ago. My soul feels dry without the spiritual, but I have heard that he is an excellent writer.

You convey the Halloween Spirit excellently in your words and parchment, as well as your video and pictures too. A scary piece!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 29, 2018:

John, I've read many of Stephen King's novels, but somehow missed this one. But probably best to not delve into it at night, alone in the house.

A agree with Eric--I really like the rhyming scheme on this one. Very Poe-like.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 29, 2018:

Wonderful, those who are close to me better be careful. I just don't know which way my spirit goes at passing from here. I really like this and it is starred for my son.

(I have a question though -- What style of poetry is this called I really like it. I mean the type of rhyme)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Haha Sean, thanks brother. Hallow win, sure why not.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on September 29, 2018:

Inexhaustible talent, my brother! New reasons to admire you!

"Let's turn Halloween to Hallow win!"


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

It sure can Bill. Thanks for reading.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 29, 2018:

payback can be messy! :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

That's a good question, Rinita. Have you ever watched the British Murder Mystery series Midsummer Murders? I don't know how there are any people left in Midsummer with the number of murders committed Thanks for reading and commenting as always.

Rinita Sen on September 29, 2018:

Each year people die, okay, so why do they continue to go there? Haha. The hidden meanings were good..

You think she has forgot

The sins you'd rather not,

That you have beset?"

These lines do speak a lot under the wrap of the horror scene.

Great write, John, as always.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2018:

Good to see you Devika. Glad you like this, thanks for reading.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 29, 2018:

Wow! A time of year where most people make the most of their horrific ideas. Thank you for this poem I liked it!

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