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The House on the Hill (a Poem for Halloween)

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Tumulty house, 1917 Kalorama Road." Residence of Joseph P. Tumulty, President Wilson's private secretary.

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Tumulty house, 1917 Kalorama Road." Residence of Joseph P. Tumulty, President Wilson's private secretary.

This is the first hub I have specifically written for Halloween. However, this fun celebration is now becoming increasingly popular in Australia as it has been in Britain and America for years. So I thought it was time I joined in the fun.

Actually, this was inspired by the first poem I ever wrote in Primary School called "The Haunted House". I hope you enjoy "The House on the Hill." I had fun re-writing it. Let's start off though by listening to one of my all time favourite monster/halloween songs, "The Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett and the Crypt Kickers.

The House on the Hill


An abandoned old house sits atop of the hill

Beside the hay barn and in front of the mill.

Some say it is haunted with spirits and ghosts,

But my friend Bill and I are braver than most.


We went trick or treating though I felt like a fool,

Bill dressed as a zombie and me as a ghoul.

Then laden with candy, and a vampire named Steve

We climbed up that hill on All Hallows' Eve.

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

It towered dark and eerie, the house looked so haunting,

"Come in if you dare!," it seemed to be taunting.

Looking brave in our costumes but inside quite scared,

We approached the huge door but just stood there and stared.


Black storm clouds had gathered over this hill alone,

Each crack of thunder seemed to make the house moan.

The vampire looked worried, the zombie quite grave.

It was left to the ghoul to be outwardly brave.

New York. October 26, 1921. "Peggy O'Neil." The Irish-American actress at ease. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

New York. October 26, 1921. "Peggy O'Neil." The Irish-American actress at ease. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

My hand gripped the doorknob, it turned with a squeak.

All three pushed the door and it's old hinges creaked.

Bill turned on the flashlight to light up the room

That opened before us like some ancient tomb.


All furniture was covered with sheets white and stark,

A huge central staircase led up into the dark.

Fighting through cobwebs we walked up the hall,

Old creepy portraits hung from the walls.

Steve munched on some candy his nerves all on edge.

"Did you see something move, over there on the ledge?"

The flashlight beam moved to the place where I said,

"Thank God it's just rats, and not 'living dead'."


Our small monster party ascended the stairs,

We looked at each other with false confident stares.

As we reached the top floor a sound made us stop,

I was leading the way but I'd gladly now swap.

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

A loud piercing shriek met our ears from ahead,

We edged our way forward but with steps full of dread.

Bill shone the torch on a door to the right,

What were we thinking to come here at night?


The vampire was sobbing, "Don't open that door!

This is all much too scary, it's no fun anymore."

The zombie was braver but he held the light,

And the ghoul .. Well let's say .. he was prepared for the flight/fight.

A scattering noise came from inside the room,

And I know curiosity has led many to doom,

But being the leader, so brave and so sure,

I swallowed my fears and opened the door.


A black writhing cloud enshrouded the ghouls

Who ran for their lives, like three timid fools.

Stumbling and tripping we descended the stairs

Swatting as bats flapped and clawed at our hair.

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

The flashlight was lost in our rush to escape,

And none of us noticed the still, towering shape.

But just as we passed it Bill stumbled and fell,

That's when we sensed the dead putrid smell.


Steve yelled, "Something's moving, and it smells worse than crap!"

We ran for the door .. It was closed .. We were trapped!

Frantic with panic and trembling with fear,

I said, "Let's stay calm. We need to think clear."

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

"Try the doorknob again Steve. We went off half-cocked,

Just because it is closed, doesn't mean it is locked."

He turned the knob slowly, the door creaked ajar.

We raced through the opening - relieved to see stars.


We'd escaped from the house and stood catching our breath,

Just glad our adventure hadn't led to our deaths.

A loud crash could be heard all the way out the door,

As the stinking giant toppled and fell to the floor.

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

Without turning 'round we raced back down the hill,

Like a vampire and zombie and ghoul Jack and Jill.

The old suit of armour lay still in the house,

The helmet fell open and out ran a mouse.


Entry was easy, but escape no avail,

Many had perished within the steel jail.

Their bodies had rotted and didn't smell nice,

The armour was full with the bodies of mice.

Now safe back at home with our families and friends,

Our haunted house tale told again and again.

How the daring young vampire, against bats stayed defiant,

While the brave ghoul and zombie had fought off a giant.

the-house-on-the-hill-a-poem-for-halloween

© 2014 John Hansen

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