Halloween Haiku Kukai 09 Favorites

Global Haiku • Millikin University • Fall 2023


a chance to be
someone else
for one night

Maddie Alger (9)

This Halloween perfectly describes why Halloween is my favorite holiday. Being able to dress up as someone else is so fun. When I dress up for Halloween, I get this intense boost of serotonin. For some reason, I gain so much confidence when I dress up for Halloween. It doesn’t matter if I dress modestly or more showy, I feel so much more confident. I love getting to be someone else for the night. Anna Quick, Fall 2023

I love this one because the holiday makes us feel like we get to pretend and act as someone else, but more often than not, the costume actually says a lot about the person wearing it. It can showcase a sense of humor, or a favorite story of theirs, or even just whether or not they care about the holiday or threw a costume together at the last minute. I still fall into the trap of feeling safe in “someone else’s skin”, but I don’t know if it actually protects us or if it puts us more under the spotlight. Cami Jones, Fall 2023

My favorite part of Halloween as a kid was getting to dress up as my then favorite character from my favorite tv shows. Sean House, Fall 2023

I enjoyed this haiku because it is such a true feeling. Many people are insecure about themselves and this holiday gives an excuse to be someone completely different. I like the chance to plan outfits and become unrecognizable. This is a very simple haiku that relays a strong message. Kailyn Coates, Fall 2023


plastic wings
from the attic
fourth year in a row

Maddie Alger (3)


creaky door
swings open, revealing
a cute ghost

Anna Quick (6)

I like this haiku because it’s fun! It has the potential to be a little spooky, but it’s more fun instead. It reminds me of the cute Halloween decorations. Halloween is supposed to be a little scary, but oftentimes decorations are “cute-ified.” Madelyn Letourneau, Fall 2023


who will i be

Maddie Alger


halloween night
taking candy from a baby
never felt easier



halloween night, lost keys
end up
in the wrong hands

Anna Quick (5)


dress up as a clown 
enjoyment to laughter—
“Mom! I made a kid cry!”

Ny Scott (7)

I’ve always been a big proponent of the belief that Halloween is supposed to be scary. Yes, it’s fun to dress up and be cute, and trick-or-treating is meant for children or whatever, but as I’ve gotten older I have only wanted to do the haunting, or be the figure that lurks in the hall or at the end of the driveway to scare the living daylights out of anyone who comes by. Obviously, it’s a little sadistic or mean to want to terrify a child to the point of tears, but I am a sadistic and mean individual who takes great pleasure in coming off just terrifying enough to do that. If nothing else, I think it’s a testament to my skills as an artist/creative, and as an actor, that I am convincing enough to make a kid cry, which makes me very happy. Skylyr Choe, Fall 2023


ghost stories by the fire
a shiver 
down his spine

Sean House (5)


young and old 
explore the neighborhood


cursed ancient tree
in its limbs secrets lie
Halloween's mystery

Sean House (4)


it’s spooky season 
with food and candy
watching the Chucky series


dark and foggy . . .
dead people in cemetery 
trying to recreate the MJ album

Ny Scott (5)

This haiku is so playful, and I love how it starts all serious and spooky but abruptly shifts tone in the last line. It is a great combination of both the scary side and fun side of Halloween, and I love the imagery it strikes up, of these corpses dancing like Michael Jackson. Kaia Garbacz, Fall 2023


costume on
maybe now
they’ll see me

Madelyn Letourneau (7)

We had a few Halloween haiku that had a similar general message, but this one really resonated with me. Halloween is a night that brings out a lot of people’s confidence, and putting on a costume helps that. Maybe you’re someone who tends to keep to themselves, but behind your costume you feel extremely extroverted and ready to be seen by others. I know my freshman year here, I used my Halloween costumes as an excuse to be overly social and catch the attention of my (now) boyfriend. Costumes allow people to see us in a way that they didn’t before, making Halloween the perfect opportunity to be seen in a new light. Tanner Essex, Fall 2023


movie with friends
bunk bed creaks
no more smile


ghost covers my mouth
. . . stuffy nose
gradebook more terrifying

Kaia Garbacz

There were many ways I interpreted this haiku. The ghost covering someone’s mouth is so ominous, and yet I feel like I relate to it. Specifically, this haiku reminds me of a class I’m in right now. I am not used to being in classes where you get graded on discussion points, so I am struggling quite a bit in this class. I always want to bring something up in this class, but it feels as if a ghost is preventing me from talking just in case I say something stupid. The stuffy nose reminds me of the weather coming, stuffy noses will be everywhere soon. But like I said, I am struggling in that class . . . so the grade book is more terrifying than the cold weather and stuffy nose I am going to have to suffer through soon. Anna Quick, Fall 2023


ceiling creature . . .
pupils split in half
     he     stares

Kaia Garbacz (8)

This one also reminded me of The Grudge. I have always had a primal fear of anything that even remotely looks like Kayako for as long as I can remember. My dad tells me its because when I was 3 I walked in on him watching the scene the the first movie where she kills the girl in the attic right at the moment she jumped out. Sean House, Fall 2023

I love horror haiku, and I feel like this one encapsulates a specific kind of darkness to it that just lingers with you. There is a certain terror that comes from the idea of being watched or looked at or upon by something that you can’t recognise, or that you can observe and acutely register as a threat, and when that fear washes over you it leaves you sort of shell-shocked, paralysed and unable to think of what move you can make next. ah, I love to read about that kind of fear. It’s all encompassing, and so vividly descriptive – it tells you all you need to know with a few short words. Skylyr Choe, Fall 2023



a princess, a crayon, and a lobster
walk into
my grass, dammit

Kaia Garbacz (14)

I like this haiku because it is random, and the diversity of the language makes it funny and relatable. The perspective of the homeowner reacting to all the different Halloween costumes is one that I can relate to more now that I am older and not dressing up like I did when I was a kid. When reading the first line though, it leaves room for confusion and desire to read more because it does not give much context to what the haiku is about. The comedy of the scene they are setting is wholesome and leaves the reader to wonder what the person thinks about these kids when they come onto the yard. Grace Brixa, Fall 2023

This poem is so light-hearted and fun, and reminds me of my Dad which is why I chose it. I picture this haiku as if my Dad wrote it, because he’s very protective of the lawn and takes pride in how it looks. He would always reprimand us for walking on it when we were kids, so I’ve gotten into the habit of never cutting through it if I can help it! It’s so cute to imagine the children or teenagers who are dressed up for halloween and how their costumes are all so different. I also like how this poem is structured like the “walk into a bar” joke, and there’s a twist/surprise when the third line is “my grass.” Leah Flint, Fall 2023

I like this haiku because it is a play on the common “walk into a bar” start of a joke, but surprises the reader when the ending is not what is expected. It is a quirky haiku and I love how it feels as though I can picture the person who wrote this haiku. Probably an old man who makes sure his lawn is perfect all the time and hates halloween because of the kids who run through his yard. The costumes this author chose are also very creative. I don’t think I have ever seen a lobster costume. Maybe I will have to be a lobster next year. Maddie Alger, Fall 2023


haunted house
not so scary
when you’ve seen it before

Madelyn Letourneau (5)

I’m not a fan of Halloween in general, but haunted houses are definitely a no for me. However, this poem encapsulates exactly what I felt during the last haunted house I went into: Alpha Chi’s & Pie’s  house. It wasn’t that scary knowing my siblings were behind all the jumpscares and I was in the back of a really long line, but I hope it worked for other people! Eden Niebrugge, Fall 2023


leave the jump scare at home
just want to
paint a pumpkin

Grace Brixa (5)

This haiku was very well written because of the subtle message it relays without being too obvious. I enjoy some of the more scary traditions of Halloween, but I also like the quiet and calm aspects of the season. Things like carving pumpkins, decorating the house, and baking Halloween cookies put me in the spirit. Sometimes the more relaxing activities are the best in my opinion. Kailyn Coates, Fall 2023


hands in the candy bowl
the ghoulish guard
screams to life

Sky Choe (6)

I really like the way this haiku is structured and the moment it captures. Everyone has been in a scenario where they have to take candy out of a bowl that makes scary sounds at them. I can so clearly see myself as a kid going to get candy from that bowl and being spooked by the “boo” it lets out. I also like the way it “screams to life”, rather than just “screams.” I think it gives this haiku a really cool personality. Hannah Smith, Fall 2023


the moon sings her song
as spirits pass over
to see their families 

Sky Choe (5)

I think this haiku is really cool. The moon being personified works so well, as it is recognizable and makes sense. I can visualize the spirits floating overhead as they travel home. I also think this halloween haiku is not as on the nose, but still really works. Hannah Smith, Fall 2023

I thought this haiku was very beautiful, and I liked how it highlighted Day of the Dead rather than Halloween, which is what most of the poems referenced. I don’t celebrate Day of the Dead, but I took Spanish throughout my junior high and high school years. Every year we would throw a Day of the Dead Celebration, and I really love that the Spanish culture takes something as somber as death and turns it into something joyous. It’s very heartwarming to think of loved ones coming back to visit, especially at a special time of year, and to celebrate and remember them, and be “reunited” with them for a few nights. This poem does a great job of representing the beauty and love of this holiday brings to those who celebrate it. Leah Flint, Fall 2023


haunted house 
creaking floors 
I thought we were home alone 


home alone 
someone calls my name 
why is the front door open?

Cami Jones (6)


October 31st
the first day
of Christmas

Grace Brixa (9)

This poem brings a lot of nostalgia for me, since it reminds me of how we would decorate and get ready for the holidays so soon. I'm sure my mom has half of our christmas gifts bought already, and she certainly has our tree all planned out. The humor in this haiku really speaks to me. Kaia Garbacz, Fall 2023

Now listen, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of all time. It always has been and it always will be. But I won’t lie, in order to counteract the loss of sunlight going into the later months, I gotta keep to celebration going, so the second the Halloween buzz ends, I move on to Christmas. Decorating for the holidays is one of my FAVORITE things to do with my family, so after Halloween ends, I go take down all the spooky décor and I work with my mom to get all the Christmas bins out. We all use these holidays as ways to get close to our families and friends through the cold winter months so its natural that we anticipate them to frequently. Tanner Essex, Fall 2023


insects squirming
through strands of hair
an open casket

Eden Niebrugge (4)


haunted house
are they really

Maddie Alger

I loved this one because it painted a very specific picture for me. It created an entire story, almost like a movie quickly played out in my head when reading it. I see a group of friends who don’t like going out on Halloween, so they make it a tradition to go to haunted houses. They choose a scarier one every year, and this year they are in a very secluded area and not many people are around. They lose each other in the house and freak out. That’s when this haiku was written or thought by a character. Then the movie continues and plays out, but I can so clearly see the lead up. Not all haikus make me think of a whole story, but this one immediately did. Cami Jones, Fall 2023

I like number 26 haiku because I normally think of that question when I go to a haunted house with my older cousin and some haunted houses are cool but also a bit extreme where some stuff looks too real. Ny Scott, Fall 2023


clown costume in your size
out of stock

Bella Birdsley (12)


dripping red letters
on the wall
classic movie

Eden Niebrugge (4)


taking off 
my costume 
reality hits again

Elly Hermanson (7)


door to door 
for the king

Elly Hermanson (6)

I will say my initial thought of this haiku was they were waiting for the burger king mascot to come and ring on the doorbell, but than I thought for like a minute longer and realized that was insane. I do love the almost adventure quality that comes with this haiku. Besides the spooky and fun atmosphere that surrounds the holiday, to also add in these little traditions of maximizing the holiday really makes it that much better. Elijah Jamison, Fall 2023


washed in moonlight
ghost town
on nights other than this

Bella Birdsley (9)

I really like the heavy imagery in this poem, particularly the first line. “Washed” is such a particular word to use in this situation, but it suits it very well. I enjoy its uniqueness alongside “moonlight.” The overall content of this poem was also interesting, everyone is out on Halloween in chosen costumes that they all feel confident in, so talking and meeting up with neighbors is easy. However, every other night, that becomes difficult once your true self is back to the routine. Eden Niebrugge, Fall 2023


“that wasn’t even scary”
I unclench my fists
melted M&Ms

Tanner Essex (10)

I love this haiku because I think it holds a great example of showing and not telling. The melted M&Ms is a cue to the fact that this person really was scared and was clenching their fists the whole time throughout the haunted house or horror movie, whatever they just experienced. Its also definitely something I would do. Bella Birdsley, Fall 2023


nipping autumn dusk
her Elsa dress
covered with a coat

Tanner Essex (9)

When I was a kid, it was the end of the world if I had to wear a coat over my costume and ruin it, but my mom would always make me because it was cold out. This makes me think of that and how the “princess” was probably very irritated about it at first, but eventually was glad she had it because it was quite cold. Bella Birdsley, Fall 2023

I like the humor in this one, I think in particular because I can imagine the child having fought so hard not to put on the coat. They would be covered in goosebumps but protesting the idea of covering the cheap dress they believe to be the most fabulous garment to exist. This is alos very much a regional haiku though because my perspective of halloween hass been more of I’m way to hot and need to take off the coat that was with my outfit. Elijah Jamison, Fall 2023

I was drawn to the sweet and comedic haikus from this grouping. This haiku uses creative words to describe a rather simple and forgettable moment which makes it feel almost like a look under a microscope. You might miss this event unless you really slow down to take a look around what is in front of you, kind of like the exercise we talked about in nuber 58. Stopping, looking, and listening will allow you to notice things you otherwise wouldn’t. Grace Brixa, Fall 2023

This was the WORST. I can vividly remember my mom making me wear a coat to go trick-or-treating as a kid and I hated it because it covered up my costume. I was always so happy on the times that it was still warm enough at night on halloween to not need a coat. Living in North Carolina, you could never really tell what the weather was going to be like at a particular time of year, so I really had to plan my costumes well so I wasn’t freezing or overheating. Maddie Alger, Fall 2023

I really like this haiku because it reminds me of my childhood. I remember that more than once during my childhood that it snowed on Halloween. And I also remember being very upset because I would have to wear warm clothes under and over my costume. When I was younger it made me mad, but now that I’m older I see it as a fun little full circle moment, especially when I have to tell my little brother to put something warm on. Madelyn Letourneau, Fall 2023


© 2023, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.