A Halloween classic from Steve King and Johnnie Putman: Scare the dickens out of a group of children or impressionable friends. This poem should be read in the basement or a comparable area where it is dark. A flashlight should be used by the reader, and you should gather the props [described in brackets] ahead of time.

Listen to Steve King read the poem.:

Click here to download audio.

There was a fellow who went to school
to learn to be a first-class ghoul.

Entrance tests were very rough
a ghoulie needs to be quite tough.

They put him in a darkened room
prepared to meet his coming doom.

His first test was to touch and feel
what seemed to him a dead man’s heel.
[Pass a large peeled potato that is cut in the shape of a heel.]

With the thought that he would surely die
next he touched a dead man’s eye.
[Pass a large peeled grape.]

He did not need to see to know
that next he touched a dead man’s toe.
[Pass a carrot cut into the shape of a toe.]

His heart tripped fast to beat the band
when next he touched a slimy hand.
[Pass a stuffed-and-dampened kid glove.]

The next he touched without a fear
It was just a dead man’s ear.
[Pass a fig or dried apricot.]

From screams he tried hard to refrain
when next he touched a dead man’s brain.
[Pass a dampened sponge.]

He thought for sure he’d go insane
when next he touched a dead man’s vein.
[Pass a piece of cold, cut spaghetti.]

The next he found was very easy
dead men’s teeth didn’t make him queasy.
[Pass some waxed dentures or pieces of candy corn.]

He barely made it but not by much
when next a stomach he had to touch.
[Pass a balloon partly filled with water.]

He nearly left, outside to run
when next he felt the dead man’s tongue.
[Pass a piece of foam rubber cut into the shape of a tongue.]

The last he felt with mounting dread
it was the dead man’s heavy head.
[Pass a head of cabbage with a rubber mask pulled over it.]