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Skull Roll, Please: Announcing the Winners of the YCLAC 3rd Annual Halloween Contest – Trick or Treat Poetry

The Third Time is Definitely the Charm! 


art by Jaclyn Peacher

This year, the YCLAC received over 90 submissions for our 3rd Annual Halloween Writing Contest. The fame of the contest continues to spread (like a CDC escapee!); in addition to pieces by students from Yuba College, we also tricked students from Andros Karperos Middle School, Willows High School, and Butte College, plus writers from North Carolina, into giving us their creative treats. We had first time writers who want to be nurses, accountants, and long-time writers having fun with new forms.

And now, poetry.

Trick or Treat Poetry: Our Words, Your Rhymes

Here it is, the best of the Trick-or-Treat Poetry. We created grab bags of words, creepy fun words, like spectre, enchant, hobgoblin and havoc, and entrants used them to build poems. While we had a number of excellent submissions, three entries stood out as unanimous favorites. There was heated discussion and several recounts, but in the end, one poem narrowly won out. Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who submitted!


Haunted Ship by Juliet Hernandez

First Place: LOST

-by Roberto Tinoco


It’s a murky night

as I stay in my house

I shriek at the sight of Splinter

my brothers mouse.

Putrid little thing

must’ve got lost

causes havoc for our cat

who thinks he’s the boss.

Now it’s time to kick back

and eat this pizza from Rick’s

maybe watch a movie

possibly It?

Knock, knock, knock,

fast as one, two, three.

I peer towards my door

who can it be?

Midnight on the dot

a figure peers in

my heart starts to pound

as I countdown from 10.

Mother would say get a grasp!

You do nothing but dream!

Doctors & Psychiatrists agreed

as their smiles gleamed.

I open my eyes and the figure’s still there

only this figure has morphed

into a beast from somewhere.

I run down the hall screaming and shouting!

Where’s my father and mother?

Gone on an outing.

Under my sheets I jumped with fear

I close my eyes

but the footsteps are near!

The silence I exert is all I can do

What’s this I hear?

The handle starts to unscrew!

My sheets are ripped off

but what do I see?

The beast is in front

The beast is me!

Wake up! A lady whispers

ever so softly.

I look down at my feet

they’re handcuffed strongly.

Time to take your pills

and stop with these lies

because everyone in here

spends extended time.


Second Place: THAT DEVIL RUM

-by Alicia Araya


putrid pizza

shrieking genies

morbid dancers

all wreak havoc

on your sickened guts and brain and sorely test

your murky grasp on life

you toss in bed

you grasp at dreams

and hope to find


from the nauseating hobgoblin madness

of your lost, splintered mind

and defecating mouth

laid waste by alcohol

smoke, and



no more

this was it

the last time

but scrolling past endless empty promises and lukewarm intentions and madcap parties you find

there’s always room





until your spleen explodes with your full awareness if not


and your eyes roll back in

jaundiced blond horror as your life spills out and you realize

it is finally




for life but not too late for reaping




Third Place: Halloween

-by Roslyn Manera


A time of shrieks and fangs

Scares and dares

It’s the night genies and reapers come out

Yet morbid thoughts appear

Evil gnashes out at lost souls

And pizzas are delivered

Blondes dress up as barbie

Hobgoblins taunt and dance 

The murky night sending chills down our spines

While putrid smells of fake blood and makeup fill our lungs

The night leaves us with dreams of frightening beasts

Our splintered society joins as one

We celebrate this night of the spirits

Grasping onto two worlds and connecting them as one


Honorable Mention: Spectre

by Brandy Souza


Once upon a morbid dream

I was chased by a teddy bear who shrieked and screamed

A putrid shrill it gnashed its icky fangs 

Instead of brown it was green

Like a hobgoblin it would seem 

To bite and hack every chance it had 

With a sweet murky smell that would make you gasp

As if you lost your breath 

Reaping havoc on your every step

Its nails felt like splinters or a feline claw 

Its lower mandible was an awful sight, crooked teeth and an under bite

The air was cold like a cryogenic chamber   

A macabre feeling began to linger

When all at once a bell began to ring

And I sat up in bed thanking god it was all just a dream 


Honorable Mention: Unsuspecting Victim

-by Seth Singh


Enchanted by the flickering candles,

Phil paid no mind to the mandibles,

Possessing large ferocious fangs,

Ready to gnash at his vigorous veins.


Yet, Phil let out a shrill

When he realized the gap

Was about to fill.

With a fool that tripped the trap.


Before the bite made contact with the prey

Phil called out, “HELP ME!! RIGHT AWAY!!”

And those who found him will say,

“After Phil bobbed and pulled the creature’s hair

He and his would-be saviors saw the teddy bear,

Of the sweetest variety.” They do declare.


Want more scary stuff? Visit the Monster Slash Fiction  and the 13 Word Horror Stories

About The Haberdasher

Created by writers for writers, The Haberdasher, or le Hab, is your Peddler of Literary Art for Northern California and beyond. In addition to writing tips and literary debates, we also feature critical reviews and author interviews.


3 thoughts on “Skull Roll, Please: Announcing the Winners of the YCLAC 3rd Annual Halloween Contest – Trick or Treat Poetry

  1. Congratulations to my former student, Seth Singh, and all of the other winning writers and artists!

    Posted by Erica Jeffrey | October 31, 2016, 5:28 am


  1. Pingback: Skull Roll, Please: Announcing the Winners of the YCLAC 3rd Annual Halloween Contest – The 13 Word Horror Story | The Haberdasher - October 30, 2016

  2. Pingback: Skull Roll, Please: Announcing the Winners of the YCLAC 3rd Annual Halloween Contest – Monster Slash Fiction. | The Haberdasher - October 30, 2016

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