Appalachia Appalachian Dialect Ghosts - Haints - Spooky

Halloween Rhyme from Appalachia


Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains by Mike Norris B

HALLOWEEN RHYME written by Mike Norris

Billy stuffed the witch’s mailbox with hay,
And threw rocks at her cat.
Then he laughed and ran away.
He ought not to’ve done such as that.

In the night he dreamed an awful dream,
That his feet got sealed up in a coal seam.
Then the witch came whispering in his ear:

“This is what happens if it happens twice, dear.
You’ll catch measles on top of mumps,
And sleep locked up in a army trunk.
I’ll make your little dog disappear,
And coat your tongue with boils and blisters.
I’ll trim your ears with pinking shears,
And you’ll go to live with my twin sister.”

Billy woke up a brand new boy.
He said “please” and “thank you” and shared his toys.
Later, in the yearbook, his eyes looked glazed.
The teacher wrote, “Nervous, but well behaved.”


I hope you enjoyed Mike’s Halloween Rhyme as much as I did! And if you did-then you must check out Mike’s book Rhymes from the Mountains.

Although the Halloween Rhyme isn’t in the book, it is chock full of wonderful original rhymes which feature our colorful vibrant Appalachian Language. To find our more about Mike go here.



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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 25, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    After rereading my comment, I had to laugh! I was just thinking that the sentence ,,,”he gave me a whole handful of candy and 5.00″…was probably changed by Ed in his thoughts, thinking a “hook full” wouldn’t have been much at all! Ha He didn’t use the “hooked hand” he used the good one! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Up jumped the devil, sorry!

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    That’s a good one. Taught him a lesson whether true or false. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I like the poem, even though the dream following his “shenanigans” made him nervous until the end of the year when the yearbooks came about!
    Like so often happened when I was a child, an old woman or man living by their self, with cats and maybe a “snappy” little house dog, was not always friendly to the neighborhood children since some kids were not respecting a small garden. Nor the carefully trimmed clean lawn, by throwing paper drink cups, etc. in the yard. They would get scolded if caught doing these things. So by Halloween, the person stereotyped as a witch or other Halloween character.
    I remember delivering papers to a man that had a “hook” on one hand. He was very firm in his voice if you were a bit late with his paper. I was always on time unless the press didn’t get the papers to us on time, and I tried to explain the situation. I always dreaded to collect for the paper at the end of the week. I just could not keep my eyes off that hook as he picked out the change in the other hand to give me, trying not to show my fear, be nice and not embarrassing either of us! ha
    On Halloween the kids I was with dared me to go to the house where (they said the “Captain Hook mean man” lived. Well, I took the challenge of course, even if I was nervous! He gave me a whole handful of candy and 5.00, and said this is for you, thanks for the paper! I was a hero, so the other kids shook their fear and knocked on the door. They only got one piece of candy.
    I learned early on that it pays to fight your fear and be as nice as possible ! ha
    The story made me wonder if the witch was really just a little old lady that lived alone, but not too friendly!
    Thanks Tipper,
    and Mike

  • Reply
    October 25, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I’m still trying to get people here to say, “I wish wicked witches would cease wishing their wicked wishes.” Very few can get anywhere near.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I enjoyed the Halloween Rhyme by Mike, a fitting tribute for this Spooky Season. Thank you for all the Halloween Stories you share on here. I love it! …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 25, 2016 at 11:43 am

    At least Billy didn’t set the hay on fire.
    At least Billy didn’t stuff the mailbox with rubber snakes or spiders. Or worser still a blivet bag.
    At least Billy’s little dog didn’t eat the cat.
    And did any rocks actually hit the cat, the poem doesn’t say.
    I don’t think we have heard the end of this story. Billy hasn’t reformed. Billy has become clandestine. The glazed look comes from introspection. His eyes turn inward, searching for a soul that is departed. Move over Ted Bundy, Jeff Dahmer, Charlie Manson. Billy the Kid is reincarnated.
    One question. Are the teacher and the twin one and the same? Has poor Billy’s punishment already begun?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    You remind me of a poem my Mom liked. I can’t remember the author and the title but it was about farm children and the wonderful things the hired man taught them. The lines I remember are;
    ” Way down deep in the pasture lot,
    He showed us a hole that the wunses got.”
    The theme was really about children finding things to wonder about. Sadly, as we’ve each lived, the wonder seems to mostly wear away as we grow up. If memory serves, it was Bob Dylan who wrote;
    “Little I knew in the lamb-white days,
    that time would take me
    up to the swallow thronged aloft
    by the shadow of my hand,
    and I would wake to a farm
    forever fled from a childless land.”
    Fortunately, some adults never lose child-like wonder. I suspect Mr. Norris is one of them.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 25, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Those are some dire threats Mike is writing about. I would, for sure, be a good kid!

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