“The Ghoul” by Jack Prelutsky

I read this when I was a kid and only recently re-discovered it. It’s brilliant, funny and scary. I loved it then and I love it now.

Obnoxious and Anonymous

When I was in elementary school, the librarian would read the poem “The Ghoul” by Jack Prelutsky to us. We all thought it was shocking, funny, disgusting and I have never forgotten it.

I can’t imagine a K-5 school being allowed to read this to their students today, which is why I’m so glad to have grown up when I did.

The power of the words, the imagery it conjures up in your mind… simply breathtaking. This is the stuff of pure nightmares, yet the execution is both lyrical and humorous in the best tradition.

Strange that no one has attempted to make a film out of this yet…

“The Ghoul” by Jack Prelutsky

“The gruesome ghoul, the grisly ghoul,

without the slightest noise

waits patiently beside the school

to feast on girls and boys.

He lunges fiercely through the air

as they come out to play,

then grabs a couple by the…

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4 thoughts on ““The Ghoul” by Jack Prelutsky

  1. I think every American kid would love and hate this poem, but no school would ever read it anymore (and I suspect some parents would object to having it in the school library even). Of course, most American kids have no idea what a ghoul is anyway.

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  2. Back in grade three, which was only 45 years ago, I found a book in the school library that included Mr Fox, which was basically the Bluebeard story. Murder, dismemberment, the works.
    I guess kids get all that at home now through American Horror Story.

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    1. I suppose people worry about kids getting desensitised to stuff then shooting their classmates with a rifle. I tend to think that those few kids who do that had some dubious marbles rolling around in their heads long before they saw or read scary material.

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