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Mr Sammy's Torture Chamber, a Poem of Horror

John is a contemporary poet who uses the rhyming styles of the classics to discuss current issues.

WARNING! Some readers may find this poem disturbing. I certainly did, and I wrote it.

I admit, that most of my poetry or articles have messages or lessons that I want to pass on, but I never expected to write anything like this. Sometimes I don't know where these ideas come from, but now and then you see shocking stories like this on the news, so I guess some of those got stuck in my head, if not to inspire, to at least prompt me to write this ( I almost decided not to publish it.)



Mr Sammy's Torture Chamber

Narrow staircase

Leading down.

Old bomb shelter


Damp stone walls

And slimy floor,

One lone light bulb,

Padlocked door.

Hear the cries

Of tortured souls,

Whipped and beaten

In this hole.

Scroll to Continue

Children missing,

And troubled teens.

Once brought here

They're never seen.

Chained and hanging

From the walls,

No one hears

Their pleading calls.

Mr Sammy's

Friendly manner,

Suits his job

As ice cream vendor.

Hides the evil

In his soul.

Cruel abuse

This devil's goal.

The news reports,

And facebook pleas.

'Missing' posters

Placed on trees.

Police announcement

On TV,

Advise the town

Of killing spree.

"Please stay calm,

No need to panic.

We'll protect you

From the maniac."

"Watch your children,

Lock your door.

Leave the rest

Up to the law."

Mr Sammy


Drives his van

Up to the kerb.

'Greensleeves' announces

Ice cream's here.

Hungry customers

Soon appear.

He greets each person

With a grin.

Seems innocent

Of any sin.

But if one solitary child

Should approach his van alone,

The ice-cream man says, "Come on in,

And make your own ice cone."

Then back to his torture chamber

Mr Sammy takes his prey.

Smiling as he contemplates

The games that he will play.

© 2013 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 21, 2016:

Thank you for reading this rather "unpleasant" poem, Renata. Child abduction and abuse unfortunately has become a common occurrence in our society and as writers I feel it is our responsibility to draw attention to these issues. I am glad your child managed to avoid such a terrible fate. When I was a child we had almost total freedom but now you can't let them out of your sight without worrying. I appreciate your kind words about my writing.

Renata Kell from Washington on October 21, 2016:

As a mother whose child was almost abducted it brings chills to my spine but as a writer I loved it. I can definitely respect your writing no matter how twisted and scary it is. If more people realized this is an everyday occurrence than maybe people would see the truth behind the words.

Chris from India on October 09, 2014:

Thank you so much for your considerate reply. Yes! I agree, that was definitely useful. Hope you go on writing such informative hubs.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on October 09, 2014:

Thanks for reading Sharon though sorry it made you feel uneasy and disturbed you, though that was the intent..because our kids are in constant danger nowadays from even unlikely sources. I thought it relevent for Halloween approaching. Stay safe.

Chris from India on October 09, 2014:

Brr! That was a very haunting poem, Jodah. It disturbs me like very few things do, there was a documentary about a telephone booth where a man goes in and can never get out, it makes my stomach churn even now. And then there was a ghost movie, called 13 ghosts or something which to this day I never want to see or remember and this, I have added to the lists. When I have children, I will never let them get ice-creams alone, as irrational as that sounds. But I have to thank you for making a very unique attempt. Have a very good day!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on June 17, 2014:

Thank you very much for your important comment Dorothy. Yes it is a subject most don't like to write about, but a message that we need to keep spreading among the young people. You are right, this is a good case for the death penalty.

dorothy saltel on June 17, 2014:

I'm so glad that you had decided to post this horror,

Seems these pedophiles always put themselves in a position where they have access to their victims.

They give these victims a lifetime sentence, while satisfying their very sick minds. This is where I believe in The Death penalty. Thank- You for sharing this I think we always have to be aware of these very abuse stories of how real they are.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 14, 2014:

Thanks for your kind words and encouragement Cam. Yes funny how our Sammy's were totally different but both stories related to abuse and deprivation of liberty. I will try this type of story again after the positive responses.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on February 14, 2014:

John, how did I miss this one when you first published it? This is great writing and a gripping story. I try not to look for messages in fiction. I feel they should stand on their own as stories and entertainment. It is interesting that you and I chose the name Sammy for our characters. Of course your Sammy is the bad guy, mine is the victim. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Feel free to try this again.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 05, 2014:

Thanks for reading pearl and your kind and insightful comment. I agree it is difficult for parents to even comprehend how these predators think, but we can't just ignore it and pretend they aren't out there.

Pearlmacb from Switzerland on February 05, 2014:

I applaud your effort to write about such a heavy topic, it`s a reality which is difficult to comprehend especially for a parent however we must be alert at all times...these predators are ill skilled to prey on the vulnerable. Well written!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 04, 2014:

Thanks for reading another of my poems Bk42 and for your follow. Yes I thought getting the message out there was the most important thing, and the comments this poem has received confirmed my decision to publish. Thank you for your praise also.

Brenda Thornlow from New York on February 04, 2014:

I'm glad you ultimately decided to publish this, it serves as a vety strong warning message for parents to teach their children to be wary of strangers. Excellent writing!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 02, 2014:

I'm glad this hub succeeded in getting this message across. I somehow thought it would Mark.It is the darkest piece I have ever written. Thanks for your great comment.

Mark from Moundsville,WV on January 02, 2014:

awesome hub here my friend on a deep and dark subject that an awareness message needed to be sent. You captured this awareness brilliantly opening our eyes to the perpentrators. Thanks for sharing

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2014:

Hey Frank, I thought this one might appeal to the mystery/suspense writer in you. Thanks for reading.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on January 01, 2014:

I freakin loved it!!!!!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2014:

My pleasure Jackie, I may see you at fanstory then. Look forward to it.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 01, 2014:

Wow, well thank you for telling me about that. I think I have some really good stuff, most removed from here after it was all stolen or so they say but I always get a US copyright on all mine before I publish it publicly so that doesn't really concern me but irks me a little that a poem of mine could be in a book somewhere with someone elses name on it I may never know about. lol

Thanks again, you have really given me something to look forward to, I may even be inspired to start creating again you never know. I like HP because of all the friends being here almost 5 years altogether and I have had a good many friends leave but I don't want to quit here completely. Especially the hugs being so much fun to look for and promote.

Anyway, you've given me a daydream!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2014:

Thank you Jackie, hope you are always around. One site you might try is fan story. I have joined and it has lots of competitions that pay cash prizes, Visa cards, site money etc. you have to pay a small amount each month, but not much. I have entered a few poems, and the first competition decided finished second. There is good community and feedback too. I still prefer Hub Pages though at the moment.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 01, 2014:

Well that is saying something, none of mine have been chosen anything! lol. Lately I can't even get to 85 to be showing anywhere out there. I am past guessing what more they want. lol Am gonna start shopping around after the holidays, maybe get into some contests and other venues. Will always be around to read you though and share you to let as many discover you that might! Best of the new year.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2014:

Sorry if this keeps you awake at night Marcy, I admit it is a chilling tale. Wow, teachers in a small school being predators...can't think of anything worse! Would be an ideal profession for them though, as with ice cream men. Yes they should lay them end to end, but I won't say what should be done to them then. Thanks for reading.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 01, 2014:

Very compelling title, and a chilling hub. I may not be able to sleep after reading this. At least two teachers in our (fairly small) school were predators. If all those who victimize children were laid end to end . . . It would be a good thing.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2014:

Yes Jackie, it was published two days ago. Sometimes I find I don't get notified at all and only know a hub's been published when I receive the summary email. I am often surprised by the hubs of mine that get chosen as editors choice. They don't usually seem to be the most popular with other hubbers. Yes we do have to try different styles and test our ability. Is your science fiction poem still published on here? Anyway glad you liked this one, thanks.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 01, 2014:

I didn't get notice of this, if it really was two days ago, lol. Could be two years ago I guess for how good they keep up the timing. Anyway it is a scary poem and you have done a wonderful job with it. We do sometimes wonder about things. I wrote a sci fi like poem once and it is nothing like my other writings and I think it was very good. The good thing is if you are like me is you keep going back to read it, in wonder. Let's us know we do have a little talent, huh? Whether the powers that be think so or not. lol^

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 31, 2013:

hi Nikki, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree, that's the message and yes, It would make a good movie with the ending you suggest.

Beautiful Garbage from Louisiana on December 31, 2013:

definitely dark. Could be a message to all kids never get inside a car with a stranger even if its the ice cream man. Could make for a good horror movie where hopefully they catch this psycho

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 31, 2013:

Thank you: Ann and Jamie,

I love the adjectives that this poem has conjured: disturbing, brave, gritty, nail-biting, dark, chilling, powerful etc. These are wonderful accolades alone to show it has had an effect on the readers. I needed to get the message across and think I succeeded.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on December 31, 2013:

Gritty poem Jodah but well written and I bit my nails from beginning to end. Jamie

Ann Carr from SW England on December 31, 2013:

Disturbing indeed. How anyone can treat children this way is beyond me but sadly it happens.

Well-written and brave.

Let's hope the new year brings happy, beautiful things for all our children; for you too of course. Ann

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 31, 2013:

Eddy, thank you very much for your comment, vote up and share. Wonderful New Year to you too.

Eiddwen from Wales on December 31, 2013:

The topic may not be appealing but sadly it is a topic that has to be aired has to be told and you have done an excellent job here. Voting up and sharing. I wish you a wonderful new year Jodah.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

@ Eric, thanks for your great comment. Glad this is your favorite I have written.

@ Jane, yes we have to be ever vigilant these days. Thanks for reading and your vote and share.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

@ Minnetonka, yes you are right there is evil all around us and we need to be ever vigilant. Thanks for reading and your kind comment.

Jane Arden on December 30, 2013:

I'm glad that you decided to publish it. It is a dark thought process, but life is dark and we see this type of thing only too often on our television news reports. It reminds us to keep hold of our children and warn them to trust no-one. You are such a talent Jodah. Voted and shared.

Eric Wayne Flynn from Providence, Rhode Island on December 30, 2013:

And hmmm let's see, how do I feel about this one? Well, it's my favorite of yours that I've read, no wonder (dark, honest and true). The mystery of the dark soul of man is always intriguing.


Linda Rogers from Minnesota on December 30, 2013:

It might be dark but it's true. There is evil all around us and it behooves us all to be aware of it. You did a great job writing of this scary story and man. The pictures you uploaded were perfect for this poem.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

I always welcome your wonderful comments Genna. Thank you for reading this poem, and seeing the valuable message it portrays in it's chilling depths. You shouldn't always accept people at face value.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 30, 2013:

Pretty powerful stuff, Jodah. We never know where our muse will take us when writing poetry, even to the darker fare that resides in this chilling, well-written poem. But your poem also carries lesson…to expect the unexpected, and to teach our children to be careful. It is often the seemingly harmless guy who turns out to be “Mr. Sammy.” Well done.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

Hi Flourish, I succeeded in making Sammy as creepy as I intended then, so that's a success. Sorry it gave you hills though. Just exploring a dark side for something a little different. thanks for your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 30, 2013:

There have been certain people who for an unknown reason made my skin crawl, and Sammy reminds me of them. They were perfectly friendly, sometimes a little too friendly. Your poem sends chills!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

Thank you very much Telecia, for visiting and your supportive comment.

Telecia LaRue from Los Angeles, CA on December 30, 2013:

This is a touchy subject indeed but it needed to be told! Great writing!

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on December 30, 2013:

Thanks Mary, I know it will make many uncomfortable, but you can't always ignore these things.

Mary McShane from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 30, 2013:

Wow! I read the warning and I blew it off. This poem certainly has a dark message. I can't say I liked the topic all that much, but I will say "Well done" in the story telling.

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