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Haunted Library - a Halloween party


Storytime and other Library programs.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Haunted Library - a Halloween party

Scott Bahlmann

Welcome to the Haunted Library! We wanted to include activites for teens and adults, but our audience really ended up being elementary age for the most part, and the activites still worked great for them! 

Ghostly Greeter:
One of our librarians has this awesome set-up with a curtained box, black lights, and a ghost puppet who sang and told jokes as patrons came in or left the party. The ghost wasn't very good at holding still though! 

The Witch's Kitchen:
We had cider, popcorn filled 'witch's hands' and cake bites donated from The Sweet Tooth Fairy. A lovely little spread.

Guessing Jars:
We had a jar of bubble gum and worms, which the winner got to take home, and a jar of 'blood' (made from marachino cherry juice and ketchup). The closest guess for the drops of blood got to keep the zombie gnome. 


Paper Pumpkin Patch:
We had strips of paper with holes punched in them for people to threat a pipe cleaner through. There was also black paper and scissors so people could glue on a face to jack-o-lantern their pumpkins, but our examples don't show that.

Tarot Reading Rooms:
One of our study rooms had a staff member reading cards, and this one was open with simple instructions for reading them yourself or for a friend.

Quiet in the Library:
We had a wheel patrons could spin, and they had to do whatever challenege it landed on without making a sound! (This could also be done by drawing cards if you aren't able to get/make a spinner) Walking across the LEGO, seen to the right, without shoes was one of the more popular challenges.

This is the spinner we made from a lazy susan, a spare board, and some nails. There are lots of instructables online you can look up, ours was easier than most because the base of the lazy susan already had a hole in it, we could just slip it onto a screw. 

Creepy Eyes Craft:
Maybe our most popular craft, you cut out the eyes of the image, then tape a strip with eyes behind it, folded so that it stands away from the page.

Festive Fingernails:
We had a nail artist painting the full two hours, everyone loved it!

Photo Booth:
We had a photographer on hand to capture all the awesome costumes! Here you can see the team that put it all together. 

Word Games:
We had a sheet for these Mad-Libs (which all used the same words, in case people wanted to spend more time reading than writing) and a page of Scary Synonyms. You can see the full text for both at the bottom of this post!

In our downstairs meeting room, we had the activites geared for kids,
though everyone really ended up doing everything. =]

Tangled Tree Treat Bags:
Use scissors to cut strips in the top of the bag, then twist them to make tangled branches. Use markers to decorate them with faces or creatures. I wanted this to be very simple, but with the option to spend more time decorating.

Pin the Wart on the Witch:
Pull the hat down over your eyes for this adaptation of the traditional donkey game. 

Ghost Gobble:
The ghosts are hungry! We had these 'snowballs' on hand, and they made perfect ghost food! 

Corn Cob Bowling:
Our corn cobs were water bottles covered in bubble wrap and painted. They looked great, but the paint came off and made a terrible mess! We used pumpins from the craft store to knock them over. 

The Monster March:
The kids walked around while music played, and when it stopped they made the noise of whatever monster they were on. Witches cackle, monsters moan, werewolfs howl, and ghosts go Boo!

Spider Tunnel:
Rather than doing the traditional maze this year, we had web-like fabric in a tube for the kids to crawel through, and they loved it!

Spider Pops:
Our only real treat were the lollies they got with this craft. Four pipe cleaners wrapped around the stick make a spider! Though they would have been much cuter with sticky eyes, we opted out. 

Our decorations were primarily paper bats that we hung all over them place, as well as a few webs, and these strings of lights that we attached cat faces to. (and our monster entrance, as seen in the banner at the top of the page)

The Word Games:

Mad Libs

Fill in each space with an appropriate word, then read the big pages with your words in the matching spaces!
1. A kind of weather

2. Name of a town

 3. Halloween Costume

4. Another Halloween Costume

 5. Character from a book

 6. A greeting

 7. An emotion

 8. Something you own

 9. Something to eat

 10. Something you like

Trick or Treat

On a ___1___ Halloween in the town of ___2___, I was going to go trick or treating. I decided to dress up as a ___3___ but everyone thought I would scare people, so I decided to dress up as a ___4___ instead. I looked great! The first door I knocked on turned out to be the home of ___5___. They opened the door and said “___6___”. I tried to say “Trick or Treat” but I was very ___7___.  ___5___ said “Come in”. But I ran as fast as I could back home and hid under my ___8___. I didn’t get any ___9___ or ___10___ for Halloween that year.  


The Visitor

I was trying to figure out how to get some ___10___, I’d run all out! I sat in the kitchen eating some ___9___ as I thought of a plan. My ___8___crashed to the floor in the other room. What happened? I went to see, and a ___7___ monster was climbing in through the window! “___6___” I said, then hurried out of the room and locked the door, but the monster was trying to get through! I grabbed my phone and called ___5___. As soon as they picked up I said “No time for ___6___s, get over here and help me!” They brought our superhero costumes, and we got suited up. I was a ___4___ and ___5___ was a ___3___. Then we opened the door and screamed at that monster! It was so terrified it disappeared in a flash. I don’t think it’ll show its face in ___2___ anymore. I felt like I could do anything, so I ran out into the ___1___ day, all the way to the store, and got myself some ___10___.  


Pumpkin Carving

I just found the perfect pumpkin, even though it was a pretty ___1___ day in the pumpkin patch. Now I can make the best Jack-o-lantern in ___2___! But it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I tried to carve a ___3___ but it ended up looking more like a ___4___. Maybe I wasn’t going to win the carving contest after all, especially with ___5___ as the judge. But then I heard something. “___6___”. It came from my pumpkin, it was alive! Then it said, “I was so ___7___ in that pumpkin patch. But now I have a mouth to talk with. Thank you!” Then it was time! I put the pumpkin on my ___8___ and brought them to the contest. My Jack-o-lantern made ___5___ laugh when it ate their ___9___s, and I won first prize! A big box of ___10___. 

Scary Synonyms
Can you name the horror movies by their synonymous titles?
Example: Concluding Journey’s End is Final Destination

1. Drowsy Empty Feeling
2. Tormenting Hallucination on a Public Thoroughfare with a Shade Tree
3. Craggy Terrifying Image Presentation
4. Horrific Vision Preceding an Occasion for Exchanging Gifts
5. Skeletal Newlywed
6. Herbal Infant
7. First Light of the Expired
8. Formal Senior Gala After Dark
9. Gentle Young Man with Cutting Appendages
10. Dark Hours of Animated Cadavers
11. Absence of Auditory Effect Produced by Young Woolen Mammals
12. Shiny Insect Secretion
13. Abnormal, Canine-like U.S. Carnivore in England’s Capital

  1. Sleepy Hollow                                       
  2. Nightmare on Elm Street                     
  3. Rocky Horror Picture Show                
  4. The Nightmare Before Christmas          
  5. Corpse Bride                                   
  6. Rosemary’s Baby                            
  7. Dawn of the Dead
  8. Prom Night
  9. Edward Scissorhands
  10. Night of the Living Dead
  11. Silence of the Lambs
  12. Beetlejuice
  13. An American Werewolf in London