Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween in the Library

One of the things I loved most about being in the library was Halloween. I would dress up as a witch and pretend to be my identical twin sister, and I would read scary stories in the library.

Kids love scary stories. Love. Adore. Shiver-ing-ly fun.

Here's a list of my favorite scary stories to share in my elementary library.

The perfect scary story for our youngest kids is Go Away, Big Green Monster. It gives kids power as, step by step, that big green monster appears, and, step by step, we make that monster go away, yelling together, "Go away, Big Green Monster!"

The next step up from Big Green Monster is The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. Scary things appear but is this little old lady scared? Nah! 

One more step up in scariness is In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories retold by Alvin Schwartz. This is a collection of little scary stories with pretty spooky pictures.

The scariest stories I'd share in elementary school. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark even spooked my sixth graders.

When I was a child, I ordered Strangely Enough! by C. B. Colby in a Scholastic book order. I probably paid about 75 cents for it back in the 1960s. I remember taking this book along on a Girl Scout campout when I was about ten and reading the stories aloud to the other girls at night around the campfire. That must have been when I decided to become a librarian.

When I was a little girl in fifth grade, a librarian from our county library system came to our school and told us the story of Britt Bailey, a ghost from our county. She scared us half to death with her story of Bailey, who haunted the prairie near Highway 35. My gosh! I rode down Highway 35 every Sunday to my grandparents' house in Brazoria, and we usually came back at night. I never forgot that librarian's visit, and I used to love to do a little storytelling with the kids at school, telling the kids the story of a ghost that haunts our county as a fiery red light, just a short drive down the highway from our town. I recently found an old video from about 1985, posted on YouTube with the librarian, who has now passed away, telling the story to a group of kids. (Note: This librarian was born in 1908, and was very much a product of her times. For more information about Foster, see this newpaper article from a county paper titled "The Ghost Lady.")

Foster later wrote down a collection of ghost stories from around Brazoria County which she titled Ghosts Along the Brazos.

What scary stories did you like as a child? 
What scary stories do you share with your children and grandchildren?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. They never did that in a library here when I was a kid, you made it sound like so much fun to visit.

  2. Dressing up for Halloween and then going to the library sounds so fun! Good for you. I'm glad your library had that. :)

    My TTT.

  3. I bet you were the most fun librarian ever!

  4. Love the stories of the scary stories. Have you ever read The Caterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde? It is scary at first and then turns funny. The kids in the family harass the poor ghost.

  5. sounds like fun. love the cover for strangely enough
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. I was one of those kids who loved spooky stuff. I still have my childhood copy of Scary Stories around here somewhere.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  7. The library I went to when I was a kid didn't do anything like that for Halloween, or anything for any holiday. It seems I missed out :)

  8. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything sounds SO fun and cute. Also, I used to adore In A Dark, Dark Room and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It sounds like it was a lot of fun to work at a library during Halloween--your costume was adorable AND I love that you played your own type of character while reading to the kiddos. Too fun!

  9. I love that you pretended to be your twin sister! :)

  10. Our libraries, sadly do not do fun things at Halloween. They've become social media and computer centers for the most part. Very little programming for kids and others. Sad, because I remember so many fun times at the library growing up.

  11. I love that Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything. I want to BE her!


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