The Halloween weekend saw many fun and scary events on the Peninsula, including the Kenai Community Library where the fun loving staff created a “Literary Haunted” house for children.
James Adcox is the Children’s Librarian and instigator of the not so scary experience for kids of all ages.
“The Literary Haunted House was set up to be not too scary, but set up to highlight books of the spooky genre,” explained Adcox. “This is our second year we’ve transformed our conference room space into a haunted fun house, but more than that to make it an educational experience and interactive for youth. So we chose to pick nine stories this year to highlight that ranged from Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ to Bram Stocker’s ‘Dracula,’ H.G. Wells ‘War of the Worlds’ to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ that ranged not only in genre but in age levels of readers as well.”
“The room itself was set up in a way to be atmospheric yet spacious so even the little ones from 2- to 4-year-olds have a lot to take in but nothing is jumping out at them or trying to scare them. Staff takes them on a tour and highlight the different stories starting with Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Raven’ and depending on the age level do a very brief description of the book or poem. We made it simple for the younger ones so they can interact. Like after hearing about Frankenstein they could electrocute him by hitting a button and shocking him. With Harry Potter they can clap their hands and see the display come to life and at there were interactive stations at each of the nine displays that ended with Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and the witches where the kids got to pick one of three chambers to reach in a grab a piece of candy with a little tactile surprise as they get their candy, but nothing frightening or scary just a fun reward that made it fun for the whole family,” said Adcox.
The thrill and entertainment of scary stories has never exactly been explained yet Adcox sees the advantage of encouraging kids to read.
“Being a librarian there is no shortage of great stories that revolve around that theme, so it’s fun to nurture that human phenomenon this time of year in terms of a little bit scary, but exciting at the same time and maybe the stories are relatable in our own life whether maybe not a monster, but a creepy place in our house or relatives house that we don’t want to visit and it can help us overcome those kind of fears by putting them in a fantasy context,” added Adcox.
The Kenai Library “Literary Haunted House” closed Oct. 31, but the fun has just begun and the Children’s Library so check out there coming events on their website or like them on Facebook for current updates.