13 Tales for 13 Nights of Halloween

It’s that time of year again: time to gather round for a bone-chilling storytime. I’m so sad not to be joining you all at Lotties’ Lounge, Tippe & Drague, Floating Bridge, The Palace Theatre, Capitol Cider, The Pine Box, or any of the other wonderful venues where we’ve done ‘Ales from the Crypt over the past years. This year we’ll drink alone, but allow me to read you something scary on each of the 13 nights between now and Hallowe’en.

The House of the Nightmare, by Edward Lucas White. A car accident, a dark lonely road, a seemingly abandoned house, and a strange boy. Recorded July 2020.

The Red Lodge, by H. Russell Wakefield. A man moves into an old house with his family and begins to suspect that it is haunted. Recorded live, October 2017.

The Red Room, by H.G. Wells. Do you dare to spend just one night alone, in the Red Room? Recorded September 2020. Continue reading “13 Tales for 13 Nights of Halloween”

Vampires, Possession, and … Elk? It’s Horror Season!

Darkness encroaches! This year’s horror novels bring us several takes on possession, some very creepy homes, vampires, and even a vengeful elk spirit. So make a hot beverage, grab a blanket, and settle in on the couch as you prepare to feel a frisson of fear from an outstanding recent horror novel.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Ten years ago, four young Native American men took an elk hunting trip that strayed into the area of their Blackfoot Reservation reserved for elders. The memory of that day haunts them all to different degrees, but now the spirit of the elk they wronged is out for revenge, in this slow-burn horror novel. Continue reading “Vampires, Possession, and … Elk? It’s Horror Season!”

The Haunted Podcasts of Autumn

Image of frightened person courtesy of Camila Quintero Franco, via UnsplashWell, we’ve definitely turned the corner into the spookiest time of year. No, I don’t mean election season: I’m talking about the lead up to Hallowe’en. This time last year – and for the past five years – I’d be stepping out into the chill winds of Autumn to go read haunting ‘Ales from the Crypt in bars all over the city. Instead, we’ll be doing weekly Thrilling Tales Podcasts all October long of vintage spooky stories, for your shivery delight.

Never mind the hackneyed jump scares and bloated CGI monstrosities bursting from forth your TV screens this October, leaving nothing to your imagination. For real spookiness, there’s nothing quite like turning down the lights, pulling up the covers, and treating yourself to a mug of something warm, and a voice coming out of the darkness, reading you a thoroughly chilling story unearthed from the mouldering past. Nobody beats those bygone Edwardian and Victorian authors for casting a Continue reading “The Haunted Podcasts of Autumn”

Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now

As October looms near, I can’t help but to think about making a Spooky Stories display for the library. As a children’s librarian, I am mostly gathering books for young readers. I just put on hold several of my favorites, like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and the thought occurred to me: what are the grown up versions of these stories?

Not that we can’t enjoy these stories as adults (I know I still do!), but I’ve also read a vast array of horror and scary stories in adulthood. I thought up some interesting pairs. Hopefully you enjoy reading these ‘grown up’ matches to a few childhood favorites.

Pairing Number One:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Fragments of Horror 1, by Junji Itō Continue reading “Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now”

Longer nights: Stranger tales

You can feel it in the air, can’t you: Autumn is just around  the corner, and here at the library that means gathering around to hear some spooky stories. Once again this Fall, we’ll be presenting our ‘Ales from the Crypt spooky story time in bars around town (visit the Booktoberfest page soon for details, or mark your calendar now for one of these dates: Tuesday Oct 22, 8 p.m. – Palace Art Bar, Georgetown; Sunday, Oct 27, 8 p.m. – Tippe & Drague Alehouse, Beacon Hill; Wednesday, Oct 30, 8 p.m. – Floating Bridge Brewing, University District. We will also have a pair of spooky readings as part of this year’s LitCrawl.

For those who prefer to get scared in broad daylight, don’t miss our regular lunch hour Thrilling Tales program as we shift into the spooky season of the year:

Monday, September 9, noon: The Painted Smile, by William Kent Krueger. Ten-year-old Oliver believes he’s Sherlock Holmes, and he isn’t the only one: just ask Professor Moriarty. Krueger’s homage to Arthur Conan Doyle is full of fun surprises. Continue reading “Longer nights: Stranger tales”