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(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / Sept. 7, 2023) – What happens at the Stillwater Public Library when the lights go down and the doors lock at night? Are the enduring rumors of spooks and hauntings in the old South High School portion of the library true? Community members can experience the thrills and chills that librarians have long known at the “Stillwater Haunted Library” fundraiser being held Oct.19-21. Oklahoma Community Credit Union sponsors the event. Tickets are $5 for children 12 and under and $10 for ages 13 and up.
“On my very first night closing the library 22 years ago, one of the librarians walked me through locking up the building,” said Stacy DeLano, library director. “As we turned off each panel of lights and the creaks and groans of the old north building got louder, the librarian introduced me to the ghosts of the library. It was thrilling and eerie. The library’s possible haunting has come up many times over the years, so we decided the library’s Centennial was the perfect time to put a story to the rumors and raise some funds for the Library Trust.”
The Stillwater Haunted Library is a 300-foot maze with twists and turns that take visitors from a cemetery of authors and creepy library scenes into the haunted pages of seven of the library’s spookiest stories, including “Harry Potter,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “Macbeth.”
Tours through the Haunted Library will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. on each of the three days. The earlier tours include “lower scares” and are recommended for attendees eight and older. The later tours are recommended for attendees 13 and older and will include jump scares and moderate gore.
According to DeLano, constructing the Haunted Library has been a community affair.
“We started with a simple design,” DeLano said. “As we continued gathering excited and talented volunteers, the idea grew into a full-blown maze with lighting from an OSU Department of Theatre professor, a script written by a Town & Gown volunteer, scenes painted by several local artists and dozens of OSU student volunteer actors.
“Fortunately, our friends at Oklahoma Community Credit Union stepped in to help us make this expanded idea possible, while Lowe’s and Douglas Building Center aided with some of the construction supplies.”
Beyond the maze, the event has activities for the whole family to enjoy.
“Parents can choose whether their children are ready to tour the Haunted Library maze,” said Elizabeth Murray, children’s librarian. “For children who are not ready for the scares, we are holding a ‘Spooky Storytime Room’ at the same time with a no-scare mini-maze appropriate for all ages. Families can tour that maze or spend time together playing carnival games for free.”
The children’s librarians will also be practicing their spooky storytelling each Saturday in October during the Stillwater Noon Lions Club Pumpkin Patch being held Sept. 23-Oct. 31.
Proceeds from the Haunted Library tickets and the sale of refreshments will benefit the Library Trust, which provides funding for projects and resources that the library cannot fund through its operating budget. A goal of the Centennial has been to increase the library’s endowment so that it can continue to provide services and resources into its second century.
Tickets for the Stillwater Haunted Library are available for purchase on the library’s website. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the library’s Help Desk. Visit stillwaterok.gov/SPL100 for more details about Centennial events and how to donate to the Library Trust.