Sunday, August 7, 2022

A haunting is coming to New Hanover County’s Main Library (photos)

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Down in the basement of New Hanover County’s Main Library, a transformation is taking place.

What has been used as storage by the county for years will soon become a haunted library thanks to Youth Services Librarian Scooter Hayes and his team of teenagers, collectively known as Scare Squad.

The teens are in the process of creating scary props, such as bloody skeletons and heads on stakes, and building a maze that people can walk through the Saturday before Halloween.

“In previous years we did it on the third floor [of the main library],” said Hayes, who added that the event has been held for the last three years. “This year it’s in the basement, which is even scarier because it’s already kind of creepy down there. This is a great venue to hold it in.”

Those who dare enter the Haunted Library, located at 201 Chestnut St., will have to walk down an alleyway and down there stairs into the basement, where they will have to contend with the props as well as disorienting walkways and live people ready to jump out and startle people. According to Hayes, the backstory behind the attraction is that the library was built on top of a graveyard, and for one night, a witch brings the dead back to life.

“It’s going to be one of the best haunted houses in the county, and the best part is that it’s free.” — Youth Services Librarian Scooter Hayes

One of the teens working on getting everything ready is 16-year-old Hannah Foy, who’s in her third year of involvement with the library’s Halloween attraction.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Foy said.

Foy said she heard about Scare Squad through her involvement with the library’s teen film club.

“It’s cool that it’s down here this year, because the basement’s kind of got that [scary] vibe.”

Foy and the other teens will be working every Tuesday evening until Oct. 29 to set up the Haunted Library. In addition to the maze, which will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and is geared toward older children and adults, there will also be activities for all ages in Story Park from 2 to 5 p.m.

There will be no admission costs for any of the events.

“We’ll have something for everyone that day,” said Hayes. “This event has gotten bigger every year. It’s going to be one of the best haunted houses in the county, and the best part is that it’s free.”

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