Central peninsula libraries host haunted houses, scary storytimes, seasonal crafts

It’s all about Halloween at Kenai and Soldotna libraries

The Kenai Community Library and the Soldotna Public Library are celebrating the season with Halloween-themed events throughout October.

Kenai Community Library

The Kenai Community Library’s themed October offerings start with a Pumpkin Giveaway and Decorating Contest. For kids aged 12 and under, pumpkins and submission forms can be picked up at the library for free any day this week, then brought to the 7th Annual Kenai Fall Pumpkin Festival on Saturday to be shown off.

Though not explicitly billed as a Halloween event, Stuffed Animal Taxidermy — being held at 4 p.m. on Oct. 12 — welcomes up to 12 teens to mount the heads of their old stuffed animals on plaques. All materials are provided, but participants need to register at the front desk in advance to save their spot.

“We’ve got some extra stuffed animals that have been, you know, used and loved, and we’re going to be unsewing them and then mounting them up like a taxidermy head,” said Program Coordinator Elizabeth Kleweno.

Kleweno said the Teen Advisory Board at the library thought it was a fun idea, and all of the supplies were already lying around, so they went for it.

On Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m., participants will learn to make Pumpkin Pancakes. Participants need to register in advance, either by phone or at the front desk.

On Oct. 14, the library will be hosting a family-friendly crafting project at 4 p.m.: putting a pet ghost into a bottle. The library said only kids can adopt a pet ghost, and participants have to register in advance.

The Literary Haunted House will be open from Oct. 25 through Halloween day. The library describes it as a “not-too-scary” haunted house. The event is free, and will be available during library hours.

Kleweno said the library has been hosting the haunted house annually for several years.

It features Dracula, Frankenstein, a mummy, some witches and ghosts, Kleweno said. She said they’re actively working to add even more to the production.

Kleweno said there are interactive elements to the haunted house as well. Waldo — of “Where’s Waldo” fame — will be hidden around the space, and attendees who count them up can be entered for a prize drawing. There are also various motion sensors and buttons that can be tripped to trigger a scare.

The library will be hosting a Crafternoon at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 all about turning used books into decorative pumpkins. This program is for kids 10 and up.

Spooky Story Time Oct. 31, costumes, flashlights and blankets are encouraged for a Halloween themed Story Time at 10:30 a.m. on the big day.

Kleweno said attendees can look forward to partaking in some hot cocoa around a “really cool” artificial campfire.

Soldotna Public Library

At Soldotna Public Library, Halloween-themed fun starts on Oct. 14 with Teen Zombie Makeup 101 at 4 p.m. The library says teens will learn to make a zombie look that screams “I just rose up like this.”

A Kids Craft for black light Halloween masks will be Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

Teens need to sign up in advance for a race to find a cure in the Teen Zombie Escape Room on Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

“Teen Zombie Escape Room is a play off of an adult escape room that we did a few years ago,” Youth Services Librarian Leslie Meyer said.

A group of teenagers will be locked in the community room and told “aha, there is, in fact, a cure to the zombie virus,” Meyer said. They’ll have to solve puzzles and clues to acquire it.

Registration is open right now for teens between the ages of 13 and 18. Meyer said there’s only room for 12 participants, but she’ll have a waitlist too.

Finally, kids can get their costumes on and visit the StoryTime dungeon for Halloween StoryTime on Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.

“We’re encouraging everyone to get dressed up in their Halloween best,” Meyer said. There will be Halloween themed picture books read, as well as some twists on songs usually sung at StoryTime events.

“Instead of going on a bear hunt, we’re gonna go hunting for Dracula,” Meyer said.

Meyer said that the Soldotna Public Library collected scary stories based on some writing prompts, and that those submissions will be put up and displayed in Parker Park down Park Lane starting this Friday.

“Maybe go a little later in the day,” Meyer said. “Bring a flashlight and read some spooky stories written by fellow Soldotna citizen folk.”

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.