Spooky literary characters from myriad children’s books stand among potions, cobwebs and haunted artifacts in a dark room at the Kenai Community Library, which is hosting its haunted house and hunt this week.
James Adcox, the services coordinator and children’s librarian, said the haunted house was set up differently this year to allow for social distancing and limit the need for high-touch surfaces.
“We do have other special effects, but a lot of them are buttons,” he said Tuesday. “And our goal is to try to limit the touching.”
Upon entry to the haunted house, patrons are introduced to well-known spooky characters — Count Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man and Medusa — to name just a few. Most of the displays are activated by clapping or by motion sensors.
Adcox said in an effort to maintain a literary theme, the characters in the haunted house include short biographies for patrons to read.
“We’re trying to base it on literary characters,” he said. “And then the write-ups are all based on the books.”
Participants who hunt and count all the hidden Count Draculas in the haunted house can enter to win a raffle prize as well.
This is the fifth haunted house the Kenai Community Library has put on, Adcox said, although in October 2020 they weren’t able to host one. In a normal non-COVID year, a staff member would guide patrons through a more interactive haunted house during set hours.
This year, the clap-activated haunted house and hunt is open during regular library hours: from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Additionally, there will be an outdoor storytime on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for anyone who wants to come by to read and venture into the haunted house.
Adcox said that Monday, the first day of the haunted house, brought out a good number of patrons. The hunt will be on through the weekend, he said.
“Anyone who walks in the door that wants to just come through and enter the (raffle) competition, enter or read about books, is welcome,” he said.
On Saturday and Sunday the circulation desk will also have candy for anyone who comes by on Halloween weekend.