standing Westerly Library

Have you noticed that there are an awful lot of stories about ghosts/hauntings that are set in New England? Perhaps that’s due to the prevalence of older, historic houses. Or the crumbling, overgrown cemeteries that seem to be on every other street. Or maybe it’s somehow influenced by the great horror writers who come from the area, like H. P. Lovecraft. Whatever the reason, these stories are even creepier when they take place in your own backyard! Here are a few movies and books set in New England to make the hair on your neck stand up.

You can start with “Haunted RI”, a television series that follows a group of paranormal investigators as they check out various purportedly haunted locations throughout the state. While they do film on location, the investigators are more focused on exploring the legends and the history behind each place, rather than trying to catch something on camera. If you’re more interested in watching ghostly activity unfold on screen, try out “Ghost Hunters”, the original paranormal reality TV show. Both are available on DVD through our consortium.

We have plenty of creepy reads as well. “Ghosts Along the Road: An Offbeat Look Off the Beaten Path in a Special Part of Rhode Island and Connecticut” was written by local author Rona Mann, and is described as “part historical, part travel guide, part local New England humor”. It’s great for armchair travelers who want to know more of the history behind strange places in RI. “Haunted Lighthouses: Phantom Keepers, Ghostly Shipwrecks, and Sinister Calls from the Deep” by Ray Jones combines two different (but common) interests: lighthouses and ghosts. The book describes spooky lighthouses all over the country and features several local to us. If you want to go exploring yourself, grab your flashlight and pick up a copy of “Guidebook to Haunted and Strange Places in Rhode Island and Surrounds” by Charles Harrington, which provides 14 self-guided walking and biking tours of various haunted sites in the state.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk about the Conjuring Universe. What began as one creepy film quickly grew into an 8-film franchise, beginning with “The Conjuring” (2013), and continuing most recently with “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” (2021). The original story is based on supposedly real events, which took place in an old farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. You may have seen the same farmhouse on the news very recently, as it’s currently for sale! So, if you have $1.2 million and a fondness for horror, you can have your very own haunted farmhouse…otherwise, you can take out any of the Conjuring films from the library and be scared completely free of charge.

Happy Halloween!

Top requested books

1. “Apples Never Fall” by Liane Moriarty

2. “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave

3. “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

4. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

5. “Peril” by Bob Woodward

6. “The Madness of Crowds” by Louise Penny

7. “Better Off Dead” by Lee Child

8. “State of Terror” by Hillary Rodham Clinton

9. “Slow Fire Burning” by Paula Hawkins

10. “The Paper Palace” by Miranda Cowley Heller

Top requested DVDs

1. “The Crown: The Complete Fourth Season”

2. “Mare of Easttown”

3. “Free Guy”

4. “Jungle Cruise”

5. “Cruella”

6. “The Green Knight”

7. “Palm Springs”

8. “Snake Eyes”

9. “Old”

10. “Pig”

This week

MONDAY — 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for our highly anticipated Friends of the Library book sale, which runs through October 30th.

TUESDAY — 9-10 a.m., Yoga in the Park with Chelsea Hauck – A beginner-friendly yoga practice on the YMCA side of the park; 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for the Friends of the Library book sale; 10-10:30 a.m., Family Storytime – Join us in the 3rd floor Terrace Room for a family storytime and craft to go! The program will be geared towards ages birth through 11 years when accompanied by a caregiver; 1-4 p.m., Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available to help connect you with local services/resources. Email her at advocate@westerlylibrary.org; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom every Tuesday to address your tech questions. Preregistration is required; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group is meeting weekly upstairs in Reference.

WEDNESDAY — 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for the Friends of the Library book sale; 9:30-10:00 a.m., Essentrics Stretch in the Park – This workout will elongate and strengthen all the muscles chains in the body. Bring a mat, bath towel, and water.

THURSDAY — 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for the Friends of the Library book sale; 4-4:30 p.m., Teen Book Club – Join the teen librarian via Zoom or in person (this is a hybrid program) for book discussions, recommendations, and creative writing tips! For more information and to register please email teens@westerlylibrary.org.

FRIDAY — 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for our highly anticipated Friends of the Library book sale; 5-5:45 p.m., Kids Halloween Party - Join us outside in Wilcox Park for some spooktacular family fun with a magic show, balloon animals (for ages 2+), crafts to go, Pete the Cat, and more! No registration required.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., URI Master Gardener Kiosk – Get research-based answers to all of your gardening questions; 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Friends Book Sale – Join us on the 3rd floor Terrace room for the Friends of the Library book sale; 10-10:30 a.m., Dia de los Muertos – Drop by to make two paper crafts that you can take home to decorate with for Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! First come, first served; 10-11:30 a.m., Walking Tour of Wilcox Park | Native Flowers and Trees – This tour showcases some of the native perennials and trees in the Park. Please meet on the Esplanade at the side entrance of the library; 10:15-11 a.m., Zumba in the Park – Try out Zumba for a fun workout! Classes are FREE and will be held on the grassy area near the gazebo, weather permitting.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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