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  • July 2020
    M T W T F S S

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Did you know that the word Halloween is a contraction of “All Hallow’s Evening”?  Halloween is tomorrow and that means something different to everyone.  Some of you may be looking forward to dressing up and trick-or-treating, by with friends and younger siblings.  You might be planning on handing out candy at home.  Others still might be turning out the lights, pretending they’re not home, and watching a scary movie or reading a scary book.  I myself may be doing the last thing on this list, finishing up the last book in the horrific Monstrumologist series, The Final Descent, by Rick Yancey.

What are your plans for All Hallow’s Eve?  If you’re looking for a good horror read to scare your pants off on Halloween night, check out these books!

Amber House


Texas Gothic

The Graveyard Book

The Halloween Handbook

The Madman's Daughter

The Monstrumologist

The Original Duct Tape Halloween

Happy reading!

Amy, CLP-Lawrenceville

‘Tis the season…

The season of FEAR is upon us. If you’re in search of thrills and chills, you’re in luck– creative teens around the city are hosting library hauntings to inspire horror in the hearts of fear-seekers.

This Saturday, October 26, check out the first ever Haunted House at CLP- East Liberty, brought to you by the East Liberty Teen Advisory Council. This fear-fest will feature horrific tales, ghoulish delights, and even…robotics? Gotta see it to believe it. You can drop in between 10 AM and 5 PM on Saturday at 130 S. Whitfield Street to catch some of the frightful (& FREE!) fun.

hauntedlibrary2013_purpleMeanwhile, the ghosts of Halloweens past are gathering in Carrick, waiting to invade the library for another year of fear. From the gruesome minds that brought you CHAIRPOCALYPSE! and the story of Alice and her haunted well, it’s THE RETURN OF THE HAUNTED LIBRARY.

Take a spine-tinging stroll through three mini-rooms of terror as you delve into a tale of madness and obsession. Can you keep your cool as the restless spirits surround you? Don’t let your mind wander too far…they say there’s something lurking in the woods.

Check out how the teens of CLP- Carrick have transformed an ordinary room into a chamber of fear– don’t miss the Haunted Library at 1811 Brownsville Road.

Wednesday, October 30, 5-7:30 PM
Thursday, October 31, 5-7:30 PM
Saturday, November 2, 2-4:30 PM

Need some inspiration for taking on the terror? Look no further:



What You Don’t Know Can Eat You

So did you hear the one about the zombie who tortured his victims with music?

-His BACH was worse than his bite!

What’s black, white, and dead all over?

-A zombie in a TUXEDO!

How about that zombie who was expelled from school?

-He kept BUTTERING up his teacher!

Okay, okay… I’m sorry; enough with the stink bombs.  Just don’t expect zombies to be so apologetic.  Most are ruthless, flesh-starved killers, and there’s no better time to prepare for their inevitable takeover than right now!  Pin on that gray ribbon, ‘cos May is Zombie Awareness Month!

Wait… I know what you’re thinking… ‘May?  The month of flowers and moms?’  Let me explain.  You see, zombies weren’t always rotting bottomless pits of hunger.  Once upon a time, before everything went all crazy in the 1960s, zombies were, more often than not, relegated to the role of henchmen carrying out nefarious plots  – dead people brought back to life by the magical/mystical power of some stereotypically creepy looking dude up to no good.  The ‘modern zombie’ that we all know and love has been more or less a great big work in progress (arguably) since 1968 when the game changer/local horror classic Night of the Living Dead was released.  Since then your friend and mine, the zombie, has been refined endlessly through horror films (and books!) that have, for better or worse, added and tweaked characteristics along the way.  A whole bunch of movies that were really crucial in creating the rotting bottomless pit zombie (including Night of the Living Dead) are set in the merry month of May, hence the celebration/preparation.

Dylan Dog. Art by Mike Mignola © Dark Horse Comics

So what the heck are you supposed to do during Zombie Awareness Month???  Get ready for the undead – that’s what!  The Zombie Research Society, which started the month-long vigil, is all about survival.  They’ve compiled a map of zombie outbreaks that may have potentially gone down throughout history – a great way to familiarize yourself with some possible attack scenarios and response actions (got a lead coffin handy?) – as well as a list of the top ten safest countries to be in during a zombie pandemic (based on factors like population density, climate, topography, gun-ownership, military capability, natural resources, and public infrastructure).  We at CLP Carrick will be brushing up on our zombie-bustin’ know-how the easy way – with popcorn and a movie!  Join us for our Teen Zombie Movie Saturday on May 18th at 1:30… you never know, it just might save your life.

Zombies go nom nom nom:


Jon : Carrick

The Daemon Chair of Carrick

In the cursed early evening of December 7th, just as a gibbous moon was dawning overhead and unwitting Carrick Library staff were busily going about their closing duties for the day, ancient star patterns were aligning in the bruised sky forming eldritch constellations hinting that the laws of time and physics were about to momentarily part ways with logic – ushering in an unholy visitor to this world.  Through their disbelief and mild shock, those staff members present recounted how, upon locking the glass doors of the Library, the sidewalk in front of the building had been clear.  Then, seemingly, in an instant, a darkened figure lay; its sprawling, hideous shadow branching towards the entrance in the transitional moonlight like scary fingers reaching…

Possessing subtle yet exceptionally powerful abilities in persuasion and hypnotic suggestion, this four-legged interstellar traveler was able to easily gain shelter in the Library.  It has since, likewise, exhibited a preternatural ability in avoiding removal from the premises, having survived being left for the taking on the curb (despite being solid and structurally sound) and the Library’s weekly trash removal.  Despite these menacing mutant abilities, it is the Daemon Chair’s eerie silence and somewhat intrusive presence (both of which boldly underline the almost certain sinister nature of its mysterious materialization) that have proven most unnerving.  Where did it come from?  What sort of convoluted evil is it hatching?

Using its aforementioned subliminally persuasive abilities, the Daemon Chair has influenced Teen Think (Carrick’s Teen Advisory Group) to begin writing and producing a horror film about and starring the wooden abomination.  Does its plan for global domination commence with an A-list, red carpet career???  Does anyone want/need a chair????

TEEN + Mystery =


Jon : Carrick

Read Horror Manga Now!

Every October, as the wind turns chilly and whistles around the corners of buildings like some creep, I re-read The Enigma of Amigara Fault by Junji Ito. Just to get myself into the Halloween mood — I love things where I can’t stand reading any more, but I can’t stop, either. Amigara never fails to fill me with uncanny dread, even though it’s only 32 pages long and has nary a monster in sight.

The premise is that an earthquake in Japan has opened up a mysterious fault line in a mountain, revealing a series of human-sized holes.  Some people who have seen the images of the holes on television are mysteriously compelled to go look at them in person. And some think that there is a hole in the mountainside that is shaped just like them. Made for them. And they start to think that they should go into the mountain.

I won’t say any more, so as not to ruin it for you, but I will give you some more ideas of horror manga that you can check out from the library.  You’ll find more atmospheric stories featuring inexplicable compulsions that lead to grotesque consequences, as well as different kinds of spirits and demons than in Western culture’s horror stories.  And best (or worst) of all, it’s illustrated.  So the horrific images can be burned into your psyche.

Uzumaki Vol. 1-3 / Junji Ito

Strange things begin to happen in a small Japanese village. Its residents are being consumed in different ways by the form of the spiral – from contorting their own bodies to being strangely infected by giant snails.  Inhabitants try to leave but are unable. (Also available in animated form!)

Scary Book, Vol. 3 / Kazuo Umezu

There’s a horror manga prize named after Umezu (Junji Ito has won it) so you know he must be good!  I have read the excellent Cat-Eyed Boy, which is now sadly gone from the library system (*sniff*), but we still have this volume to check out and enjoy.

Mushishi / Yuki Urushibara

So, I wouldn’t technically call this horror manga, but it does have to do with unseen things that affect humans in weird ways, and I really enjoyed reading it. Ginko is a traveling supernatural doctor. He diagnoses diseases caused by the Mushi – normally invisible creatures that are tapped into the life force and cause strange side effects when they infect humans.

Rohan at the Louvre / Hirohiko Araki

Rohan is a mangaka who falls for a girl who is haunted by the story of a painting made with the blackest ink known on earth. He gets obsessed with the painting in turn and goes to the Louvre to see it for himself. Things get weird from there.


Have a favorite horror manga?  Let me know in the comments – I’m always looking for new ones to read.


– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Favorite books of 2011 – a reflection

Now that 2012 has just begun, I find myself looking back on the past year: the meals I’ve cooked, the films that touched me, the time I spent with loved ones, and the great books I read. Therefore, I’m embracing this opportunity as a chance to share those titles with you.  So bundle up and stop into your local library to pick up one of these greats!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – Scholar, Diana Bishop, unknowingly finds a much sought after tome, while in Oxford’s Bodleian library.  Who is in search for this tome, you ask?  Oh, no one but the world’s most powerful witches, daemons, and vampires – that’s all!  This one is a delightful mix of supernatural, science fiction, romance that will surely make you crave the second volume in this trilogy.

The Kid by Sapphire – This extraordinary story chronicles the journey of Precious’ son, Abdul, after his mother’s death.  Beware – this one is just as gritty as Precious and will send you on an emotional roller coaster.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin –  Contrary to the implication of the use of the word “autobiography” in the title of this one, it is a fictional tale, though it does read like an autobiography.  Pick this one up if you’re intrigued by the circus – it gives a great account of the beginnings of the famous Mr. P.T. Barnum and all from the perspective a very teeny tiny woman, Ms. Lavinia Bump.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman – This follow up to The Magicians is simply fantastic. Pick up book one if you craving an adventure tale with a taste of the traditional English boarding school story with a more adult Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia flavor mixed in. You’ll surely be clamoring for book two shortly after.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – I couldn’t have chosen a better book to read over Halloween weekend this year. Johnson eloquently unravels a mystery in this one, where Rory moves to London from Louisiana to attend boarding school, only to promptly witness a modern day Jack the Ripper murder, and must decide what to do, while avoiding getting her own throat cut.

I can hardly wait to see what 2012 will bring, in terms of some good reading!

~LeeAnn Anna

It’s never too early for Halloween!

Okay, well today is September 2nd and maybe it is too early for Halloween. That said, Halloween is my favorite holiday and if you love horror stories, are planning an elaborate haunted house or just want to have a great costume and decorations the Library can help!

A new all-things Halloween sourcebook recently released is Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America’s Fright Night.

Carving pumpkins? Why not go all out with Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors.

If you are yearning for a local scare , look no farther than Weird Pennsylvania.


Get duct tape costume and craft ideas from The Original Duct Tape Halloween Book. Or check the CLP events calendar for duct tape program at your Library!

Do you have a favorite Halloween tradition?

*Michael B. – CLP Hazelwood

True tale of horror!

It was a dark and stormy night.  Wait a minute, nevermind.   It was a hot, sunny day in July, in the summer before I started 7th grade. My friend Keeley invited  three other friends and me to spend the day on her family’s boat in Conneaut Lake.  They had water tubes and skis, and I always had fun on those trips.  But this time, we  all had a bit of trepidation.

Before we headed out,  we quizzed Keeley’s  mom about a local news story that was turning into a rural legend.  Earlier in the summer, a man had fallen overboard from his boat into Conneaut Lake.  No one had seen him for weeks.  Everyone we knew was speculating wildly.  There were rumors he had embezzled money and escaped to Mexico, since there was no body.

“Do you think the fish ate him?”

“Is he really dead?”

“What if we find him?”  We were assured us the chances were about as good as being struck by lightning.

So we headed out to the lake: 5 happy, reassured 12-year olds and a very patient dad.  We had been on the lake for an hour or two, when my turn was up on the tubes.  My friend Kayce climbed onto the tube next to me.  We were screaming and laughing as we went over the lake, bouncing around on the waves.

All of a sudden, I noticed something floating out of the corner of my eye.  I looked passed Kayce.  Beyond her, I saw what looked like a big suitcase, bobbing up and down on the lake.  As we quickly got closer, I realized it wasn’t luggage.  It was gray, and looked squishy and lumpy.  Kayce was looking in the same direction.   At the exact same instant, we realized what we had encountered.  There was no mistaking what it was, once we saw that “it” was wearing swimming trunks.  It was the body.

“AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” We screamed in unison.  When we looked at the boat, we saw our three other friends in various states of shrieking and horror.  One friend had her hands on her cheeks, another seemed to be pulling her hair out.  Keeley’s dad began turning the boat back to shore, as Kayce and I frantically gave the hand sign for “We’re ready to come back on the boat.”  Unfortunately, that hand sign was a slice across the throat. Even more unfortunately, the boat didn’t stop.  We rode the whole way back to shore behind the boat, screaming and holding on for dear life.

The moral of the story: never trust anyone’s mom.  Okay, that isn’t the moral.  The moral of the story is: true horror stories happen.  If you’d like to read about more real-life horror, check out the titles below.

Toe tagged : True Stories from the Morgue, by Jaime Joyce.

The Year We Disappeared : A Father-daughter Memoir, by  Cylin Busby & John Busby.

How to Survive a Horror Movie : All the Skills to Dodge the Kills,  by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Encyclopedia Horrifica : The Terrifying Truth!  About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and more, by Joshua Gee.

Happy Halloween, and safe boating to you all!

Holly, CLP Main

Local Zombies and Specters

Pittsburgh is the setting for a healthy number of very excellent (and some excellently cheesy) horror films:

MARTIN: an excellent George Romero film
INNOCENT BLOOD: An excellent and funny John Landis (you know, director Michael Jackson’s Thriller video?) film
For more local recommendations, check out these excellent blog posts by the intrepid bloggers of the Eleventh Stack:
Thus, with such a rich cinematic horror history, it should be no surprise that Pittsburgh has a healthy horror fan base.  Here are two local resources that may interest you:
Would you like to know how to survive the Zombie apocalypse?  Zomburgh has a class for that.
If you’re a teen who happens to be part of your local library’s Teen Advisory Group or Council, you could bring up the idea of asking some of the fine people at Zomburgh to come in and make you into zombies. 
If you’re not part of your local library’s TAG or TAC, why not be?  Ask your teen librarian about it.
Specter Studios is located in Sharpsburg.  They are a local costume-making company, and they make a-maaaa-zing masks and full body costumes.  Check out this short ad:
Some of the talented sculptors and artists from Specter will be at Modern Formations gallery in Bloomfield/Lawrenceville on October 29th, for a show called Flesh & Bone.  Support local artists and check it out!
Pittsburgh has so many cool cemeteries.  Read more about it here: Cities of the Dead in Pittsburgh.
Now go out and enjoy that crisp fall air.
And pick up one of these books at the library while you’re at it:
World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War / Max Brooks
The Zombie Survival Guide / Max Brooks
The New Dead: a zombie anthology / edited by Christopher Golden
Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror / R.L. Stine
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