TEENS, PAUSING BRIEFLY for a photo, worked hard Saturday to prepare the Horror Hotel.

TEENS, PAUSING BRIEFLY for a photo, worked hard Saturday to prepare the Horror Hotel.


Patten Free Library got in a spooky spirit over the weekend, with teens converting a wing of the library into a haunted house.

“The haunted house is always fun,” said Jasmine Reil, wearing a dress covered with fake blood.

Just hours before the “Horror Hotel” opened Saturday evening, Reil and the student volunteers were running around the library, putting the final touches on the haunted house and getting into character.

The teens have been meeting at the library over the last couple weeks to prepare the haunted house — and the effort shows. The haunted house takes over an entire wing of the library, spanning three floors of cobweb-covered bookshelves, an eerie staircase and a basement full of spooky surprises. Ghastly decorations can be found in every darkened corner of the converted library.

This is the third year that the library has hosted the haunted house, and this year’s theme is a haunted hotel.

Participants gather in groups of six or so out at the gazebo, where they’re then led into the library and up into the hotel night manager’s office on the second floor. The night managers/guides take the groups on a tour of the hotel, first descend into the library’s basement, which has been converted into a nearly pitch-black maze-like crypt with plenty of creepy surprises ready to pop out.

The Horror Hotel was put on by the Teen Library Council of Patten Free Library with help from Morse High School students, family, library staff and other volunteers.

“The core of it is what we call our teen library council, a group of kids probably about 10-12 right now, who advise us and help us plan library events for teens,” said Outreach & Instruction Librarian Roberta Jordan, staff coordinator for the council.

“I’ve been a part of (the council) since junior year, and I’m in college now in Farmington. So I try to come back and help when I have the time,” said Reil.

The council began in 2013, to help plan and advise library programming for teens and tweens. The group has organized such events and activities as the Teen Summer Nights Movie Series, the Teen Writing Contest and have participated in the parade during Bath Heritage Days.

“In the summer, we have, like, a sleepover because we work really hard on our float for the parade and then we go and rock the parade and it’s really fun,” said Reil.

More than 100 teens R.S.V.P.’d for the Horror Hotel, which includes laser tag in another part of the library. Equipment and instruction was provided by Gorilla Tactics, thanks to Roland Lacombe of Monkey C Monkey Do in Wiscasset, according to a press release.

“We have everything from middle schoolers to adults come through,” said Jordan, noting that the event was not well suited to anyone below sixth grade.

The Horror Hotel is one of many efforts by the library to raise funds for a new teen space at the library.

“The net proceeds are going to help fund the new teen space,” said Jordan. “It’s fun for a good cause.”

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