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NEA Big Read: Halloween Edition

This October, organizations across the nation have been incorporating all things Halloween into their NEA Big Read programming. From Pretty Monster -inspired pumpkins to community ghost tours, here’s a look at how some of our NEA Big Read grantees are celebrating the spookiest day of the year.

Megan Dukett created an NEA Big Read pumpkin inspired by Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters for Mendocino County’s annual department pumpkin-decorating contest. Throughout the month of October, the Mendocino County Library also held a Magical Guided Hike through the Mysterious Pygmy Forest on the Mendocino Coast, as well as craft workshops around themes in Pretty Monsters, and a number of costume walks and contests to close out the month.


Megan Dukett’s NEA Big Read pumpkin. Photo courtesy of the Mendocino County Public Library.

“This month, we had a book reading and signing in our cemetery for “Moon Over Maysville” to celebrate the full moon. On Thursday there was a book party at the library for Pretty Monsters and a reading about the Cocksery House in Flemingsburg…..legend has it that bodies were found under a trap door and a spirit led a 10-year old boy to find them.
This weekend is full of NEA Big Read activities: The Wizard of Oz at the Historical Russell Theatre, The Zombie Walk, and the Rave at the Grave. We’ve been practicing Thriller all month for the Zombie Walk! After all, there is more to being a zombie than just being dead…”
_—Tandy Nash, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

“We had a wonderfully spooky time at our Monster Ball finale event this past Saturday. We had 130 people in attendance and all of the age groups were represented – kids, teens, adults, seniors. Many people wore costumes and everybody had fun dancing and listening to the scary stories that won our short story competition. We also enlisted some actors from the community to do a staged reading of one of the stories from Pretty Monsters. At the end of the evening, we gave prizes to the most impressive costumes.”
_—Michael Ackerman, Forsyth County Public Library


Monster Ball attendees in costume. Photo by Michael Ackerman.