Haunting books, scary costumes and plain old fun for library’s virtual Halloween

Gary Armagnac

Happy Halloween! Are you ready for frightening fun on the Stockton Campus?

Tiger Haunted is the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center’s new Halloween event, open to students, staff, faculty and their families.

It will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. Join the event from Tiger Haunted.

Niraj Chaudhary, associate university librarian, worked on the team that developed and launched Tiger Haunted. Chaudhary said he is “most excited about the books and the talented people who are reading the books.”

Three stories were video recorded and will be streamed during the event. Two are children's picture books and one is an adult horror short story. They include: 

  • “Los Gatos Black on Halloween,” a bilingual poem picture book by Marisa Montes that will be read by library staff.

  • Picnic at Mudsock Meadow,” a picture book by Patricia Polacco.

  • Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” which will be read by Gary Armagnac, professor of art, media, performance and design.

Chaudhary lauds Armagnac’s “incredible voice” and is excited for Armagnac’s part in the Tiger Haunted trailer video and the recorded book reading for Tiger Haunted.

“People who listen will find it pretty amazing,” Chaudhary said.

These books are the inspiration for the Tiger Haunted costume contest. The themes of the contest are masquerade ball and steampunk. Participants can enter either or both categories. Prizes will be awarded to the best costume in each category, as well as for the best group costume and best child’s costume.

Prizes include a Soundcore Flare Bluetooth speaker, a King of Tokyo board game and a Pacific hoodie. Enter from Oct. 24 to Oct. 29 by uploading a picture of your costume to Tiger Haunted: Costume Competition.

The costume competition will be judged by a panel including Cathie McClellan, associate professor of theater arts and an expert in costume history and design. McClellan also helped formulate the themes of the costume contest. Live polling during the event will select a “viewer’s choice” costume award.

Need even more Halloween fun? Check out Tiger Haunted’s Halloween book and film recommendations, as well as holiday-themed snack ideas.

Chaudhary notes all the help and enthusiasm that the library staff has received for their event, which he says was “possible only because we have really incredible faculty from College of the Pacific.”

Steve Whyte, director of university events and ceremonies, also involved his team, and the alumni house shared its online event expertise.

This event was launched as an online alternative to Pacific’s annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event, which had to be cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chaudhary says that he sees the new event as “a great way to promote library resources and engage students.”