Students gather in the Melville library to share scary stories as they celebrate Halloween. LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ
Students gather in Melville Library to share poems and scary stories to celebrate fall and Halloween. LUIS RUIZ DOMINGUEZ/THE STATESMAN

Spooky tales and fall poems haunted the room at Melville Library’s first Halloween-themed literary karaoke event on Oct. 27.  

The participants introduced themselves and read their favorite Halloween or fall-inspired short story or poem at the hour-long event. The interactive group of 18 people including faculty, staff and students sat around a large table in the Center for Scholarly Communication & Digital Initiatives.

We did it back in March for Women’s History Month and we will do it again next March as well,” Kate Kasten, event coordinator and head of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries, said. “It went pretty well last March. People seemed to like it. I wanted to do one for Halloween because it seemed like such a natural pairing to get people in a room to read a text and discover new books or things they might like and to be able to share things they relate to out loud.”

The event encouraged readers to express their thoughts and reevaluate personal experiences through poetry for the joy of reading literature or for extra credit.

“I came because I got extra credit from French class, Abby Stuart, a senior English major, said. “I am an English major and I really enjoyed, like [Kasten] said, drawing inspiration from others and from the class. The poem I read was ‘When Autumn Returns, in Season’ by Samivel, a French poem translated into English.”

A faculty member read the poem “The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy, which describes the transition from fall to winter.

“It was an open call, some people seemed to do fall; they talked about poems about nature, season changing, things like that,” Kasten said. “Other people took the Halloween theme very literally – anything science-fiction, fantasy, anything like that.”

Some recited their chosen literature with intense emotion to make the audience feel what the author was feeling as they wrote the piece.


“I was glad I came to it because it helped me express myself easily,” Yiwen Wang, a junior computer science and applied mathematics and statistics major, said.


Correction: Nov. 3, 2016

A previous version of this story erroneously credited this article to Katarina Delgado. The correct author is Giselle Miranda. 


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