Friday, October 31

Three Halloween Crafts & Stories

Happy Halloween! I'm going to be extra festive today. This here is a post with Halloween crafts and corresponding Halloween stories all in one! We had an awesome party at the library with stories and crafts as the main event.

Our party involved the telling of ghost stories from our resident expert storyteller. Each story that she told had a corresponding craft for the kids to do at the end.

And boy, were these stories creepy...

1. The Gray Ghost

Materials needed:
  • Round lollipops
  • Grey tissue paper
  • String
  • Googly eyes
Wrap the lollipop with a small square (roughly 8") of tissue, tying it at the base with a string. Attach the eyes to finish the effect.

The Story of the Gray Lady

"There once was a store owner who was closing for the night. He locked the doors and went back into his office. However, he soon heard the bell jingle above the front doors, signaling that a customer entered. Knowing he locked the doors, he went out and found a lady, all in gray, taking a bottle of milk. 'We're closed!' he said, but she ignored him, leaving change by the register and walking out the open doors. He locked up again and went home for the night, vowing to replace the lock.

"Even with a new lock, it happened again the next night. When she appeared on the third night, the store owner decided to follow the eerily quiet lady. He followed her out onto the street and over a hill, into the town cemetery. She disappeared directly over a freshly filled grave, a new markerstone revealing the names of a recently deceased mother and newborn baby.

"As the man looked around again for the gray lady, he heard muffled cries of a baby—and it was coming from the grave. He put his ear to the ground, but it was unmistakable. He frantically called for the groundskeeper, and two dug up the fresh grave. They opened the coffin to discover the dead mother, all dressed in gray; a very alive baby, crying; and three empty milk bottles."

(Told in my own words, see another version here)

2. Ol' One-Eye

Materials needed:
  • Oreos
  • Lifesavers
  • Chocolate chips
  • Red frosting
Twist open the Oreo. On the cream side, place a Lifesaver in the middle, filling the hole with a chocolate chip. Draw blood lines with the icing for effect.

The Story of Old One-Eye

"There once was an old lady who was very rich, and she kept her money in her house. Every night, she'd knit by the fire until she had yawned three times. At that point, she'd get her knife to cut out a chunk of fish for supper and go to bed. Her fish hung on the wall by the fireplace, and only had one eye, earning the name 'Old One-Eye' from the old woman.

"Well, three crooks heard about her wealth and decided to take her wealth for themselves. The meanest of the scoundrels planned it out, glaring at his companions with his one eye to make sure they'd comply. One would watch until she fell asleep and then they'd go in to steal the money right from under her nose.

"The first crook found a crack in the log home's wall, right by the fire place, where he could peek in on the lady. He saw her yawn, turn to where he was peeking in and say, 'That's one! Two more and I'll get my knife!' Thinking she was staring at him, he ran for his life, telling the one-eyed crook she was a witch! They shouldn't rob her. 'Nonsense!' he yelled, and sent the second crook to watch. Well, he peeks in right as she's yawning. She turns towards his peep-hole and says, 'That's two! One more and I'll get my knife to carve you up!' Thinking she was staring at him, he ran to the others, calling her a witch. The one-eyed crook pushed the others away and went up to look for himself.

"He peeks in and sees her yawn. She puts down her knitting, turns towards the peep-hole and says, 'That's three! Now, Old One-Eye, I'm going to cut a chunk out of you!' and stands up. The one-eyed crook screams and takes off running for his life. The woman heads toward her fish hanging by her fireplace with her knife—which happened to be right next to the peep-hole. The old lady cuts a chunk of her fish for supper and goes to bed."

(Told in my own words, see another version here)

3. The Black Cat

Materials needed:
  • Black paper plates (you can buy them black, or paint it black)
  • Pom-poms, sequins, glitter. etc.
  • Stapler
This one was the most tricky for the kids. The cutting of the shapes took some finagling, but here's the pattern that I followed, and encouraged the kids to follow:

Cut out the shapes for the cat, and staple them together (stapling allows some movement, like a wagging tail). Decorate the face as you please!

The Story of the Boy Who Drew Cats

"There once was a young boy in Japan, who loved to do nothing more than draw cats. All day long, all shapes and sizes, all types of mediums—cats, cats, cats. His father was disappointed that he did not work in the fields like his siblings. He sent him away to become a priest.

"At the temple, the head priest tried to teach him reading and writing, but all he used his pens for was drawing more cats. He soon started drawing all over the rice-paper screens in the temple, too. The priest, out of patience, sent him away.

"The young boy wandered, with no where to go. He happened upon another temple in the next village. Thinking the priest there would allow him to stay, he walked in—only to find it completely empty. 'That's strange,' he thought, but then he saw all the blank rice-paper panels. And there! A box of pens! And so he drew and drew to his heart's content, drawing cats all over the panels. He soon got tired and crawled into a cozy little closet to sleep.

"Something—some sound—awoke him, in the middle of the night. In the pitch black of the closet, the boy could see nothing, but he could hear: Scriiiiittch scraaaaaaaatchh scriiiiiiiitch. Something was coming to the closet! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr Its heavy steps plodded closer and closer and then suddenly—

"YOWL! Screaming and scratching echoed through the room. It stopped suddenly, followed by some soft footsteps and then...quiet. The boy stayed in the closet, trembling, until daylight finally filtered in. He cautiously crawled out of the closet to see a monster rat, huge and terrifying! But it was dead. The boy looked around to see what killed it, ready to take cover if there were more monsters around. But all he saw were his drawings, his cats. 'I'm sure I drew it facing the other way...' and then he saw the red—the blood—on its inky claws.

"His cats had saved him. And when the villagers learned what happened, he became the most honored artist in all the land."

(Told in my own words, see another version here)

And there you have it! The creepiest of stories for the creepiest of days!

If you want some Halloween picture book recommendations see here.

For a Halloween preschool storytime idea, see here.

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