Library to feature ghost events in October

Ghosts are coming to Greenmount. Sort of.

The North Carroll branch of the Carroll County Public Library will be hosting two programs that center on ghosts during the month of October, to celebrate the nearing of Halloween.

Heather Owings, adult services supervisor for the North Carroll Branch, said that she looked for October events that would be seasonally appropriate.

"We're playing into the time of year," Owings said. "With Halloween coming up we thought that they'd be a nice addition."

The first program "Ghost Hunting!" will be held on Oct. 13 and will be presented by the Greater Maryland Paranormal Society.

Paranormal Society Founder and Lead Investigator Bill Hartley said that he has given presentations at other branches of the library before and that he looks forward to meeting others interested in the paranormal.

"Most of the time people don't see what we do," Hartley said. "It's a fun filled day for us because we get to actually talk to people and hear their stories and share our stories."

At the program Hartley said he and his team plan to talk to the audience about some of their cases, what they do, how the team works together and give a demonstration of the equipment they use.

"We try to approach it as if you were going to be an investigator," Hartley said.

Founded in 2006, the paranormal society is a volunteer organization that helps people who believe their home may be haunted. Hartley said that the group does a lot of research and approaches its cases very seriously and scientifically.

Hartley said he hopes that the library program will be a fun way for those interested in ghosts to learn. He also said his favorite part of the program was answering questions from the audience.

"We're there to promote and further the understanding of the field we're in," Hartley said. "Most of the people that attend have either have done some paranormal investigations or are generally interested in paranormal themselves and we love to answer their questions."

The other program at the library is called "Civil War Trivia, Legends and Ghost Stories," and will be held on Oct. 20. This presentation is given by author and storyteller Ed Okonowicz.

Okonowicz said that his presentation is a mixture of trivia, legends and ghost stories, all relating to the Civil War, and many pertaining specifically to Maryland.

"It's humor, history and a little bit of horror," Okonowicz said. "There are quirky things that people will think are amazing or quotes that are fascinating. It's not a history lesson, but more of facts that are little known about the Civil War."

This is a presentation that Okonowicz has given in the past, but never before at this branch of the library. He said he looks forward to sharing his interesting facts with the new audience.

"A lot of people don't believe it, but it's all true, and that's the neat part about it," Okonowicz said.

This presentation is a way for people to learn and be entertained, Okonowicz said.

"It's a mixture of the history along with the legends. That's what a lot of people wanted, and I want people to learn the history as they hear some ghost stories," Okonowicz said.

Owings said she is hoping to pull in participants who enjoy a good scary story.

"It's a natural time for that horror genre to come out," Owings said. "When I was planning these events I going for the creepy scare factor and things that were almost too unbelievable to be real."

Because of this, both of these presentations are geared toward a teenage or adult audience, Owings said. While there are many Halloween programs for children at the library, she said she wanted this one to appeal to a different group.

"I'm hoping to get a teen audience. They like the horror books, they like to be scared," Owings said. "It's kind of suspenseful, and we have a lot of Stephen King and horror book readers, people who check out the horror movies, who like to be scared."

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