Inside the Carroll County Public Library’s Westminster branch Saturday the usual items could be found — computers, books, 3-D printers and more.
But also nestled in the library, away from the day’s dreary weather, was an elaborate labyrinth of rooms set up as the Eternal Rest Haunted Hotel complete with splatters of fake blood and bone-chilling screams.
In line for the library’s annual haunted house — which has a different theme each year — were Maria Owens, of Westminster, and James Clements, of Baltimore, with his two sons James, 10, and Jayden, 7.
Owens said the three came to Westminster to check out the haunted house for the first time.
“I thought this would be a really nice event for them to come to,” she said.
And while the boys said they didn’t think they’d be scared prior to heading into the haunted house, exiting told a different story. Clements said they’d been scared by the hotel-themed horror, and Jayden admitted the elevator room, where someone jumped out and screamed, did get him.
Pat Hahn, a library associate, said every year the library changes the theme of the haunted house. This year’s — the hotel — has multiple rooms that would be in a hotel. There’s a check-in desk, a room with a seance, a room with a bride and her dead husband, a bloodied bathroom, an elevator and more.
A few of the volunteers who were part of the haunted house — two of which were dressed like characters from “The Shining” — carefully hid behind black curtains throughout the maze, ready to jump as those inside got close.
“A lot of these things are handmade,” Hahn said of the decorations, and the entire event is run by library staff and volunteers.
The event, which ran from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, is fun and free, Hahn said.
The library’s haunted house, which Hahn said is well decorated but not too gruesome, usually pulls in more than 1,000 people each year.