Halloween 2021

Read & Do

The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer St
The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer St.

Happy Halloween! Get your flashlights, dust off your costumes and snag some candy, because it's time for some spooky reads. For each featured book, we have vocab, comprehension questions and activities, a full adventure awaits!

The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer St.


candelabra - an object with several branches for holding candles
trudged - to walk slowly and heavily because you are tired or working very hard
phantasm - something that exists only in a person's mind
revoked - to officially cancel the power or effect of something, such as a law, license, agreement, etc.
concierge - an employee at a hotel whose job is to provide help and information to the people staying at the hotel
memorabilia - objects or materials that are collected because they are related to a particular event, person, etc.
ebb - a low point
kerfuffle - a commotion or fuss, caused by conflicting views

After you are done reading The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer St, ask your students these questions:

Who was the Hotel Ivan’s resident Headless Horesewoman?
What are the similarities and differences between the Hauntery Hotel and the Hotel Ivan?
What role did Evie play while working at the Hauntery? What role did she want to play?
Why was Hotel Ivan losing their staff?
Who is Evie working for when Willow offers her a job at the Hotel Ivan?
What plan do Willow and Evie come up with to try to save the Hotel Ivan?
Would you want to stay in either of these hotels?

Creative Writing Prompts

Haunted House:
You are out on a hike with friends and find a haunted house to explore. What does the house look and sound like? How did your friend react? Which friend wants to lead the way in? Who is the first to run out? 

Floating pumpkin:  
You step up on your neighbor’s front porch and their pumpkins start floating and dancing around. You can’t believe your eyes, what do you do? Do you wait for your neighbors to answer the door? Or something else?


Hardly Haunted
Hardly Haunted

Hardly Haunted


suspicious - having a feeling that something is wrong or someone is behaving badly
haunted - lived in or visited by ghosts
flicker - to produce an unsteady light
onomatopoeia - the creation of words that imitate natural sounds

After you are done reading Hardly Haunted, ask your students these questions:

How is House feeling at the beginning of the story?
Why is she feeling this way?
Did House want to be spooky and haunted?
How would you describe the inside of House?
What kind of noises did House make?
Did she decide she liked being noisy and haunted?
What helped make House a home?
Would you want to live there?


Have students go through and name all the examples of onomatopoeia in the story. Then have students make a story using onomatopoeias of their own.

Sleuth & Solve: Spooky
Sleuth & Solve: Spooky

Sleuth & Solve: Spooky


cryptography - the process of writing or reading secret messages of code
encrypted - to change information from one form to another to hide the meaning
suspicious - causing a feeling that something is wrong or that someone is behaving badly
legend - a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true
folklore - traditional customs, beliefs, stories and sayings



Have students come up with their version of a creepy puzzle. Do you want it to be grim or funny? Think about what kinds of things make people afraid, what kind of places make people feel like their skin is crawling, or is it based on a legend or folktale?

When you are done, watch this video on cryptography: The Science of Making and Breaking Codes.


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