Now in its 9th year, the Scary Story Festival includes a full day of activities timed to coordinate with the Legend of Sleepy Howell Celebration in downtown Howell. This year the scary celebration will feature national touring artist Lyn Ford, as well as professional tellers from around Michigan. The day starts with a Scary Story Workshop by Ford, followed by a Scary Story Slam, a Free Scary Story Family Concert, and the ever-favorite Scary Stories for Adults to wrap up the evening. (All events occur rain or shine.)
The Workshop and the Slam are geared for beginning to expert storytellers and open to everyone. Participants can try their hand at the Scary Story Slam, in which each participant has 6 minutes to spin the scariest tale. The Slam includes prizes for all tellers and the chance to win the bragging rights for Scariest Story!
Lynette (Lyn) Ford is a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller and Ohio teaching artist. She has shared decades of creepy stories, haunted programs and boo-worthy workshops on telling and writing such tales. Lyn’s latest book, “Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts,” offers original creepy folktale twists and tips for creatively writing them yourself.
All events except the Scary Stories for Adults are free. The Workshop and Story Slam will be held at the Howell Carnegie District Library, while the family and adult concerts will be at the Howell Opera House.
Event sponsors include the Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild, Howell Carnegie District Library, Howell Opera House, The Northlands Storytelling Network, Cobb Hall Insurance and Doyle Construction
Schedule and Event Details
10:30 a.m. — Free Scary Storytelling workshop with Lyn Ford
“Beyond the Shadows: The Skill for Sharing Scary Stories. A Storyteller’s Guide to Creativity, Atmosphere, Action and Empathy in Stories of the Unreal, Undead, and Unbelievable” at the Howell Carnegie District Library, 314 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Howell. (517) 546-0720
Lyn Ford, a master of macabre storytelling, will encourage you to play at the fringes of your own freaky mind. The workshop encourages and facilitates which storytelling tools are most effectively used for “spooky” storytelling with various audiences. She will help you use these tools to refine your storytelling skills. Lyn will also discuss the distinctions among so-called scary stories.
1 p.m. — Free Scary Story Slam
Howell Carnegie District Library, 314 W Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843. (517) 546-0720
Bring your best scary story to share. Participants will have the chance to take the stage and share their favorite spooky or scary tale. Prizes for all that share. Open to all ages and skill levels. Stories are limited to 6 minutes each.
7 p.m. — Free Scary Story Family Concert
Howell Opera House, 123 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Howell
Stories will start out spooky and get scarier as the moon rises!
9 p.m. — Scary Story Adult Concert
Ages 14 to adult are invited to the concert in the haunted second floor of the Howell Opera House. Donation is $20, which includes dessert & coffee. Proceeds benefit the Howell Opera House, 123 W. Grand River Ave. in downtown Howell.