Real-life librarian perspectives about horror movies

It’s scary season again during the month of October! This is a time when I focus on analyzing reel librarian portrayals in horror movies, thrillers, etc. To start us off in (scary) style, I thought it would be fun to explore and learn from some additional real-life librarians sharing their perspectives about horror movies. I’m far from the only librarian interested in movies!

‘An Exploration of the Librarian in Horror’ film festival chat

This video presentation, embedded below, was part of the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival and was shared in July 2022.

The presenter is Dr. Katrin Seyler, who “morphed from a trained historian into a librarian during the 2010s and has always enjoyed digging through archives for dusty and bizarre things. Her fondness for horror was born out of an illicit viewing of Hellraiser sometime in the early 90s.”

In this talk, Dr. Seyler shares insights about reel librarians in horror movies, including Ghostbusters (1984), It (1990), Se7en (1995), Chainsaw Sally (2004), Tale of a Vampire (1992), and more!

“An Exploration of the Librarian in Horror” video uploaded by Final Girls Berlin Film Festival, Standard YouTube license

‘Behind the Couch’ blog

James Gracey, a library assistant and writer, is the writer and voice watching horror movies from “Behind the Couch.” I love the site’s tag line: “Safe fear in a domestic setting.” James shares regular posts and reviews of all types of horror movies, all year round. James is also a published author, and I particularly find the Interviews page interesting, as James includes interviews with several artists, writers, and publishers specializing in all things horror, including Dario Argento, famed director of horror classics, such as Suspiria (1997). Check it out!

Explore the Behind the Couch website & blog

Screenshot of Behind the Couch Interviews page
Screenshot of Behind the Couch Interviews page

‘Haunted Librarian’ blog

The Haunted Librarian blog has reviews of all things haunted, including movies, TV shows, and books. The librarian behind the site is named Brandi, who shares that “I’m obsessed with many different things including but not limited to Halloween, spooky stuff, the occult, music, and the 80s” and that “I am an actual librarian” and “My brain is an actual library.”

I particularly loved the Haunted Librarian’s recent post about the story collection, Thirteen: 13 Tales of Horror by 13 Masters of Horror, which includes short stories by some great YA horror authors, including Christopher Pike, R. L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, and more. I have this SAME story collection in my personal library, too (!), and some of those stories in this collection, like Ellen Emerson White’s “The Boy Next Door,” still haunt me to this day.

Explore the Haunted Librarian blog

Screenshot of the Haunted Librarian website logo
Screenshot of the Haunted Librarian website logo

‘The Movie Librarians’ podcast

The Movie Librarians, a podcast that was active in 2020-2021, was hosted by Deepti Limaye and Martin Chandler, two librarians and educators in Canada who reviewed movies and chatted about movie recommendations.

Their final episode in 2021 focused on the horror movie, Us (2019), directed by Jordan Peele and starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke.

Listen to “Us (2019)” podcast by The Movie Librarians

Screenshot of The Movie Librarians podcast
Screenshot of The Movie Librarians podcast

‘The Librarian Is In’ podcast

The long-running The Librarian Is In podcast is “the New York Public Library’s podcast about books, culture, and what to read next.”

In the “Terror! Horror! Revulsion!” podcast (Episode 62, aired on Oct. 26, 2017), “adult services librarian Isaiah Pittman horrifies Gwen and Frank with scary book and film recommendations!”

Adult services librarian Isaiah Pittman returned in 2018 for Episode 114, “Between Terror and Humor,” in which he talks more scary books and movies.

‘Fright Club’ podcast

And last — but hopefully, not least — I wanted to share again the 2 times I was lucky enough to be a guest on the Fright Club podcast, hosted by the talented and wickedly funny George and Hope of Maddwolf.com.

Last February, we chatted and laughed about memorable library scenes in horror movies:

And a few months later, in Aug. 2021, I returned to chat about memorable librarians in horror movies:


Hope you enjoyed this round-up of different librarian voices and perspectives on horror movies! I am sure this round-up is only scratching the surface… please share more fun librarian podcasts or blogs about horror movies in the comments. 🙂

Stay tuned for a special analysis post next time to wrap up this scary season!

BONUS! Guest-vlogging on ‘POP Archives’ YouTube channel about libraries and archives in the Star Wars universe

A librarian and an archivist walk into a Zoom room and hit record…

It has certainly been the summer for iconic sci-fi universes, hasn’t it?! First my exhaustive series cataloging all the library, archives, librarian, and research scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now a hot-off-the-presses video foray into libraries and archives in the Star Wars universe with Sam Cross on her POP Archives YouTube channel. (By the way, these two universes, Star Wars and the MCU, actually connect in an episode of What If…?, which you can read about here in this post.)

Here’s the video description from POP Archives:

This episode Sam (she/her) is joined by Jennifer Snoek-Brown (she/her), aka Reel Librarians, as they travel to a galaxy far, far away to uncover the archival nature of the Skywalker Saga. They theorize about what exactly is “The New Hope,” dive into Jocasta Nu’s backstory, and ponder the media degradation of the Death Star’s digitization practices.

So how did this come about? Earlier this summer, Sam Cross, the real-life archivist and genius behind the POP Archives site, contacted me about guesting on her new POP Archives YouTube channel, to chat about the differences between archivists and librarian portrayals in movies. I was admittedly a bit nervous — I feel most confident communicating through writing — but it sounded like a fun opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. After some back-and-forth brainstorming (I literally had jotted down 4+ pages of notes and topic ideas, LOL! I’m glad I didn’t scare Sam off! :D), we decided to “travel to a galaxy far, far away” to the Star Wars universe, which has many examples of libraries/librarians and archives/archivists, including in the movies, TV series, and graphic novels.

And it was SO. MUCH. FUN. chatting and laughing with Sam! She made me feel immediately at ease. It really felt like a natural conversation between two information professional nerds (or professional nerds? either way works!), as we weaved around themes and differences and similarities amidst different librarian and archivist portrayals in Star Wars. And I think that natural flow comes across in the video. Please check it out! (Note: It is an admittedly long video! Feel free to let the nerdiness wash over you in the background as you fold laundry or take a walk or what-have-you, etc.)

And if you’re on YouTube and/or have a Gmail account, it’s super easy to subscribe to the POP Archives channel, so you get a notification for when there’s a new video (just make sure you’re logged in and click the red “Subscribe” button). And, of course, make sure you’ve bookmarked the main POP Archives website plus visit Sam’s Twitter account. Sam writes about all sorts of archival topics and portrayals in all types of pop culture mediums, including video games, comics, TV series, movies, and more!

Sources used

All the sources we referenced in our chat are linked in the YouTube video record (click on the “More” link in the video title and description field).

BONUS! ‘Fright Club’ podcast redux: Librarians in horror films

I re-joined MaddWolf for a follow-up podcast all about librarians in horror movies

More exciting news to share with y’all! Earlier this year, back in February, you may remember that I had been invited by George Wolf and Hope Madden of MaddWolf.com to join them on an episode of their Fright Club podcast, an episode that focused on memorable library moments in horror movies. We had so much fun that Hope and George invited me for a follow-up Fright Club podcast that would dive into memorable portrayals of librarians in horror movies (not just scenes set in libraries).

Well, that time has come. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, Y’ALL. 😉

Head on over to MaddWolf.com to listen to the new “Fright Club: Librarians in Horror” podcast episode, in which I re-join Hope and George to chat about memorable major librarian characters in horror films. I came to the table with my top 5 librarians in horror, and Hope and George shared their personal top 5 — and there was some overlap! We had so much fun chatting and laughing about librarians in horror movies, so check it out… if you dare! 

Here’s a line from the podcast episode:

“You just sum it up in one sentence, and you just want to watch it: It’s a librarian by day, a chainsaw-wielding serial killer by night. I mean, that’s all you need!”

From “Fright Club: Librarians in Horror” podcast, MaddWolf.com, 29 Aug. 2021

There are mannnnnnnny more awesome — or awesomely bad! — major reel librarian characters in horror movies that we didn’t have space for in the podcast. So as a teaser, below are a few additional titles that didn’t make my final list…

… and now go and listen to the Fright Club podcast to see which librarians in horror movies DID make the cut! 😀


Do you have some personal faves in our collective lists? Some additional major librarian roles in horror to add to the list? Please leave a comment and share!

Sources used:

BONUS! Check out this ‘Fright Club: Library Horror’ podcast

I joined MaddWolf on their newest Fright Club podcast, all about library scenes in horror movies

Exciting news to share with all y’all Reel Librarian readers! Last week, I was invited by George Wolf and Hope Madden of MaddWolf.com, a very cool movie review site, to be a guest on their Fright Club podcast. (!!!) This is a podcast all about horror movies, and each podcast theme is different (e.g. Motorcycle Mayhem, Best Cosmic Horror, Grief in Horror Movies, etc.) And the latest podcast theme all about library horror came about by reader demand! 🙂 There are soooooo many library scenes and reel librarians in horror movies, a theme I have written about many times before on this blog. In fact, MaddWolf came across this Reel Librarians site and blog when doing research for this podcast, and they actually delayed their podcast recording in order to invite me to join them. I had a blast — my first podcast! — and it was fascinating to glimpse a bit behind-the-scenes about what goes into recording a podcast.

So be sure to listen to the “Fright Club: Library Horror” podcast, in which I join Hope and George to chat about microfiche, creepy librarians, and memorably frightful library scenes. Check it out… if you dare! 😉

And bonus good news on this bonus post… Hope and George have invited me back in a few weeks for a follow-up Fright Club podcast that will dive into memorable portrayals of librarians in horror movies. I will keep you updated on Part 2! In the meantime, would you like to help me compile my list? Please comment and share your personal favorite librarian characters in horror movies!

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