October Events Blog

Fall is finally here, and with the month of October comes sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, spooky ghost stories, and crisp falling leaves. Read up on the events around campus and Champaign-Urbana to fill the spookiest month of the year!


C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest

C-U Oktoberfest, October 1 3-Midnight — $5 Entry

Kick off the month at the fourth annual C-U Oktoberfest in Downtown Champaign! Indulge in German beer, pretzels, dancing, and face painting and a bounce house for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Developmental Services Center.

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival

Midwest Mandeng: West African Drum and Dance Festival — October 7-9, Prices Varied

Hosted at the Krannert Center by the C-U West African Drum and Dance Collective, this weekend of drumming, dancing, shopping, and community building celebrates the West African drumming tradition. Attendees can watch or participate in drum and dance classes.

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch

Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch —Throughout October, free entry, activity prices varied.

Just a fifteen minute drive from campus, Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch features U-Pick apples, a petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and live music. Throughout the month of October, Curtis Orchard is offering a Groupon deal for discounted rates for U-Pick apples and corn maze entry, so snap up this deal before it’s gone!

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016

Shocktober 2016 at the Art Theater Co-Op — Throughout October beginning October 6, prices varied.

Beginning with a free kick off event on October 6, the Champaign Art Theater Co-Op is hosting a month-long Halloween movie event. With the return of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live trivia, music, and horror movies, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser for Halloween lovers. The event’s finale is an all-night movie marathon featuring the classic George Romero horror flick Dawn of the Dead, don’t miss out!

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum

Spurlock Museum Ghost Story Events — October 29, $6 for students

This pair of events at the Spurlock Museum features storytellers from the C-C Storyteller’s Guild. At 2:00 pm, the storytellers will regale kid-friendly multicultural ghost stories, and kids will leave with candy to kick-off their trick or treating. At 7:30, the storytellers will shift to adult-themed horror stories with heightened fear factors. The later event is restricted to adults only (16 and up). Get in the mood for Halloweekend with these bone-chilling tales!

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert

Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert — October 30, $4 for students

For more of a low-key event, check out the Illinois Wind Symphony Halloween Concert, just $4 for current U of I students. Hosted at the Foellinger Auditorium, the Illinois Wind Symphony will play six Halloween-themed works, including Night on Bald Mountain, which students may recognize from Disney’s Fantasia, led by director Stephen Peterson.

We hope we’ve covered the major events happening in Champaign-Urbana for the next month…but if we missed anything, let us know! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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Reader’s Advisory: Halloween Graphic Novels

Well Club UGLers, it is getting ever closer to Halloween which means it’s time to make costumes, eat candy corn, and scare ourselves with movies, books, and haunted houses. In this week’s Reader’s Advisory, we are going to give you some graphic novel reading suggestions that up the ante on chills, thrills, and blood. The Undergraduate Library has one of the biggest graphic novel collections in the country, so stay tuned because there is bound to be something you’ll like.

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Broshol

Anya’s Ghost, by Russian-American Vera Broshol, is a creepy, yet tame, ghost story option for those who prefer not to be kept up at night. Anya is a Russian immigrant navigating high school with no friends and low self-esteem when she unexpectedly falls into a well and meets a ghost. When Anya is rescued, she also rescues the ghost, who she adopts as her new best friend. The best laid plans go awry in this ghostly graphic novel perfect for someone who gets a bit squeamish in a horror film!

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

If your favorite part of a graphic novel is the artwork, Through the Woods is sure to suit your tastes. This horror graphic novel by Canadian lesbian author Emily Carroll is composed of five spine-tingling fairy tales gone wrong. From kidnapped sisters in the cold winter to a murdered wife’s ghost, these five tales and the horrifically beautiful depictions will be just creepy enough for people who like fear without the gore.

Dark Metro by Tokyo Calen and illustrated by Yoshiken

For those who prefer manga, Dark Metro is a perfect Halloween choice. This exploration of the Tokyo underground beneath the subways. The boundaries between life and death are challenged by those who spend time here with Seiya, the guide of the land of the dead. These short stories about people preyed upon by the ghosts of the city’s terrifying underworld will please those who are a little into the dark side. This creepy manga has two volumes to keep you reading all Halloween weekend.

Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb

If manga isn’t your thing, you could always go to the tried and true Batman for your source of Halloween entertainment. In Batman: The Long Halloween Batman must stop a serial killer called Holiday. Holiday is a crazed maniac who kills people every holiday. In this story, Batman’s greatest foe is defeating this villain while also wrestling with some of the most iconic members of his rogues gallery including Falcone, Two-Face, and the Joker. This graphic novel is sure to delight the murder-mystery fans in us all. Check this one out if you need to quench your superhero fix with a Halloween twist.

30 Days of Night by Steve Niles

Last on the list is easily the most brutal and bloody. 30 Days of Night, takes place in a small town in Alaska where the sun does not rise for 30 days. Vampires come to the town to openly kill and feed on the townspeople. How will this seemingly endless vampire rampage end? You could always check out the graphic novel! This graphic novel is definitely for fans of vampires – and those that aren’t on the squeamish side.

For more Halloween graphic novel suggestions, check out our handy chart:

Halloween Graphic Novels

Have any other suggestions for frightful graphic novels? Tweet at us (@askundergrad) or contact us on Facebook (Undergraduate Library at UIUC)! Happy reading, Club UGL!

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Viewer’s Advisory – Horror Films

Club UGLers! It’s that time of the year again. Grab all of the Halloween candy you can get your hands on because this week we’re talking horror films. Halloween gives us numerous opportunities to act out of the ordinary. Whether it’s dressing like vampires or eating ridiculous amounts of candy, Halloween is a special time. Our media collection has a wide variety of horror films – from the gruesomely bloody, to the outrageously weird. In this week’s Viewer’s Advisory, we will be detailing some of our little known horror flicks from around the globe. So get your popcorn ready, these movies won’t watch themselves.


First on the list is a little watched movie all the way from Norway. Trollhunter (2011), details the accounts of a group of reporters who follow an enigmatic hunter in the frozen forests of the country. Little do they know, there aren’t just deer and rabbits in those trees. From the big and gruesome to the bigger and more gruesome, this movie has some delightful scares, inside jokes, and a much needed application of humor. This movie would be a great watch for those of you who are a little on the squeamish side when it comes to gore.

The Host

Speaking of monster movies, no one does it better than Joon-ho Bong in the South Korean flick The Host. The movie follows a father looking for his daughter who was kidnapped by a monster. With numerous monster scenes, action sequences, and thrills, this will be another palatable horror movie for those who aren’t into slasher flicks. But be warned, the monster is awesomely terrifying.

Let the Right One In courtesy of Josh Daniels via Flickr

Vampires have been a staple in Halloween celebrations for decades because vampires are awesome. Immortal, strong, and ravenous, vampires are pretty terrifying. Let the Right One In, a Swedish romantic horror film, takes the classic villain of the night and incorporates a stunning and beautiful friendship. Oskar, a fragile boy, meets a strange but charming girl who lives next door. As their friendship grows and people start mysteriously disappearing, Oskar is confronted with the fact that Eli may be more than she seems. This movie is the perfect combination of horror and friendship that makes the story equal parts endearing and frightening. It’s not the date night movie of the year, but it definitely is the date night movie of October.


The last movie on our list is easily the most unsettling. Martyrs is not a movie for the faint of heart. When a young girl is rescued from her gruesome captors, she begins seeing a horrible and ghoulish creature. After years of torment the young girl teams up with others who have been held captive by the same people. In their hunt for revenge they uncover something more terrifying and bloody then they could have imagined. Martyrs is easily the most terrifying and gruesome movie on this list. Just remember to keep something nearby to cover your eyes.

Check out our handy flowchart for other Halloween suggestions:

Have any other suggestions on foreign horror movies? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and comment with your favorite horror flicks!

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Halloween Books and Movies

Fellow UGLers, Halloween is here! Are you ready to dress up and stuff your face with candy? If you’ve decided to stay in, the graduate assistants of the UGL have provided a list of their favorite movies and books for the season. We’ve compiled the list here and hope that it serves as a guide for your Halloween night festivities.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Zoe recommends The Nightmare before Christmas. An animated movie directed by Tim Burton, this has been a popular one since its release in 1993. It is the story of the quirky and lovable pumpkin king who decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. A great movie for those who want to combine Halloween and the upcoming holidays. Grab your friends and some popcorn and spend the evening with the pumpkin king.

The Exorcist Movie

The Exorcist. Sure to give you a chill down your spine

If you want a good dose of fear this Halloween, Quetzalli recommends The Exorcist. This classic 1973 movie scared audiences all over the world. For those of who have not yet seen this classic film, based on a true story, it is the chilling story of a girl who becomes possessed and causes several gruesome deaths during her exorcism. Beware Club UGL, this movie is not for the faint-hearted.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Are you in the mood for some rock opera, awesome costumes, and a good ole horror movie? Holly’s favorite is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After a couple of kids have car trouble, they are left stranded at the door of a Gothic mansion. They meet a host of strange characters, including Dr. Fran-N-Furter from the planet Transsexual. Whether it’s your first time watching this movie or you’ve already seen it a million times, this movie is a good excuse to sign along at the top of your lungs.

The Haunting of Hill House Book

Looking for a good read this Halloween? The Haunting of Hill House is just the book for you

For those who want a quiet Halloween, but still feel the urge for a scary evening, Tad recommends The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson. Hill House receives four visitors who are curious about the unexplained phenomena happening at the house. Some are there seeking knowledge and others want an adventure. Little do they know that Hill House has other plans for them.

For a quick, but fun read, Tad also recommends Halloween ABC. For each letter of the alphabet, a poem about Halloween and its festivities.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Movie

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Some of us are not fans of this scary holiday, but don’t worry, Lily has a recommendation for you! The Disney movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the choice for you. This movie recalls two famous stories, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

From the Dust Returned Book

From the Dust Returned

For those who want to enjoy a good book by the fireplace (or in college students’ case, the heater) while sipping on some hot chocolate, Christina recommends From the Dust Returned written by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story about the Eternal Family, who live in a legendary and mysterious house in upper Illinois. They are rarely seen during the daylight hours and are not like the other Midwesterners in the area. The house is being prepared for a family reunion that will bring together a mix of extraordinary and odd members.

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween

For those who will be drowning in homework on Halloween, you can take a quick break and grab a comic book. Angeline recommends Batman: The Long Halloween. A serial killer nicknamed Holiday is on the loose. He’s killing once a month, but only on the holidays; Batman tries to stop this maniac.

Whatever your plans on Halloween or your interests, you have a variety of choices in front of you. In the mood for a movie? Grab a friend and make a night of it! Feeling like a night in? A good book and some candy corn just might be what you need this Halloween. Either way, have a safe and happy Halloween!

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