October 4, 2017 Library of Congress Opens Up the Chambers of Mystery for Halloween Exhibition

An Interactive Pop-up Display of Rarely Seen Collection Items

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
Public Contact: Nicholas Brown, (202) 707-8437
Website: Tickets For LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery External
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

The Library of Congress is presenting a host of tricks and treats with an autumn pop-up exhibition that embodies seasonal traditions of fantasy and folklore. Making a variety of rarely seen collection items more accessible to the general public, "LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery" will show-and-tell the intriguing tales of Halloween and Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, through a variety of treasures representing a wide range of resources within the Library.

More than 200 collection items will be on display for "LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery". The display will be on view Friday, Oct. 27 through Tuesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are available for this free exhibition, but not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site, for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed. Visitors are invited to wear costumes to "LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery" 

At "LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery," visitors will learn about the ancient and mysterious traditions behind these autumn holidays through a rich selection of books and archival special materials. The display will feature items of various themes including Halloween origins and traditions, curated ghost stories, a commemoration of Día de Muertos , Houdini's pursuit of the supernatural and the films that brought them all to life.  

Visitors will be encouraged to experience the sound and video recordings, prints and photographs, film scores and sheet music, chapbooks and movie memorabilia that embody the spooky holidays. Families can enjoy storytellers spinning yarns about ghosts and witches, and learn about trick-or-treat and the art of disguise. Guests can engage in reflection and remembrance at an altar for Día de Muertos of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Footage of classic horror and noir films such as "The Bride of Frankenstein," "Nosferatu" and "Carnival of Souls" will run throughout the exhibition, along with old-time radio programs of mystery and horror. The iconic artwork of Edward Gorey, a historic Dorothea Lange photograph of a Halloween Party in California in 1938, the magic and stunts of Harry Houdini and the timeless poetry of Robert Burns will also be on display.  

Additional programming featuring family-friendly treats and chamber of mystery tricks will be held in conjunction with the pop up exhibition. Details regarding these events will follow.

A preview for media will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26. Media wishing to attend this preview must RSVP no later than Monday, Oct. 23. Additional details about coverage opportunities will follow. 

School and tour groups are encouraged to make advance arrangements for visiting "LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery." Interested parties may contact grouptours@loc.gov for more information.

Follow the fun on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LCHalloween.

"LOC Halloween: Chambers of Mystery" is made possible by gifts to the Library of Congress Fund. Those interested in supporting free programs at the Library can contact devofc@loc.gov.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Cosplay and Costume Weapons Guidelines

Individuals wearing costumes while visiting the Library of Congress must comply with the following guidelines of the U.S. Capitol Police:

  • Weapons and replicas of weapons are generally prohibited on Capitol Grounds and participants should not attempt to enter any building on Capitol Grounds other than the specific event locations while in possession of a fake or "Costume Weapon."
  • Costume Weapons will be inspected by members of the U.S. Capitol Police prior to entry into any of the event locations.
  • For operational and security reasons, guests may not enter any of the event locations or pass through screening while wearing masks or with their faces covered in any way that would obscure identification.
  • The wearing of masks on Capitol Grounds is permitted at the discretion of the United States Capitol Police and, if directed, participants must immediately remove costume masks.


PR 17-143
ISSN 0731-3527