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A good scare for Halloween

Two Storytellers to provide fear and laughter tonight at LO Storytelling Festival


They’re creepy and they’re kooky. Mysterious and spooky. They’re altogether ooky.

The Addams Family? No, the Two Storytellers — Anne Penfound and Sarah Hauser. They intend to set the audience shaking in their shoes at the Oswego Heritage House tonight at 7 p.m. as part of the Lake Oswego Library Storytelling Festival. It will be sort of a Lake Oswego version of the Monster Mash. by: VERN UYETAKE - Anne Penfound, in front, and Sarah Hauser are ready to provide chills, thrills and fun Thursday at the Oswego Heritage House.

“Patrons can expect to experience both chills and delight,” promised Penfound, whose accent is ripe with the tone of her native England.

Sounds promising. Penfound and Hauser have delivered their Halloween thrills ever since forming their frightening partnership three years ago. In fact, they are in such demand in the Halloween season that they were unable to make the first LO story fest held last year. But now they are ready to scare the pants off Lake Oswegans.

“We searched for storytellers that could tell spooky stories to help everyone get in the mood for Halloween,” said Cyndie Glazer, program coordinator of Friends of the Lake Oswego Library. “Sarah Hauser and Anne Penfond are perfect. We’re excited to offer this program that always sells out in Portland.”

This Halloween team started with original member Anne Rutherford, who is unable to make tonight’s performance. The three women met through the Portland Storytellers Guild and were booked for a show by Richard Columbo of Artichoke Music.

“Richard was so amazed at the turnout that when Anne Penfound asked him if he’d be interested in a Halloween show, he jumped at the chance,” Hauser said. “We had so much fun preparing and doing the show that the opportunity to work together again appealed to all of us.”

The scary storytellers do not want to reveal the titles of their Halloween stories in order not to diminish the audience scare factor. They don’t dress up like vampires or the Bride of Frankenstein, either. But they are great at connecting with the imagination of their listeners.

“We dress up a little for Halloween, but we don’t use costumes or special effects,” Penfound said. “There may be some spooky sing-alongs for the audience. The beauty of oral storytelling is that the props are created in each listener’s mind.

“A good storyteller brings the listeners into the story with her voice — no props needed.”

Before beginning their careers as Halloween yarn spinners Penfound and Hauser were greatly experienced tellers of regular stories. They are active members of the Portland Storytellers Guild, and Penfound is a past president of the guild. They love telling stories to children at schools, camps and libraries. But Halloween stories have a special magic, as their sold-out shows for Artichoke Music have proven.

“Adults love to hear stories just as much as kids, and we all love to be scared in a safe environment,” Hauser said. “We also include some humor, so there’s spine-tingling fear mingled with some good laughs.”

Other than trick-or-treating, what better way is there to celebrate Halloween?

Oswego Heritage House is located at 398 10th St. in Lake Oswego.

For more information about the Lake Oswego Library Storytelling Festival, go to ci.oswego.or.us/library. The festival is sponsored by Friends of the Lake Oswego Library.