The Middlesex County Office of Arts and History invites you to experience this year’s Halloween programs, filled with slightly spooky stories, magic lantern scenes and frightfully good fun.

These free programs will take place at East Jersey Old Town Village at 1050 River Road in Piscataway. The programs are free of charge, with no registration required.

The first event, “Storytelling by Lanternlight,” will take place Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27 and 28. There will be two sessions for the event on both days: one from­ 7 to 8 p.m. and one from 8 to 9 p.m. 

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Storytellers Rob Aptaker, Ingrid Bohn, Dave Emerson and Larry Sceurman will tell family-friendly Halloween stories in historic buildings throughout the Village. The event also will include children’s craft projects and refreshments.

The second event is a Victorian Halloween Magic-Lantern Show, called “a living national treasure” by National Public Radio. Set on the Village Green under a tent, stories such as Poe’s “The Raven” will be projected on a full-size screen and narrated by a live showperson and singer/pianist. The show will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios added: “The Office of Arts and History’s storytelling events have been a favorite of the Halloween season. This year still offers fun crafts for kids and classic storytelling and adds the magic lantern show for an extra element of fun.”

Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee, said: “I hope many families will attend these fun and free events. It’s also a chance to learn about the lost art of the magic lantern show, an 1890s tradition that led to the invention of movies.”

Persons with hearing disabilities may dial (732) 745-3888 (TTY users only) or 711, the New Jersey Relay System. East Jersey Old Town Village is an accessible site. 

An Assistive Listening System will be in use during programs.  Wheelchairs are available upon request for visitors who may need assistance from the parking lot to the programs.

Funding for Halloween Storytelling by Lantern Light and the Victorian Magic-Lantern Show is provided in part by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State.