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Libraries creep some people out all on their own. So an eerily desolate and truly completely silent one is a very effective setting if you want to make the situation even creepier. The library could be lacking in patrons for any reason -- it could be abandoned or merely after closing hours.

It could be shabby and full of crumbling books, or it could be in good order just without anyone there. This tends to be more effective with older styled buildings than with ultra modern libraries.

Examples of Spooky Silent Library include:


  • The library in the Biff Tannen-altered Hill Valley 1985 in Back to The Future II.
  • The Pagemaster is set in one of these, which becomes a fantasy land once the film shifts into animation.
  • Ghostbusters: "I have a plan. Okay, on HER!"


  • The Library of Babel - a short story by Jorge Luis Borges about a library that holds all knowledge from every universe in every language, and is infinitely large to be able to hold it.
  • The Time Machine (and subsequent adaptations) have included a scene involving an enormous abandoned library where all books have decayed to dust.
  • In Stephen King's IT, one of the characters works in a library. A scene takes place with him working there after hours.
  • Also by Stephen King, the novella The Library Policeman contains a couple of scenes in this trope.
  • In Harry Potter, the school library's restricted section gets pretty spooky at night... are those books whispering?
  • In Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, the heroes hide from demonic carnies in the library at night.

Live Action TV

  • The Library in the Doctor Who episode "Silence in the Library". Gets extra points for being a planet sized abandoned library. And more so when it's not actually abandoned.
    • They're not in every shadow. But they could be in ANY shadow.
  • The Are You Afraid of the Dark?? episode "The Tale of the Quiet Librarian." Which means there's probably a Goosebumps book that uses this, too, right?
    • Well, a girl does fight a monster librarian in "The Girl Who Cried Monster." Close enough, right?
  • The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" ends with a lone man, an empty library, and a broken pair of glasses. Possibly better known by now through parodies than through the original.
  • The school library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is played up like this in the first episode (and, apart from the stars, few people venture there through the series).

Web Comics

  • A much less sinister example would be the old library in the second chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court.
  • Sequential Art shows one under the protagonist's house right next to the missile silo.
  • The main college library in Tales Of Gnosis College has dark, silent "closed stacks" filled with books of forbidden information.

Web Original

  • Horrible Turn, the fan made prequel to Doctor Horrible contains a scene in which the protagonist, a young Billy, makes a date with a girl. A delightful song follows, which is shushed to silence at the end.

Western Animation

Video Games

  • The Metro City Library of Condemned would certainly apply, especially when seeing thugs quickly step behind shelves.
  • The Library in the second Clock Tower game, especially with the threat of Scissorman, who happens to be inside the building too.
  • The Library of Magic in Baten Kaitos, complete with a host of undead enemies.
  • Dracula's library in several installments of Castlevania isn't exactly silent, but that's because the books are trying to kill you.
  • There is a level in Halo called The Library.
    • The hordes of Flood-possessed soldiers don't exactly make things better either.
  • In the Elder Scrolls series, the Daedric lord Hermaeus Mora's realm, the Apocrypha, is a giant library filled with tomes of forbidden knowledge and filled with ghosts constantly seeking that knowledge.
  • The basement of the police station in Fahrenheit (2005 video game) is silent except for the sound of the heartbeat of the officer who's walking through it. Who suffers from nearly crippling claustrophobia, requiring a balancing mini-game to allow her to to navigate the library without panicking herself into unconsciousness.
  • Most libraries in the Resident Evil series, except in the remake of the first game, where you fight the Yawn for the second time.
  • Alone in The Dark: The New Nightmare, although you fight a Mini Boss there at one point.

Real Life

  • Oh so painfully subverted in any public library anywhere, as librarians can tell you. Between idiot patrons, idiot parents who dump their kids there thinking it's a daycare center, and just plain idiots, the last thing any library can be is quiet.
    • On the other hand, specialized libraries tend to be quiet. Especially the larger types of university archives. Students usually come to those to look for a specific book, and get away as soon as they can.
      • Having worked in a library, they're incredibly unsettling places when there are no punters. Silent, usually with only half the lights on, dark, echo-y and with lots of nooks and crannies and winding corridors created by the books. In fact, I'd say the only thing more unsettling then an unoccupied library is an unoccupied school.
      • That must refer to a large library. A branch library like I work at has an atmosphere rather like a gift shop.
      • An unoccupied-- by living people-- morgue. That is all.
        • Though that's still a library, just ... a different kind.
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