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Lifestyle

Jim May’s ‘not-too-scary’ ghost stories coming to Opera House

Having told Halloween ghost stories for years, Jim May doesn’t want to leave the younger crowd out this year – or scare them too much.

The renowned storyteller from Spring Grove will host “Not-Too-Scary Ghost Stories for the Whole Family” at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock. The event costs $8 a person at 815-338-5300 or www.woodstockoperahouse.com.

May invites people of all ages to hear funny (and a bit scary) ghostly adventures of the Boo Baby Girl and her sidekick, Bootsie, the bilingual cattle-herding Chihuahua as part of a sneak preview of his new chapter book, “The Further Adventures of Boo Baby Girl.” With versions in both English and Spanish, the book is planned for release in early 2018.

It is a follow-up to a children’s picture book May wrote about Boo Baby.

“I’m hoping I can do a series,” May said.

Boo Baby and Bootsie are on an adventure trail, often camping at night and sometimes by streams. “Sometimes, stories come out of streams,” May said, a narrative he wrote after hearing about a folklore referencing “underground streams” of stories in Morocco that bubble up under the footsteps of ancestors.

The Opera House event will be followed by a book signing and an ice cream social. It is geared toward school-age children, but people of all ages are welcome.

May thought of the idea for Boo Baby after running into a fan who told him she and her family really enjoyed his ghost stories, but her 3-year-old hadn’t slept alone in months since hearing them. Bootise is based on a dog May had on a farm growing up. Known throughout the country for his storytelling, May won a 1989 Chicago Emmy award for a WTTW-Channel 11 production of his original story, “A Bell For Shorty.”

May and his Nippersink Stories also are hosting an event at 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Opera House, this one geared toward young adults and adults. “Dracula,” featuring storyteller Megan Wells, returns to bring the monster to life.

In her one-woman show, Wells presents the emotional thrill of Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece with depth and charisma. The program costs $26 for adults, $21 for students at 815-338-5300 or www.woodstockoperahouse.com.

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