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.
May be a Magical Library
- 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 three...one...two...three...GET HER!"
- 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.
- Galaxy of Fear: Ghost of the Jedi takes place in part on Nespis 8, an ancient abandoned space station that contains a huge hidden library. Said library is forbidden, for Jedi only, and it's said that anyone else who finds it dies. Actually the books steal people's Life Energy.
- Libiris of the Magic Kingdom of Landover books is this. Made worse by its creepy caretaker and the Throg monkeys.
- 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).
- Merlin has a dark old library full of dusty books and cobwebs - though so far, nothing horrible has happened there.
- On A.N.T. Farm, when the Internet access is banned at the school in the episode ANTswers, to find facts the kids resort to visiting the library, which not only is dark, silent and full of cobwebs, the librarian is dead and all that remains is a clothed skeleton.
- Finch sets up a base of operations in one of these in the pilot episode of Person of Interest. When it's next seen two episodes later, it's been cleaned up and all the shelves have been restocked.
- The Storybrooke library in Once Upon a Time is this when we first get to see it thanks to Regina keeping it locked up for 28 years (because she holds Maleficent the Dragon and the curse's failsafe trigger underneath it). After the curse is broken and Belle becomes town librarian, she starts cleaning the place up and making it warm and bright again. However, elements of danger still occur there, such as Belle getting attacked by Hook or Regina getting kidnapped by Greg and Tamara.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, and sometimes even explode when defeated.
- 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 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.
- The sixth maze of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, the Hall of Darkness, is a sinister, dark, long-abandoned library slash research facility where the shelves and walls are caked with blood. And for full effect, unlike every other track in the game, the level's background 'music' is a rather creepy ambient piece.
- There are several old and eerie libraries in the Nancy Drew computer game series, but the best example of this trope has to be the vandalized library in Treasure in the Royal Tower.