Haunted Libraries: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Just in time for Halloween – a charming piece about ghosts in libraries in the Northeast. I like the sound of this ghost who is said to haunt the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers:

The ghost of an old man sits in a reading room of this 1892 building. Some say he has shushed people talking loudly.

Good for you, ghost.

Then, this awesome tidbit from a library in New Jersey:

Phyllis the library ghost was so active at one time that the staff issued her a library card. Jean Hill, a volunteer in the Local History Room, remarked that Phyllis “was not put on our computer with the rest of us mortals, but her card is always available should she choose to use it.” Beginning in 1974, employees started seeing an apparition moving through the front rooms of the building, which was the Vealtown Tavern during the Revolutionary War. The ghost is said to be that of Phyllis Parker, the innkeeper’s daughter, who suffered a nervous breakdown when her boyfriend, a British spy, was hung in 1777 and delivered to the tavern in a coffin. The fireplace in the former reading room was a focal point for phenomena. Another Local History Room volunteer, Eileen Luz Johnston, wrote a 46-page booklet about the spook titled Phyllis—The Library Ghost? in 1991. One of the last known Phyllis sightings took place in November 1989, when a 3-year-old boy saw a lady in a long, white dress in the reading room and said hello to her.

(Speaking of haunting, check out Jonathan’s latest in his month-long “October Kill Fest” – an essay about the role of the witch in horror films and fairy tales – It’s Witchcraft!)

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4 Responses to Haunted Libraries: Who Ya Gonna Call?

  1. De says:

    Some say the old lady who built this library and gave it to the city haunts it now.
    I’m not sure if this is true but the ginormous portrait of her that hangs near the front door is certainly creepy and her eyes follow you -judging you- wherever you go.
    Now that’s scary!

  2. red says:

    Yeah, seriously. Stop JUDGING me you ghost!!

  3. nightfly says:

    Honorable mention – the ghost in the library in Ghostbusters.

    “Listen! Do you smell something?”

    “‘GET HER!’ Great plan, Ray.”

  4. dorkafork says:

    “No human being would stack books this way.”