Willard Library stands surrounded by a plastics plant and is an architectural marvel. It is the only private library in the city. One step through the heavy old wooden doors and once you step onto the huge winding staircase to the second floor, you are in her world.
You are in the home of the Lady in Grey.
Willard is the oldest library in the state and was built in 1885 by Willard Carpenter. The library enjoyed years of haunt free activity until 1930 when a custodian had a strange encounter.
One night while heading into the basement to stoke the coal furnace, he spied a woman in grey shoes, dress, and veil. He reported the shape faded into the shadows and disappeared. Shortly afterward, he quit his post for fear of what he witnessed in the basement.
She seems to find her home in the basement. The library houses its children’s section and restrooms there. It is this area where most of the sightings have been reported. When she has been sighted, there is supposed to be the fragrance of a perfume in the air. I remember being in the reading program there every summer when I was a kid and the thought of going into the hallway alone to get a drink or use the bathroom terrified me. I still believe one day I just missed her. I came down the hall to get a drink and I smelled something sweet. Looking around, I didn’t see anybody around, so I ran back to the children’s room like Ichabod Crane being chased by the Headless Horseman. The wild imagination from a child who will write one day? Maybe. Just missing the ghost that lurks the halls? Maybe, but I’ll never know. I do know that when I’m in the library, sometimes I can feel her (I am kind of sensitive that way).
The ghost is a local phenomenon. Every October they host ghost tours and a web cam is set up to record the library 24/7 trying to catch a glimpse of the spirit. The Sci-Fi Channel series Ghost Hunters even filmed an investigation at the library. They didn’t find anything, but if the reports are correct, she is very illusive and doesn’t manifest herself often.
Tomorrow Horror Hoppers, I will have a guest blog for a blog tour I’m also a part of. Some be sure to come back in the morning to hear about Halloween from author Tonia Brown!