Good to see everyone survived the night and made it back for day three of the 2013 Coffin Hop. All the other authors and artists are glad to see you back also. Be sure to check them out and get the full scoop on the Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In anthology benefitting LitWorld,org. So click right here to stay up on the full Hop.
When we die, do we move on? Do we linger on, bound to the land of the living? All around us in our home towns there are stories and legends about those poor souls who are still with us and haven’t passed on to what awaits us when we die.
One legendary haunting in my hometown is Willard Library. Built by Willard Carpenter, the library was his gift to the city of Evansville. His daughter, through a bad marriage, was broke at the time of his death. Hoping to get out of her financial problems with her cut of her inheritance, she was enraged when he left all his money to the library to finish its construction. She went to court over it and died without ever having seen a dime of her father’s money.
She is not the only person who is thought to be the famous Grey Lady…There is also a belief that while the library was being built, a woman drowned in the water that served the horses and carriages that rode through town and the library was built over her resting place. Without a proper burial, could it be her spirit who still roams the halls, trapped by its construction? Nobody can say for sure, but the library lives up to the creepy billing it receives. Every year around Halloween, the library opens its doors at night for ghost tours. This was my second year attending the tour and it was a blast like last year.
The library has set up a ghost cam and website that tries to capture images of the ghost. For those who want to check it out, you can join the ghost hunt here or here on the two sites dedicated to the Grey Lady. You can watch the cams, view stills with her in them, or read about the history and sightings of her on the sites. To learn about the library, you can go here. The library is a beautifully crafted building and learning about it is fun without the ghost stories that accompany it.
Last year, we were in the last group of the night (for my report from last year, click here). It was a small group and we were able to explore the library in small groups with most the lighting turned off. There were some eerie moments, but no clear sighting of the Grey Lady. This year, we had a middle tour and the groups were large. I don’t know if the large crowds kept her from popping in, but I didn’t feel the same way I did last year.
What I’d really like to do to stay late in the library and do some exploring in a really small group or as a horror author and guy with a history degree…lead a tour. Once the masses have left the building, I can see her becoming more active. But if you’re ever in the Evansville area around Halloween, be sure to check out the tour and see if you can find the Grey Lady.
What kind of local hauntings do you have? Share them in the comments section so we can all plan to stop by if we’re in your the area.