Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Grey Lady

Author: Sheetal Choony


 The Grey Lady spotted at Willard Library


            The Willard Library is considered one of the most haunted libraries in the world. Located in Evansville, Indiana, this buzzing city has a rich history of spooky speculations. According to Willard Carpenter, the founder of The Willard Library, he stated that his library would be “a library for use of the people of all classes, races, and sexes.” In 1885, the construction of this library was finished, just two years after Willard Carpenter’s death. Most would think that Willard himself would be haunting the library. This is not the case! It has been reported that Willard’s daughter, Louise Carpenter, is the one said to haunt the library throughout history. Shortly after her father’s death, she had stated that her father was under too much pressure and excessively influenced to build this library. She even tried to sue the city council to claim her royalties. Eventually, she lost the court case and lost all rights to any of the library’s property and market value. Because of this reason, it is said that her ghost will continue to creep in this library until her name has been recognized.
            There have been many reports and sightings of her ghost around the library building. Most observers have reported the ghostly figure to sport out a grey veil and general grey Victorian-era clothing. Most librarians have stated that “The Grey Lady” lurks around the Children’s Area of the library, occasionally picking up books and propping them back on the shelves, despite her reported hatred and disgust for the library. Children are most likely to see the ghostly figures, but cases have reported that a child’s parents are unable to see her. Actual documented evidences involving pictures or movie clips have been up for controversial debate stating this legend’s legitimacy.
            One specific example that I remember from seeing all the articles is that of the janitor’s story. In 1937, the janitor of the library was there to shovel coal. It was the middle of the night, roughly around 3am, when he heard some suspicious noises. He shone his flashlight in the direction of the noise only to see a lady covered in grey. This has been reported to be the first sighting of “The Grey Lady”. The janitor quickly saw the ghost subside into a foggy mist and soon disappeared. He was so startled that that he dropped his flashlight and ran out of the library. It has been confirmed that he soon quit his job after this sighting stating that he would never return again! They Grey Lady may still lurk the ominous library hallways even today!

Works Cited:

Marimen, Mark, James A. Willis, Troy Taylor, Mark Moran, and Mark Sceurman. Weird Indiana: Your Travel Guide to the Hoosier State's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling Pub., 2008. Print.

Norman, Michael. Haunted Homeland: A Definitive Collection of North American Ghost 
Stories. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2006. Print

Wolfsie, Dick. Indiana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Guilford, CT: Morris Book LLC, 2009.