All Articles » Ghosts in the Stacks

Ghosts in the Stacks

Ghostbusters still image

Books flying off shelves. Strange sounds emanating from nowhere. Sudden temperature changes in hallways and back rooms. Spectral figures floating through the stacks. 

If your library is experiencing any of the above phenomena it just may be haunted! And it won’t be alone. There are many supposedly haunted libraries throughout the United States. It’s not surprising. Libraries are open, welcoming places full of knowledge and warmth–what better place to spend the afterlife!

This Halloween, I Love Libraries is exploring some notorious haunted libraries. If you’re brave, pay them a visit, but please be respectful, of course. Ghosts like happy homes, too!

Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana

Willard Library
Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana.

The oldest public library in Indiana, Willard Library is reported to be the most haunted library in the U.S. The Victorian Gothic building is home to the Grey Lady, the ghost of a woman who has been seen throughout the library since the 1930s.

Willard Library has embraced its hauntings, so much so that it set webcams throughout the library to capture ghost sightings. You can watch, too–if you dare.

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library

Two branches of Scottsdale Public Library–the Arabian Library and Mustang Library–are rumored to be haunted. Unexplained voices, random cold spots, and books flying off shelves prompted library staff to bring in paranormal investigators who found evidence of hauntings in both branches. The group recently hosted an event at Mustang Library to discuss their findings.

Ramona Convent Secondary School in Alhambra, California

A nun in a white habit is reported to haunt the library in this school, which was founded in 1899. She apparently appears during freshman orientation–perhaps to welcome new students to her forever home. Students and staff also report sounds from a ghostly piano throughout the school.

Peoria (Ill.) Public Library

Erastus Wilcox obituary
Erastus S. Willcox died when he was struck by a streetcar in front of the Peoria (Ill.) Public Library. Photo: Local History and Genealogy Collection/Peoria (Ill.) Public Library

The library in downtown Peoria has a storied history. It’s rumored to sit on cursed ground, which may account for the multiple library directors who’ve met tragic ends. One of which even died outside the library after being hit by a streetcar in 1915. That director, Erastus S. Wilcox, supposedly haunts the library, along with a host of other ghosts. Patrons and library staffers have seen the shadowy figure of a man and a woman in Victorian garb haunting the library, as well as reported strange cold spots that come and go unexpectedly, unexplained sounds, and an overall spooky feeling at night.

American Libraries’ podcast explored the Peoria Public Library hauntings in a past episode, and it’s riveting listening

Is your library haunted? Tell us all about it! Email with your haunted library story—it may be featured here at I Love Libraries.

Explore more library haunts with our friends at American Libraries!


Scroll to Top