Our local library has a colorful history of being haunted.

Two librarians died in the library under unusual circumstances. One hung herself from the attic rafters and another was battered to death by a book cart. Spend a little time there and you’ll hear footsteps, feel as though you’re being watched, see ghostly apparitions browsing the stacks or sitting and reading, see runaway book carts and ghostly children sitting with young children during story time.

It’s a lively place with a history that very few people discuss. On overcast rainy days it’s not a place where you want to be — yet it is ideal for relaxing with a good gothic tale — especially with what is going on in the library. Seriously, I prefer being home on such days in my comfortable chair with a lap robe and my Kindle, but I digress.

I was at my local coffee shop on such an overcast rainy day and I met Graham who had a story to tell about his college library.

He and four of his friends worked at the library. They were given the task one evening after closing to clean the third floor, which was believed to be the most haunted area of the library. They did split up to cover the area.

Immediately Graham felt a kind of static electricity surrounding him. He was uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to alert his friends.

When the lights started blinking, Graham and his friends became concerned. 

“Maybe we should leave,” one of his friends said. “I don’t want to be stuck up here in the dark.”

He was teased a bit about being afraid of the dark, but they all felt the cold air that blew throughout the area. Graham looked around and saw a middle aged man dressed in a dark suit carrying a couple of books and looking in the stacks.

When he first started working in the library, the librarian told him about an English professor who haunted the library. At the time Graham accepted it, but didn’t think much of it.  He believed in the paranormal, but he didn’t think it odd that college professors wouldn’t be haunting the library from time to time or the lecture halls or classrooms. So when he saw the gentleman ghost, he assumed it was the English prof.

As the spirit moved around, the lights blinked. The elevator chimed and the doors opened. Graham and his friends stood still watching and listening. No one came out of the elevator and no one went in, but the doors closed and the elevator moved down.

Books were falling from the shelves from various areas. Graham wondered if a group of spirits got off the elevator to mess with them. A book cart slowly rolled towards them. When Graham reached out to stop it, it picked up speed with Graham taking a ride on this runaway cart. It headed for the elevator. When Graham thought he would crash into it, the door opened. On the ride up and then down he could hear soft laughter. He wondered if this was an reenactment of a fraternity hazing that happened a number of decades previous.

He tried to remember this particular incident. Did it happen in the library? He remembered that it did involve books, but a book cart . . . Graham closed his eyes to think. He took a few deep breaths. When he opened his eyes he had a vision of a young man blindfolded with hands and feet bound with a rope. He was on a book cart, bumping along a path pushed by young men in long coats. Each one yelling insults at the one on the cart.

Up ahead near a tall tree was another man making a noose from a coil of rope.

“What do we have here, boys?” he said.

“A horse thief,” was the reply.

“Well now, you know what we do with horse thieves, don’t you?”

The noose was put over the young blindfolded man’s head. He was removed from the book cart and raised just a few inches in the air. If he stretched out, his feet would have touched the ground, but he was so scared . . .

The cause of death was not hanging, but . . . could one die from being scared to death? That seemed to be what happened.

From the research Graham did, he found that each of the young men involved in this hazing incident all died within a year. Was this revenge . . . or guilt?

Of the six fraternity brothers involved, two fell down the elevator shaft, three hung themselves on the third floor, and one was crushed to death under the weight of fallen bookshelves.

They were destined, so it seemed, to play out their deed for eternity.

Residual hauntings can’t harm the living, but they can be frightening. I’d rather see the old English Professor than these frat boys any day.

I hope you enjoyed this Real Ghost Story.

Thanks for stopping by!