Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Grey Lady of Willard Library - Evansville, Indiana

In 1877 in Evansville, Indiana, construction began on the Willard Library, named after Willard Carpenter, a local well to do businessman who donated the land and financed the construction of the building.  After a stall in construction, the building was completed in 1882.  It is a Gothic style building reminiscent of a castle.  What makes this library different than most that one of the patrons of the 1800s still likes to use the facility.

The Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana circa late 1800s

In 1930, a janitor was working in the library late one night and went into the basement to put some coal in the furnace to keep the place warm for morning.  He was shocked when he encountered the apparition of a woman who appeared to be grey in color and fairly transparent.  He was too terrified to enter the basement anymore and  soon after too afraid to enter the Willard Library period because he quit his job.

The next janitor who worked the Willard Library also encountered the grey lady in the basement area and like the first, he became too terrified to work there and quit his job.  The grey lady seemed to like to hang out in the basement at first, however over the years there were sightings of her in various parts of the library, but mostly in the children's library which is in the basement.  The grey lady is said to be very mild mannered and friendly and she seemed to become particularly attached to a librarian who worked there for over 50 years, Margaret Maier.  Margaret reported seeing the ghost many times and claimed to have even seen the grey lady in her home.  It is said that her family members confirm this as they saw the grey lady as well.  During the 1990s, a child saw two ghostly women in the children’s library.  One was seated in a chair and the child identified her from a photo as Margaret Maier and The Grey Lady was standing near her.

A cam photo believed to be the ghost of The Grey Lady of Willard Library.  You can clearly see her hat and long grey dress as she is facing the book case on the left.

There have been hundreds of other sightings of the grey lady by many people including children.  There are also reports of a high amount of poltergeist activity in the Willard Library. Most notably, faucets have been found on or heard running by lone librarians in the building.  Lights have been known to turn themselves on overnight when the building is empty.  A strong aura of perfume has been smelled in the building when the Grey Lady made herself present.  This is one way the relatives of Margaret Mair also identified the apparition they had seen as The Grey Lady due to the overwhelming smell of perfume when the apparition they saw manifested itself.

Louise Carpenter, the daughter of Willard Carpenter is thought by some to be The Grey Lady of Willard Library

Many people believe that the Grey Lady of Willard Library is the ghost of Louise Carpenter, daughter of Willard Carpenter.  They say that she lingers around the place because she was upset when her father passed on, he left the bulk of his fortune to the Willard Library, leaving very little money to Louise.  Some say Louise Carpenter tended to wear a strong perfume!

The Willard Library today, is located at 21 First Avenue, in Evansville, Indiana and offers a yearly "ghost hunt" to find The Grey Lady

The Willard Library has setup "Ghost Cams" throughout the building and The Grey Lady has been captured on film on more than one occasion.  The Willard Library is located at 21 First Avenue, in Evansville, Indiana.  The library actually gives the public the opportunity to "hunt" for The Grey Lady each year by hosting a Ghost Tour in October. 

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