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Shhhhhhhh! Super Scary Haunted Libraries From Around The World

May 3, 2017 2.2k votes 365 voters 18.4k views15 items

List RulesVote up the creepiest stories of spooky libraries.

All libraries are mysterious places. Nooks and crannies filled with ancient and obscure books abound. Hidden alcoves provide cozy places to disappear into a favorite tome. Patrons and staff slip silently in, out, and through the stacks. Such a hushed setting seems perfectly primed for paranormal activity. Libraries may not be as outwardly eerie as abandoned orphanages or old mental institutions, but they're nevertheless frequently said to hold the spirits of the departed.

Scary library stories are passed down through the generations. Rumors of creepy phantasms in haunted libraries can send a chill down the spine of any librarian or reader. Tales of disembodied moans, moving cold spots, and ghostly apparitions are reported from libraries around the world. These library ghost stories just might convince you to risk the late fees rather than drop by to return books late at night.

  • 1

    A Mysterious Figure Appears In Photos Of An English Library

    Photo: Sybell Corbet / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The library at Combermere Abbey, near Cheshire, England, is said to be haunted. The ghost is rumored to be Lord Combermere himself, who died in 1891 after being run over by a horse-drawn carriage. After members of the Abbey staff reported possible ghost sightings and other paranormal activity, a photographer set up a camera in the library. The camera's shutter was left open for one hour.

    The staff could claim no involvement with the photo-taking, as they were all at Lord Combermere's funeral, which took place four miles from his home. And yet, when the plate was developed, a ghostly image appeared, seated in the Lord's favorite chair.

    To the modern eye, the photo may well appear to be a simple double exposure. But many people at the time were convinced that a ghost had been captured on film.

    Agree or disagree?
  • 2

    The "Gray Lady" Leaves Traces Of Ghostly Perfume In Willard Library

    Photo: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    A ghost known as the "Gray Lady" supposedly haunts the Willard Library in Evansville, IN. First observed by a custodian in the 1930s, the Gray Lady has appeared to a number of people over the years. She has been spotted by visiting lecturers from a nearby university, and policemen, who were called in the middle of the night when a security alarm sounded.

    Those who have encountered the ghostly figure report a variety of sensations, including hearing strange noises, smelling the scent of perfume, and feeling ghostly touches. They also claim to experience cold spots. Books tend to disappear as well, and the furniture sometimes ends up in unusual places.

    No one knows who exactly she is, but every October, the library holds a ghost tour in honor of their Gray Lady.

    Agree or disagree?
  • 3

    The Specter Of A Burned Woman Stalks An Elementary School Library

    Photo: Axel Rouvin / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Young students at Nebraska's Bellwood Elementary School must tread carefully as they move through their school day. The library in particular is said to be the scene of regular paranormal activity, including mysterious cold spots and frightful noises. The specter of a severely burned woman reportedly appears at a window, gazing out in desperation and anger. At night, ghostly figures have been seen roaming up and down the corridors near the library.

    Agree or disagree?
  • 4

    A Ghostly Dying Woman Lingers In A Library's Basement

    Photo: Visitor7 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    The ghost of a dying woman still seeks help from the living at the Umatilla County Public Library in Pendleton, OR. Locals say it's the spirit of Ruth Cochran, who served as an assistant librarian back in the 1940s. It was usually Ruth's job to close up the library each evening. One day, as she was preparing to lock the doors, she experienced a severe headache, which led to a cerebral hemorrhage. She sat down by the basement doors, hoping to feel better. However, in a matter of minutes, Ruth found herself unable to stand up or call for help. She was discovered the next morning, still conscious. An ambulance was summoned and took her to the hospital, where she died.

    But Ruth was not done with her library work. Shortly after her death, library staff and patrons began to notice creepy, strange occurrences, which they say are the activities of Ruth's ghost. Some think the uneasy atmosphere in the building is caused by Ruth, still reaching out for help.

    Agree or disagree?