In our continuing coverage of all things mystic, spooky, and supernatural, we wanted to share a finding from our all-star researcher Marilyn Terrell. She uncovered a list of international libraries where spooks can be found in between the stacks.
Morelia Public Library, Michoacán, Mexico. Library staff say that a “nun in blue” has haunted the 16th-century premises for many years. Director Rigoberto Cornejo said in Monterrey’s El Norte newspaper, “When I leave the building, I feel the sensation of someone following me. In fact, I can even hear the footsteps.”
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. This massive structure dates from 1856 and hosts many specters. The ghost of a female librarian named Grace keeps an eye on the children’s books in the Arts Collection, and a mustachioed gentleman protects the music stacks and piano. Poltergeist phenomena have been reported in the newspaper room. Glowing balls of light appear on the stairs. Security guards witness many of these antics after the library is closed.
Rammerscales House, Lockerbie, Scotland. The library of this 18th-century stately home is haunted by its former owner, James Mounsey. A teacher and students that lived there during World War II were so frightened of the ghost that they preferred to sleep in the stables.
Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, England. William Windham III, an 18th-century scholar, haunts the library at this old estate. David Muffon was in charge of putting the estate in order after it was acquired by the National Trust. In November 1972, he was working at a desk in the library when he noticed a “gentleman sitting in the armchair by the fireplace reading books. It was so natural I thought nothing about it. . . . After about 15 seconds he put the book down beside him on the table and faded away.” Muffon asked the old family butler if the house had any ghosts and was told, “Oh yes, there’s the ghost of William Windham who sits on the armchair on the far side of the fireplace.” For many years the butler had set out books, specifically those given to Windham by Samuel Johnson, on the table for the ghost to read.
Apparently ghouls like libraries because they can catch up on their reading—one does imagine that scaring people can get a bit dull from time to time. Check out the Britannica blog for more spooky libraries—and thanks to George Eberhart for compiling the list!