The Haunting of the Willard Library

Willard Library – Vanderburgh County, Evansville, Indiana

Photograph ©Proof

21 North First Avenue
Evansville, Indiana 47710
(812) 425-4309

This beautiful Victorian-Gothic library was built in the early-to-mid eighteen-hundreds. Willard Carpenter, the same man that the library was named after, funded the project with freedom of education on his mind. Mr. Willard wanted a library where anyone could learn; regardless of age, sex, gender or social status. When Mr. Willard died, his will stated that the library was to remain free of charge for anyone who wished to gain knowledge there.

Soon after Mr. Willard’s passing, his daughter, Louise, sued the library trustees for her share of the holdings and property. Louise lost the court battle and remained bitter until she died.

Today, the library still stands in its admired grandeur and, as Mr. Willard desired, it is used by anyone who wishes to use it; including a spirit who has made it her permanent resting place.

Ghost sightings and phenomena have been reported at this library since it opened its doors to the public!

The “gray lady” is the library’s famed apparition and she has made her presence known on countless occasions. The first person to report seeing her was a janitor who worked for the library. The janitor came in one evening to ready the library for patrons who would visit the following morning. He made his way to the basement to stoke the fires and found the gray lady starring at him. The gray lady quickly vanished and so did the janitor; he left the building and never returned.

The gray lady has appeared to many people over the years. Usually she is described as being timid and kind. Children have even reported seeing her in their reading section and described her appearance to their parents.

The gray lady wears early nineteen-hundreds clothing and her hair is usually described as being parted and braided down her back. She is often seen floating throughout various parts of the building. In addition to her appearances, some have reported seeing water faucets turn themselves on and off, lights turn on and off, cold spots and the lingering scent of perfume.

Some say the gray lady is the spirit of Louise, the daughter of Mr. Willard. This is doubtful since the gray lady is described as being so friendly and Louise was so bitter and angry when she died.

Others claim that the gray lady is the spirit of a former librarian, however, how could that be; the hauntings started as soon as the library opened?

Whoever she is, she seems quite content with the home she’s made for herself and it seems that she has no intentions of leaving.

Photos taken from the ghost cam in Willard Library