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Stacie shares the inside scoop on the hauntings that don’t show up on the ghost cams at the Willard Public Library in Evansville, IN; after all, you can’t catch smells on camera.

Episode Summary

In one of the opening scenes of the original Ghostbusters, the team meets up with a phantom librarian who is none too happy about the noise that the ghostbusters are making. The famous ghost haunting the Willard Library is a little more friendly, but she still can be mischievous when she wants to be noticed.

Today, we chat with Willard Library Assistant Stacie Dotson who shares stories and experiences with the library’s Grey Lady, as well as some other spooky tales. Snuggle into your favorite reading chair. It’s time for Homespun Haints.

Stacie Dotson, our guest and Library Assistant at the Willard Public Library

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Episode Show Notes

About the guest, Stacie Dotson

Stacie started as a library assistant at the Willard Library in 2019, and she’s actually thrilled that her workplace is full of ghosts. Also, this is far from her first spooky experience. Stacie basically grew up in a grave. Her family embraced mortality with respectful fascination and wonder, instead of the stilted avoidance and somber taboos our culture trends towards. After a thorough history of the library where she works, Stacie puts the cherry on top with tales about her gravedigger parents, and what it’s like to be a child growing up with death as a constant presence.

Who are the ghosts of the Willard Public Library?

The most popular Willard Library ghost, the Grey Lady, is thought to be the ghost of Louise Carpenter. Louise was the daughter of the original owner and founder of the library. When her father gifted the library to the town upon his death, Louise may have seen it as him cheating her out of her rightful inheritance. Do you think she’d haunt the library out of spite, or despair? Or was it just a very significant place in her life?

One of the most famous ghosts at the Willard Public Library, the Grey Lady, caught on camera
The Grey Lady caught on camera!

The Grey Lady first appeared in the basement of the library in 1937. The janitor who first spotted her freaked out and became the first—and only—person to leave the library’s employ due to ghosts.

There are a few other ghosts staying at the library. The library staff have identified a man called Frank and a boy named Billy, plus a friendly poltergeist. When people deny their existence, the ghosts make their presence known by throwing books across the room. But when T.A.P.S. investigated the library on Season 2 of the original Ghost Hunters, the ghosts were mischievously quiet. At least while the cameras were rolling.

But sometimes the ghosts do show up on camera. Which is why there’s a whole community of people who track the Grey Lady and company on the online Willard ghost cams.

What do the Willard Library ghosts do?

Here are just a few of the inexplicable things that Stacie and her coworkers and library patrons have witnessed.

  1. Constant camera malfunctions, especially on the “adult services” floor, which apparently isn’t as spicy as it sounds.
  2. The feeling of an unseen force touching people.
  3. Moving chairs about.
  4. Constantly pushing the elevator call button on unoccupied floors.
  5. Whistling in the elevator.
  6. Books flying off shelves, even across rooms.
  7. Constant automatic toilet flushing.
  8. A projector that drops down from the ceiling on its own, perhaps even when it’s not plugged in.
  9. The sound of a woman crying.
  10. Following people home. But only when invited.
  11. Smells!
elevator shaft, one place where the ghosts at the Willard Public Library like to hang out.
For whatever reason, the ghosts at the Willard Public Library love messing with the elevators

What do ghosts smell like?

The ghost smells at the Willard Library are especially interesting. Stacie tells the story of the time she caught a whiff of perfume when no library staff or patrons were around. She described the scent as lilac and lavender, similar to White Diamonds perfume. The interesting part was when the odor started to move about the library on its own! Stacie chased the ghostly scent, attempting to identify the air current that was moving it about. But she found no explanation, and the roving scent remains a mystery. Staff and patrons have also noticed tobacco and floral scents lingering where they don’t belong. According to paranormalglobe.com, florals, especially lilac, are some of the most common smells attributed to ghosts.

Ghost tours at the Willard Library

At the time of this writing, the Willard Library just started offering their ghost tour again! Beginning the second week of October, there will be about 21 after-hours tours of the library. Each tour will include spooky stories about the Grey Lady Ghost.

Amazingly, these tours are completely free, with suggested donation to the library non-profit. Some of the tours are already sold out a month in advance. If you’ll be in Evansville, Indiana, this spooky season, best to register for your free Willard Library ghost tour tickets now. If you do, let us know about your experience in the comments below, or on our Facebook group.