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The Grey Lady of Willard Library

Willard Library of Evansville, Indiana has been dealing with an apparition for 80 years. She is known as the Grey Lady.

It all began in 1876 when real estate and railroad mogul Willard Carpenter began to bring his dream of building a library into fruition. As a fervent abolitionist, it was his desire that the library “be maintained for the free use of all persons who may desire to consult it.”

Tragically, Willard died before his library was completed, and his death jeopardized the funding for it. Rather than leave his fortune to his surviving children, Willard left his estate to his grand project, the library, and they hated him for it. Furious, his estranged daughter Louise Carpenter sued to have access to the inheritance. She lost, and the library continued to grow.

Then decades later, long after Louise had died and her father had begun to fade from memory, something strange happened in the library.

In the early hours of morning in 1937, a janitor was making his rounds at the library. The library was calm at night, so he typically worked alone. It had never been a problem before. He didn’t see why he needed to work with anyone now. At around 3:00am, as usual, he strolled down the basement stairs, down a small corridor, and began to head towards the furnace. Then a veiled woman wearing grey appeared before him.

Startled, he dropped his light. When he went to retrieve it, the woman disappeared. The janitor fled, and shortly thereafter he quit his position at the library. No one could promise him that the phantom wouldn’t appear again.

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