Children in the Library

My mother’s college roommate and best friend was living in Michigan working at a library in a small town. She would frequently call her and tell her of the eery happenings her coworker, Darlene experienced. Below are the experiences my mother’s friend held on to most.

“Closer to home, part of our library building in Wyandotte was a large historic home which housed offices and special collections and storage while most of the library activities took place in a big brick box that was added to the back of the home in the 60’s. Darlene experienced interactions with ghosts while in the house. Mostly she saw a young girl and boy dressed from around the turn of the last century. Sometimes she just heard them running about above on a floor above here. She never got any bad or scary feelings from them, they were slightly mischievous but not intent on any harm. But one evening, she was in the main library by herself late at night. She was our tech person and there were a number of computer updates that needed to be done while the library was closed, so this was not uncommon for her. This one particular night she was sitting at a bank of computers when suddenly she felt her chair lift off the ground and she was dumped, quite jarringly, on to the floor. That certainly woke her up!

I didn’t have the ghostly interactions she did, but the house was definitely spooky to be in by yourself. The only weird experience I ever had there was one night when we were leaving and locking up the back door, we could see there had been a light left on in the basement. I went back in, turned off the alarm, and went down to the basement- but there were no lights on! When I got back outside again, the light was shining out the window once more – but I wasn’t going back in!”
This story is intriguing because it plays upon the mecurial nature of many ghosts in stories. It also ties into the gothic themes we find in many stories – a crumbling old mansion, old aristocracy, etc. We see these children dressed in Victorian clothing running around, much like Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. Although this story is scary, it is very paradigmatic when it comes to ghost stories, which illustrates the tie that runs through all our stories.