The Ghost of Lib


“So basically, at our highschool [elite new england boarding prep school) there’s this dorm that is above the library. The library is 3 floors and then the dorm rooms are a floor above that and there are NO ELEVATORS, so everyone has to walk up about a billion stairs to get to their bedrooms. Not only is this dorm, which is colloquially referred to as ‘lib’, is one of the tallest buildings on campus, but is also one of the oldest. Because of that there’s no ac, and since heat rises it gets really hot to the point where they’ll get these giant fans from the gym, or some people will have to sleep in another dorm or the health center during the hottest days of summer. That’s kinda irrelevant to the sorry but i said it to set the stage of how old this dorm is. The pipes creak, the windows barely open, and the doors creak. So its basically just the building being old, however any time anything weird happens, people in the dorm blame it on the ‘lib ghost’. Essentially, there’s this story that there’s a ghost who lives in the lib attic. I think she used to be a student that lived in the dorm but she got so tired of the stairs that she just never came down. So now, anytime things go mysteriously missing, or strange noises late at night, or a light flickering. Or this one dorm door that notoriously opens by itself (probably just a faulty hinge or weird airflow) everyone just says “oh, it’s just the lib ghost.”


IL is a current college student who attended a boarding prepatory highschool in the late 2010s. She first heard this story from the prefects in her dorm during her sophomore year when complaining about a creaky door that sometimes randomly opens.

Interviewer: “Is the ghost evil? are students scared of it?”

IL: “No, not really. Think kinda like Casper the Friendly Ghost. But honestly not really because it’s not exactly friendly just kinda… ambivalent. Like just sorta coexisting with the students. We don’t bother it, it doesn’t bother us. We just sorta accept and acknowledge that it’s there and go about with our day.”


Ghost stories are a norm when it comes to folklore, particularly in the west. There is a fascination with the unknown, of what happens to the intangible thing we call a soul once we die. It is something that happens to everyone, yet we know so little about it. That, in addition to the American view of time (how it is finite, and we always want more) lends itself to this common acceptance of the supernatural. Additionally, in this instance, students cannot explore many places where the ghost supposedly resides, therefore it creates an enticing mystery ripe for storytelling and myth. That’s where this ghost story was formed, from the unexplainable being blamed on the unknown. We accept anyone as driven as a student would stay after death if their life was cut short, because we understand that time is a precious commodity and conversely know nothing about life when it ends.