Meet Evansville Indiana’s Most Notorious Ghost, The Grey Lady of Willard Library
I've always loved the creepier side of things and growing up in Evansville, Indiana, I've always been fascinated by Willard Library's Grey Lady, the best-known ghost in town. When I was a kid my aunt loved paranormal shows, I remember watching Ghost Hunters, and other spooky shows with her and my cousin Chris. When we were kids, I remember Chris and I staying up into the late hours of the night glued to the Grey Lady ghost cams. As you can imagine this was the late 90's, early 2000's so it was dial-up internet with grainy images, but we watched the ghost cams at Willard Library like hawks. In fact, my aunt still has a photo she printed, where you can see something off in the photo, it may just be the ghostly lady in grey herself. I think this may be where my obsession with hauntings, creepy things, and Halloween began!
If you're familiar with haunted Evansville history, there's no doubt you have at least heard of the Grey Lady. The Grey Lady is said to haunt Willard Library on Evansville's First Avenue. If you've ever been to Willard Library you know what a truly beautiful Victorian Gothic style building the library it is, having opened in 1885. So when did the history of the Grey Lady begin? Who is Evansville's most notorious ghostly lady?
According to Willard Library, no one truly knows who the Grey Lady is, but it is widely speculated that she is the ghost of Louise Carpenter the daughter of Willard Library founder, Willard Carpenter. The first sighting of The Grey Lady happened in 1937. It was around 3 AM and she was seen by the custodian who came in to start the furnace for the day. It's said he walked down the hall and bumped into a figure which looked to be a woman wearing a long dress and grey shawl, as he watched she faded into the darkness. From that day on many have experienced strange encounters at the library.
It's said the Grey Lady seems to really enjoy the children's area of the library. In fact, the library had a long-time children's librarian Ms. Margaret Maier who said to have many ghostly experiences. The Grey Lady is most notorious for causing small mischief around the library such as knocking books off the shelves and pulling chairs out from under tables. Many have reported experiencing cold spots that may just be the Grey Lady passing by. It's also said you can smell her perfume from time to time, you may walk by and catch a quick smell of lilac or lavender and it may go away as quickly as it came on.
Many paranormal investigations have taken place at the library, and many have caught evidence of something paranormal on the public ghost cams, not to mention there is a long list of sightings. Have you ever caught a glimpse of the Grey Lady? Stop in Willard Library sometime, who knows maybe you'll feel a cold spot that could be the Grey Lady letting you know she's nearby. Not to mention it's just an all-out beautiful library and a great place to spend an afternoon. And in October be sure to look out for their Grey Lady Ghost Tours, you can keep an eye on the Willard Library event page so you don't miss out on the tour. I've done them a couple of times and they are so much fun. You get taken on an evening tour around the library and told the history of the Grey Lady. You also are taken to the areas where sightings of her have happened. Who knows you may just have an experience yourself!
Sources for this article are from Willard Library's website, you can read more about the Grey Lady and learn more about her history, and other confirmed experiences in their Willard Library Ghost Pack.