Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Case Study No. 0620: Betty Palmer

Willard Library Ghost
Access USI news reporter Jennifer Rodgers talks about a ghost at a local library.
Tags: Access USI Jennifer Rodgers ghost Willard Library.
Added: 2 years ago
From: AccessUSI
Views: 25,532

[scene opens with a young male reporter ("Jody Smith, Access USI News") speaking directly to the camera]
JODY SMITH: With Halloween a few days away, many students have been getting into the spirit of the holiday by checking out the local haunted houses. However, as members of the Access USI and "820 The Edge" discovered, there is at least one place in Evansville that the haunting always happens.
[cut to an exterior shot of Willard Library]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] At one hundred and twenty four years old, Willard Library has a rich history, and each year thousands of people come to Willard to experience a little piece of it by participating in the Grey Lady Ghost Tours.
[cut to a young female reporter ("Jennifer Rodgers, Access USI") standing in front of the library entrance]
JENNIFER RODGERS: Tonight, Access USI with members of "820 The Edge" came to Willard to see if we could have one of our own personal experience, by taking a ghost tour given by Betty Palmer, a Willard librarian for almost thirty years.
[cut to another exterior shot of the library]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] Our tour began with the story of the first sighting of the Grey Lady.
[cut to an older female librarian ("Betty Palmer, Willard Librarian") speaking directly to the camera]
BETTY PALMER: The ghost was first spotted in around 1937, in the basement when the custodian came in early in the morning to fire up the furnace.
[cut to footage from inside the library]
BETTY PALMER: [in voice over] The custodian went from the locked part of the building to the unlocked part, and he saw a lady all in grey, from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. And he was frightened, dropped his flashlight, and when he came back up again she was gone.
[cut back to the librarian]
BETTY PALMER: One of the very few people who have quit the job here because ... because he was afraid.
[cut to footage of the USI students sitting in the library]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] After being filled in on the legend, we were led throughout the library to see where the first encounter had taken place, along with more recent sightings and stories.
[cut to the librarian pointing to a chandelier]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] One of which involved the Grey Lady's favorite chair, which is often found pulled out from the table, even after just being pushed back in.
[cut to the librarian talking to the students]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] While some students sat in the chair in hopes of having a personal encounter with the ghost, our tour was unfortunately unfruitful.
[cut to a closeup of a camera on the wall with a sign reading "Video Cameras In Use!"]
However, if you would like to spot the Grey Lady for yourself, the library has live twenty-four hour webcams set up throughout the haunted areas, with comment sections to submit your findings.
[cut to footage of the stacks]
JENNIFER RODGERS: [in voice over] Who knows? Your story may make it in the lineup for next year's ghost tour ... For Access USI, I'm Jennifer Rodgers.


From lib.in.us:

The Grey Lady ghost was first reported to have been seen in Willard Library in the late 1930s by a custodian. Since that time, those looking - and not looking - for the apparition have reported unexplained events and sights.

* The Grey Lady was last reportedly sighted on August 10, 2010 in the basement hallway by the Assistant Children's Librarian.
* Psychics visiting the library in 2007 say they were able to verify that a ghost has been there, and paranormal investigative groups have brought in equipment designed to locate it.
* Several library employees have reported seeing the ghost, including Margaret Maier, Children's Librarian, and Helen Kamm, Library Assistant.
* During a visit to the library, lecturers from the University of Southern Indiana say they saw the ghost peering into water.
* Policemen responding to a security alarm at the library spotted two ghosts in an upstairs window of the library.
* A library patron reported an encounter with the Grey Lady in the library elevator, and a local weathercaster also reported an encounter with the spirit.
* Hundreds of people look for the Grey Lady every October, during Ghost Tours sponsored by the library. Eight hundred curious individuals attended the first such tour in the late 1990s, which have been a popular annual event ever since.

Unexplained Occurrences:

* Water turned on or off
* Smell of perfume
* Feeling of cold
* Noises
* Books and furniture found moved
* Feeling of touch on hair and earrings
* Odd items found in library


From libraryghost.com:

More than 110 years old, Willard Library is the oldest public library building in the state of Indiana. The library, housed in a beautiful Victorian Gothic building in Evansville, is nestled gloriously near the downtown area of this southwestern Indiana city of 130,000 people, providing a sharp contrast with the modern high-rises and six-lane freeways.

The Willard Library Ghost Cams were inspired by the question "Is Willard Library Haunted?" It has become a fascinating, and somewhat credible, legend that drives thousands of people to search the library for remnants of lost spirits. The site is a virtual ghost hunting mecca. Take a virtual tour of the library with Greg Hager, Willard Library Director, and see if you can locate the cams hidden in the building. Libraryghost.com offers three cams for your ghost hunting pleasure. The Children's Room cam , Research Room cam , and the Basement Cam refresh every 20 seconds. According to reports from visitors, some of the most frequent encounters with the legendary Lady in Grey have occurred in the children's reading room in the basement of Willard Library.

The library has been investigated by several organizations including MESA (multi-energy sensor array), TAPS, and other teams looking for ghosts.

The first reported incident happened sixty years ago to a library employee who trekked through the snowy cold for his nightly duty. Since then, countless other employees and patrons have reported seeing this apparition, each giving an eerily similar description. Is the legend true? We'll leave that for you to decide.


From indianapublicmedia.org:

Among the landmarks that figure prominently on an Indiana ghost-tracker's map is the Willard Library. The stately brick edifice in downtown Evansville has such a reputation for paranormal activity that the library, in partnership with the Evansville Courier and Press, has installed surveillance cameras or "ghost cams" in the reportedly haunted rooms.

Opened in 1885 to serve patrons of all classes, races and sexes, the Willard is the oldest public library building in the state. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Gothic structure was built with funds donated by Willard Carpenter. The nineteenth-century Evansville philanthropist had come to the city from his native Vermont to work in his brother's dry-goods business. Making a fortune in real estate, Carpenter supported local churches and homes for the poor, and invested extensive personal funds to bring the railroad to Vanderburgh County. An influential Democrat, Carpenter served on the city council for 30 years.

Carpenter passed away in 1883, having designated a substantial portion of his estate as an endowment for the library. One early winter morning more than fifty years later, a janitor showing up to stoke the furnace claimed to see an apparition of a lady in a grey gown. Since then, subsequent sightings have been reported—especially in the Children's Room—of a lady in Victorian attire, accompanied by a strong scent of perfume or the sudden gushing of the bathroom faucet.

Many believers suspect that the Grey Lady is the restless spirit of Willard's estranged daughter Louise Carpenter, indignant about having been left out of her father's will.

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