When the new group of bodies was taken from the site and reburied in a common grave on top of the hill, old bits of hearsay resurfaced. Remembering the Oriental-looking scraps of cloth that had been found in one of the earlier excavations, some people theorized that the cemetery was in fact a Chinese graveyard, even though at least one of the corpses had red hair. Another revived rumor held that the bones were those of smallpox victims and that the town was again endangered by their exposed remains. This conjecture proved as groundless as the other, as a July as, 1978, article in the Green River Star explained. For while Green River’s railroad workers had indeed experienced a smallpox epidemic between the 1860’s and the 1890’s, the victims had all been buried at the far end of the old cemetery and their graves had never been disturbed.
What was disturbed, however, was the new library built upon the twice-excavated grounds. Almost from the outset, those who worked there described it as spooky place, and former maintenance man Ed Johnson confirms that there are still bodies underneath.
“In the spring of 1983, I helped with the landscaping,” he said. “One day the contractors working in front of the main door dug up a bunch of wood. At first I thought it was old consrtuction debris, but then I saw the bones!”
“They called the coroner and started pulling the skeletons out.” He recalled. “But then they ran into a problem. Some of the bones were underneath the sidewalk and couldn’t be removed without tearing up the concrete. Since the landscapers didn’t want to do that, they dug up only parts of those bodies.
“As I remember, first they dug out three adults-actually, I should say two and a half-because on one body they just pulled out the legs and pelvic girdle and left the rest. They also found one infant grave, and I believe they were able to take only the foot and shin bones from it.
“In 1985 and ‘86, more structural work was necessary, since the building had begun to sink,” Ed continued. “While the construction workers were drilling into the foundation, one said that they found a whole, small coffin with the body of another child inside. This corpse was almost perfectly preserved. The flesh was like gelatin, but otherwise, everything was intact.”
In spite of these newest ghastly finds under the building, the library employees never lost their sense of humor. “When the construction workers drilled holes in the slab to inject some grout, the staff did one really goofy thing,” said library director Helen Higby. “They bought one of those paper skeletons and suspended it so that one arm was sticking out of a hole!”
But the employees were not so amused by the strange actions of the security one evening in the late summer or early autumn of 1986.
“People leaving the library have to pass through a gate,” Helen explained, “and if a book isn’t checked out properly, an alarm goes off. There is, however, a bypass which allows people in wheelchairs to leave without going through the gate. The bypass is a little higher than waist level, and it’s made of wrought iron. Obviously it can’t be too heavy if a wheelchair has to pass through it, but it wouldn’t blow in the breeze, either.
“One night two of my staff were the only ones left in the building and at ten minutes to nine, they were getting ready to close up. Each one was at least fifteen fet away from this bypass, but all of a sudden, it slammed as hard as it could, swung open again, and then oscillated back and forth for several seconds until it came to a stop! It acted as if someone had smashed into it as hard as he could, but nobody ws even near it.
“That was the first I’d heard about any unexplained phenomena,” Helen continued, “and the two women were so upset that they didn’t want to talk about it. But afterwards, I started hearing about other weird things that had happened.”
(to be continued)
Libraries are an amazing place. We house books, Books-on-Cd, Playaways (pre-loaded MP3’s), CD’s, DVD’s and more. Our shelves are stocked with information for enjoyment and research. The genre of paranormal is one of our patrons favorites.
Our number one paranormal based book to “fly” off our shelves is Ghosts on the Range by Debra D. Munn. This book was first released in 1989 and Ms. Munn was gracious enough to come to our library for a book reading. It was well attended by many of the locals. Included in her book are stories from across Wyoming.
Here is the excerpt from her book regarding the Sweetwater County Library.
The Library Built over a Cemetery
If you think that ghosts inhabit only old, run-down buildings, think again. The Sweetwater County Library in Green River was opened as recently as 1980, yet it appears to be one of the most haunted spots in Wyoming. And no wonder, when you consider that is was constructed on top of the city’s oldest cemetery.
Many of Green River’s earliest citizens rested peacefully but anonymously in unmarked graves until 1926. When the grounds were needed for town expansion, however, the bodies were all supposed to be exhumed and moved up the hill to the current cemetery.
Marna Grubb, now the mayor/secretary of Green River, was one of the many curious children who came to watch the gruesome procedure. “Some of the kids on their way to school actually took rings and other things right off the corpses!” she said and shuddered. “I saw only one of the bodies myself, but that was enough. He was just a skeleton, wearing an old western-style, fringed leather jacket. And that was strange was that he still had a red beard.
When housing for veterans was constructed in the area during World War II, it soon became obvious that not all the bodies had been exhumed in 1926. As more remains were discovered, they too, were re-interred in the new cemetery. After the veterans’ residences were no longer needed, the old cemetery grounds were left alone until 1978, when the library purchased them for the site of its new building. As soon as the groundbreaking began, however, workers made yet another grisly discovery: according to architect Neal Stowe of Salt Lake City, from eight to twelve more bodies were found in unmarked graves!
“A heavy Caterpillar was going back and forth, loosening and moving soil,” he explained. “I walked right through the middle of the site, where something that looked like a deteriorated coconut was sitting on top of some freshly churned dirt. I picked the think up, turned it around, and recognized it as part of a skull. Little tufts of dark brown hair were still clinging to it.
“I stopped the construction immediately and told the contractor that there might be other remains in the area, too. We met with various city representatives to try to determine the extent of the bodies still on the site. Any markings that may have been on the graves had long since been destroyed, and the records of the burials had apparently been misplaced, so it was next to impossible to determine what remains belonged to whom. We walked through the site and started probing with hand shovels, uncovering bits and pieces of wood as well as a variety of decayed bones,” the architect said. “The remains were typically buried in old wooden caskets that had deteriorated because of soil conditions.”
(to be continued)
Ghost Walks are done for the year. As I look back at all the tours my co-worker Bianca Jorgensen and I have worked this year I realize that we have been very busy. We have held regular walks, special private walks and of course our special holiday event Ghosts of Christmas Past.
This year’s Ghosts of Christmas Past event was very nice. Thanks to the Sweetwater County Library System Foundation for helping with funding which allowed us to hire the magician Elias Caress and his wonderful assistant. Elias is based in the Salt Lake City area. His specialty is magic and variety entertainment. Our Ghosts of Christmas Past is done with a nod to Charles Dicken’s and his work. Unbeknown to us, Charles Dickens was also a magician. Elias did some special research and brought with him a few tricks that were believed to have been performed by Dickens during some home entertainment. The patrons were excited to be part of the pre-show warm-ups. It is always fun to be baffled by a magician and then he offers to share the secrets. Wow. Everyone was very excited, but of course there is always a last minute trick. It was all great fun. Along with the wonderful entertainment we were also able to purchase beautiful glass mugs for each attendee to take home. It is always a pleasure to see the happy faces of the patrons during this event.
For more on Elias Caress please visit: http://www.eliascaress.com/
We would like to send out a special thank you to some of our Ghost Walk Volunteers for working the event with us. They not only help with the actual walk but they contributed to the decedent dessert samplers that we provide for the patrons. We greatly appreciate Tiffany Kennah, Kenedie Grant and Ursula Krentz for all they have done for us. The treats that they brought were yummy. The ladies come any time we need them. They have their own ghost hunting equipment and are very knowledgeable about thing paranormal. To top it off, they also are always willing to help set-up and take down tables, decorations, etc. What a crew!
If you have ever been to one of our events you may have met some of the volunteers. Along with these three ladies we also have several other volunteers Emily Beitel, Hannah Yeager, Kyle and Shalise Lamb, and Ian and Sami Doak. We are so lucky to have a group of dedicated assistants to work with. It makes our job so much easier.
We would also like to take this time to wish our patrons and everyone that has attended the 2015 Ghost Walks a very happy holiday season. May you’re the New Year also be all you wish it to be.
The Sweetwater County Library is, as you know, haunted. Stories have been told and retold since the building of the current library began. The workers heard voices and noises that were unexplained, tools would go missing and show back up later, and many felt a creepy feeling while trying to work. At least one worker walked off the job. The library is one haunted location, but there are others. We are not alone (no pun intended).
You will not be surprised to learn there are many reports of ghosts/spirits being seen in the Riverside Cemetery just up the hill from the library. I have had several locals approach me telling their person ghost story. Two local ladies once worked at the cemetery when they were teens for the City of Green River Parks and Recreation Department. Their jobs were to help maintain the grounds at the cemetery. They did not work there at the same time, but their stories are very similar. Both ladies reported seeing a small boy riding a tricycle along one area of the path. They heard him, then saw him, then he was gone. Along with this one of these same ladies and a local man also reported seeing an elderly gentleman. The man stated that this “gentleman” actually spoke to him and disappeared.
Just this last month another man was walking a dog around the fences at the cemetery. The dog is high energy and she “decided” for them that they were going inside the fences. Once there they began walking down the path on the west end towards the front gate. There was no warning when suddenly the dog stopped, lowered her head and began to growl. He looked carefully and there was nothing there. Not a rabbit or deer or squirrel. Just nothing he stated. The dog would not move for at least fifteen minutes. She just kept staring like something was just ahead of them. It gave the man the chills. He had never experienced anything paranormal before and asked me what I thought. I said “Welcome to the world of the paranormal”.
The Sweetwater County Courthouse is also reportedly haunted. Bill Hutton was a well-known man that worked at the courthouse as a grounds keeper many years ago. After Bill’s death several of the county employees mentioned that they if fact saw him walking around. He was a dedicated employee and it would be his way to keep an eye out on thing.
Mi Casita is a local Mexican restaurant. The business space has also been Sage Creek Bagel. While it was Sage Creek, several of the employees witnessed a vase fly off a shelf. They stated they had heard noises and a lady’s voice. I once worked in the space when it was American Electric many years ago. I did not have any paranormal experiences then nor did I hear of any from co-workers. There is speculation as to why the lady was around only during the time of Sage Creek Bagel.
Sadly, the old Lincoln High School/Lincoln Middle School burnt to the ground some years ago. This made many of us sad. I graduated from this school and loved it. Some years before the fire an All-Class Reunion was held. Many of the old students and employees came to enjoy the fun. While there they began talking and looking at old photos from the yearbooks. Several of the custodians pointed to a photo a teacher that once worked there in around the 50’s & 60’s. They told the others that they used to see her ghost walking the school hallways. Once other story also was brought up. Several people told of a story of someone seeing a ghost girl in the auditorium area. Since then, it was brought to my attention that this was something a teacher made up to see how many students would repeat the tale.
One other business in town (then does not want named) has also had its share of ghostly sightings. When a change is close to happen, one particular man that died years ago is seen. This is always a shock for the staff and they always know to be ready. He seems to be there to help. Enough people have witnessed this that it is now part of the businesses lore. All the employees know about him.
Beyond ghosts, there are stories of other things locally that are unexplained. I know of at least two people that have seen what they describe as a “UFO” hovering over the hill known as Mansface Rock. They stated that this object is very bright and just seems to stay in one area for several hours and then is gone. If this were a planet or satellite it would move slightly with the earth’s rotation. Other reports have been made of seeing “UFO’s” down the river from the City of Green River. They would move in ways no known aircraft does.
Down river, a few miles is FMC Park and close to it is Stratton-Meyer Park. In this area some of the local kids were having a “kegger” and they noticed something moving around them. At first they thought it was the beer affecting their sight, but when several young people there reportedly saw the same thing, they became nervous. They described short “little people” watching the. Several similar stories have reached me that a “werewolf-type” animal was also sported there. There is no proof of what they saw, but all of the people reported seemed unnerved.
Whether you believe in ghosts, UFO’s, little people or werewolves, when people begin telling stories more seem to follow. We all know that not everything is paranormal and there may be a good explanation for some of these things, but not all. If you are like I am, I keep an open mind and listen when someone is brave enough to come forward. It is not easy when you are about to relate a story when you think the person you are telling will laugh at you. I am not that person. I will not say I believe everything I am told, but I know from experience that, there is a lot out there that is the real deal. I have seen, heard, felt and sensed ghosts here at the library. They are for real. We are very lucky that we are able to co-exist in a friendly manner. This is why we never allow provoking in our building. We have men, women and children spirits here.
Working here has been an experience to say the least.
Do you have a story about Green River or Sweetwater County? Please let me know.
It has been said that the small children are more sensitive to the paranormal and have not learned to “block” what others have as they grow older. As reports come into us to be posted in the Ghost Log, we have noticed a few that stand out are those made by small children. Many reports come in. Somehow when a small child tells you they saw a something they didn’t quite understand you pay very closer attention. These are those reports.
9/15/2006 Patrons mother and daughter reported by Micki Gilmore
On September 15, 2006, a patron came to the Front Desk and reported to a staff member that her daughter had seen something. That staff member came to find me, and I went to talk to the woman and her daughter. We sat down and you could see they were both very uneasy. I asked what had happened. The mother said that she and her daughter had been in the library 10 days earlier, and that her daughter was in the Ladies restroom and was in the handicapped stall. She went in and saw there a “mean face” and came out to find her mother. I asked the little girl, who is about 7, to tell me just what she saw. She repeated just what her mother said. She would just say “I saw a mean face”. I reassured the mother and daughter that we have never had anything bad happen here. We have had noises and things fall, the alarm gate would sound off, even heard a voice now and then, but nothing bad. I also told them if they ever felt scared or uncomfortable, please come and tell us. They have returned to the library since.
Man Goes Bye-Bye
August 2007 Carla Hardy, daughter Heather Hardy-Souther, and grandson Xander
The Head Librarian was Carla Hardy. She reported that her 3 year old grandson Xander had been in the library for a visit. As they walked over by the Youth Services desk Xander stopped and looked down along the stacks to the back of the library. He cocked his head one way then the other. All of the sudden he said “The man went bye-bye.” No one else saw a man in or around the area.
Man with No Legs
Feb. 27, 2010 Dee Ann Wilde (Staff) anonymous patron report
We were working the Saturday shift. I took a phone call from a patron, one of the Storytime moms. She said about a month ago she and her four year old daughter were in the Multi-Purpose Room alone either before or after Storytime. She said all of a sudden her daughter got a strange look on her face. The little girl said “He doesn’t have any legs.” The mother said she knew the girl was seeing something, she just wasn’t sure what. She had hesitated to come forward and tell us, but that her friends urged her to, so she did. She said they are coming back to Storytime.
Lady on the Stairs
March 7, 2012 Ellie Davis (staff) Anonymous patron report
I was in the library with my 4 year old son, and we were coming out of Storytime. My son walked up to Ellie and said “I don’t like that lady on the stairs, she is scary” he said. “What lady?” I asked, “a librarian?”, “No” he said, “she freaked me out.” I asked him what she did to freak him out and he said he didn’t know, she just really freaked him out. I asked him to show me where she was and he brought me to the stairs by the multi-purpose room and pointed up to the top. He said she wasn’t standing on the stairs, she was just on there. There was no one there. I asked if she was doing anything, but he said, no, she was just standing there and really freaked him out. He said she had glasses.
We feel the Ghost Walks are an introduction to the paranormal. For many, this will be their first glimpse into an actual investigation. There are countless varieties and techniques to do an investigation, ours is just one of many. When doing a tour, we generally have around 20-25 patrons in each Ghost Walk. Because of this factor, you will find there are varying levels of expertise on the subject. From the novice to the expert, we never know what we will get. Many patrons come prepared to share stories and occasionally they bring evidence from previous walks.
We provide our own “ghost gadgets” for a few of the patrons to use. Our hope is that as many patrons as possible can have that first hand encounter. Those that have become more interested in the subject usually bring their own ghost gadgets to work with. You might see KIIs, EMF detectors, infrared cameras, ghost boxes, etc. Depending on the dedication (and budget) of the patrons, we see lots of interesting devices. Cameras and cell phones are the most common. Many patrons download ghost hunting applications (apps) to their cell phones just for these events. The most often used is the TAPS APP. It was created and made available by the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). The app contains a functioning Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) detector, a Geophone to sense the slightest vibrations, and a digital recorder for capturing Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). Many apps are available online.
Different reports come to us from the attendees of their experiences during a Ghost Walk. We have yet to have a walk where nothing happens at all. There always seems to be some type of activity whether KII’s sound and light up or someone sees shadows in the stacks. It is always interesting and ever changing. In the last couple years several women have reported the feeling of a child taking their hand and walking along with them. This is usually women that are mothers. It seems that the children ghosts are able to tell which woman have children and which do not. One father also gave us the same report that he felt a child was walking with him. Two staff members reported seeing a young boy crouched down as if hiding during a walk and a young girl was spotted darting down the stacks on another. Tiny little lights have been known to move about the stacks. On rare occasions an attendee has reported they feel suddenly light headed and somewhat ill. I myself have had this happen once in the Ladies Room. It is a very disconcerting feeling. As soon as the person leaves the area it is gone.
I always like to make it clear that we do have activity here but I have never felt afraid. Yes, I have been startled or surprised, but in the 23 years I have worked here I have never felt unsafe. Some of the employees have never had any encounters and then there are those of us that seems to have the majority of activity. For me, I do not try to” block” nor do I “call them in”. If you do attend one of the walks, we ask that you keep an open mind and try to bring good and positive energy. It truly makes a difference.
For more information on the haunted library call or stop by the library.
*Photo of Senator John Hastert during a Ghost Walk.
Electronic voice phenomenon or EVPs are some of the most interesting paranormal evidence. Have you ever heard an EVP? The first time you listen to a recording and realize that there is something there that should not be you will be astounded. The first time I truly knew a voice was answering me back, I almost fell off my chair.
Several years ago, I was working one of our well known Ghost Walks. I was in the back room, known as the Work Room. I was explaining to the tour group that it was thought there were several children ghosts here in the building. I was holding my KII and a digital recorder at the time. I mother and son and a friend were standing close to me. The boys were also holding KII’s. I began saying “Is there a little girl with us? Are you nine, eight, seven?” At this point the KII’s all lit up. I continued with “Are you six?” the KII’s lit up all the way to red. We were very excited. I continued with “Are you five, four, three?” Nothing else happened. We then continued on our tour.
The next week I began doing evidence review. I was sitting at my desk with headphones on. As I played the recording from the Ghost Walk I soon found I did receive an answer to my questions. In the place where you can hear me saying “Are you seven?” you can hear a soft girls voice say “Seven”. I had chills. As you hear me say “Are you six?” you hear “I SAID I WAS SEVEN!” The other staff members came to see what was going on. I apparently let out a loud gasp. I made sure everyone that wanted to listen had a chance. Wow! That was a day I will never forget, being scolded by a ghost girl.
Amongst our files is another EVP that I believe is from a ghost boy. This too was taken during a ghost walk. You can hear people talking and suddenly you hear the boy say “William”. It sounds different than the rest of the conversation. You have to listen very carefully to hear it. Several people have reported a boy being seen in the library. Our staff member Bianca and helper Cheyenne were working a ghost walk and they looked
- I. Team of Utah is one of the professional ghost hunters that we rely on. They are a group based in Utah and are the TAPS affiliate for that state. They have been good enough to review evidence that I have questions on and give us guidance when we need it. They are our go to group when we need help. While visiting our library they have captured EVPs as well. Please visit their website link and take a listen.
If you have an EVP from one of our many Ghost Walks, please share it with us. You can email them in to: email@example.com
Are you ready for some holiday fun with a little ghost hunting in the mix? We are happy to announce this year’s Ghosts of Christmas Past.
Date: December 5th
Time: 6pm or 9pm
Tickets sales begin November 2nd at 9am
Price: $25 each
Must be 15 or older to attend.
This year’s entertainment is “Lefty the Magician”. He comes to us from Colorado and will be showing us some amazing tricks, some of which Charles Dicken’s himself practiced.
Once again the staff will provide you with decadent dessert samples. This is always great fun.
Staff will be in “Dicken’s Era” costumes and patrons are welcome to wear costumes as well.
Last but not least we will also be providing an hour long ghost walk to top off your evening.
For more information or if you have questions,
please call the library at 307-875-3615.
Please take a look at a few of the photos we keep on file of the library and some of our findings.
Remember, if you too have photos, EVPS, or other evidence, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. By you sharing we can further our research.
To order, please stop by the library to pick-up an order form.
Return to Sweetwater County Library by October 15th.
Payment methods: Cash, Check, Credit/Debit
Orders can be picked up starting October 23rd.
Unfortunately, I have been unable to post a photo of the new design. The SCL logo will be on the left front side and the above Ghost Walk logo will be on the back.
Colors, Sizes and Price:
T-Shirt——–White or Black
Size: Small Medium Large XL –$10.00 each
2XL-$12.00 3XL–$14.00 4XL–$16.00
Hoodies (Zippered)——White or Black
Size: Small Medium Large XL—$32.00
2XL–$34.00 3XL–$36.00 4XL–$38.00 5XL–$40.00
For more information, please call or stop by the library.
Sweetwater County Library
300 North 1st East
Green River, Wyoming 82935
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