On April 23rd, Bianca Jorgensen and I hosted the Haunted Library Panel Discussion at the White Mountain Library’s first WYO.CON in Rock Springs. Two of our wonderful volunteers Tiffany Kennah and Ursula Krentz joined us in helping to inform and educate the public on the subject of the haunted library in Green River.
We provided a look at some of the amazing photos that the patrons have shared with us through the years. They included some of what we call the greatest hits, Man-in-top-hat, the Little Girl, Green Guy, Blue Mist & Lady with Dark Hair, The Bones with Charlie Love, and more. The photos always trigger many questions. It was great to see young and old asking. One gentleman had heard of stories and wanted clarification. We are always happy to explain each report to the best of our knowledge.
The photo of the old city cemetery is always a big draw. The public has many questions about the land and the area in which it sat. There was good discussion and many did not know the story of the old cemetery being moved up the hill to what is now, the Riverview Cemetery. Also, many did not know that more grave were found as construction and stabilization began on the site. Two mass graves were dug and different times and are found in the current cemetery. A large pine tree and a lilac bush mark the two spots where the bones were re-interred. Some bones are believed to still be buried on the property. I personally, had been told by Alan Wilson, the previous City of Green River Supervisor for Parks & Recreation Department, that there are at least six graves remaining. The reason the graves were not moved at the times the others were, was due to the belief those that had died did so because of smallpox. The local citizens did not wish to take a chance in re-infecting the population.
The Ghost Walk Volunteers tiffany and Ursula were great. When asked some of their favorite experiences, Ursula spoke about the ghost she has dubbed “Cowboy”. She first encountered him while helping with a ghost walk. The group was in the garage area. Library staff had been busy putting together a parade float that was western themed. An old pair of cowboy boots had been nailed down on the one side of the float. As the group and Ursula, particularly, passed by all the equipment went off. We stopped and she stood in front of the boots and began questioning the spirit. With KIIs in hand, it seemed she had a friend. For each ghost walk since, it seems her friend likes to come out and visit. There has only been one ghost walk that he stayed somewhat at bay, this is when Ursula’s husband attended. Apparently, he will only talk to her through the devices if her husband in not in the building. This gave everyone a good laugh.
Tiffany spoke of all the interaction between the spirits and those of us that attend, whether staff or patrons. She mentioned that there is video evidence on Youtube from both P. I. Team of Utah and from the Sweetwater County Library. If you have the time it is worth a peek.
I want to send out a special thank you Aaron Volner, staff member of the White Mountain Library, who put the event together. This was the first attempt and patrons seemed please. A special thank you goes out to Tiffany and Ursula for all they do for us. They have attended the ghost walks for years and they have become a pivotal part of enabling us to continue.
Those of you that follow my blog, know I truly believe there are spirits here at the library. Sometime they are busy keeping us on our toes and other times it seems quiet. For a few months now, it seems they have decided to be very quiet.
Through all the years I have worked at the library, I have seen three full apparitions, heard countless unexplained noises or voices, felt a hand touch my arm, and seen shadows at play in the stacks and other areas, and much more. This has become part of my work.
Unless you have worked or lived in a haunted place, you will have no idea what I mean. Many times you see something out of the corner of your eye and then it is gone. It happens several times, but you find nothing. I think they like to watch us work and see what we are doing. Very rarely have I ever felt uncomfortable, but there have been a few unique visits.
Once while I was hard at work, I was at my desk and was diligently working on the computer. The next thing I knew, I felt there was the sense of someone very tall and large stepping behind me. I had chills from head to toe. I didn’t turn around, but I knew “he” was there. I had no doubt. You know the feeling you get when a person is behind you very close. This was how I felt. I was on a deadline for the work I was doing. I decided I had to take charge. I said out loud and very plain “I have work to do and I am on a dead line, I would appreciate it if you would let me finish my work”. Nothing. No change. I said it again and added “I know you are curious about what I am doing but you need to leave and let me finish”. Two minutes later, I felt a gradual lightening of the air and he was gone. I have never felt his presence since.
As I stated, it has been a bit quieter for several months. I does make you wonder if they left for Spring Break. I catch myself listening or looking just a bit to see if I am missing something. I seems they determine when and if they will visit.
I did however have one startling thing happen. Towards the end of February a staff member stopped by to ask the rest of us if we smelled smoke. We always check the building when this happens of course, but found nothing. She is not a believer in the paranormal. I seemed the smell moved and may have been following her. She walked from the Front Desk area threw the back room into the hallway. Just as she got into the hallway and to the bottom of the back staircase, I heard just to the side of my desk by the hallway door “Uh-hum Hello!). It was plain as day. It was a woman and older girl’s voice. I was so startled, my head whipped around to see who was there. There was no one. I heard this with my own ears. Unfortunately, no one else was in the room.
To answer my own question, “Are they gone?” I say no. I think as always, they choose when, where, and if they will pay us a visit. When you least expect it……………………..Boo.
*Photo by Leslie Lancaster/Lindsay Parks (dark figure in the stacks)
The belief in the paranormal or ghosts is a very personal thing. Each of us bring with us a set of predetermined ideas on the subject. Our past and present are determining factors in our thought process.
For many people I speak with on the subject, they have had personal experiences that they feel prove the existence of ghosts. For others, their religious beliefs tell them there is no such thing. We are not here to tell anyone what to think. Our stand is “let the facts speak for themselves”. Each person must decide for themselves where they stand.
As for me, I am sure you are not surprised I believe there are spirits, angels, ghosts, etc. I have seen them, heard them, felt them, and smelled things that should not be there. Believe it or not, I have actually had a psychological evaluation (for personal reasons) a while back and surprisingly to some, I passed with flying colors. I have joked about this with my friends, but there is a point to this statement. I do not show any signs of being delusional. Apparently what I have witnessed is truly happening or I believe it to be true.
Here at the library, we receive many reports yearly of patron and staff experiences. Many are very compelling and others are to be honest are less than compelling. I have no doubt that some of the stories are exaggerated. We try very hard to week out any stories we feel are fabricated, but there are those that boarder on questionable. We choose to keep them in the Ghost Log for the sheer reason we are not sure either way. We try to give the person providing the report the benefit of the doubt.
With all this said, there is something here. I have no doubt about it. Some mornings you walk and feel it, a tingle or energy in the air. You know there will be something happening soon. There are a few staff members that seem to have more happen an others. We are the “lucky ones”. Last week, a staff member mentioned she smelled cigarette or cigar smoke in the library. No one else smelled it. She thought someone was smoking and walked all around the library to check. There was no one smoking. As she walked past my desk I suddenly smelled smoke. Just as she walked down the hallway and out-of-sight, I heard a girl say “Uh-um Hello!” I jerked my head around and looked all over. There was no one there. I had chills from head to toe. I heard this with my ears, not with any device. Unfortunately, no one else was within earshot. Darn!
One interesting fact is, reports have been down for the last couple of months. Patrons will ask if we have had any activity lately over and over again and I have had to say there hasn’t been any. Just when we jokingly say “they are on vacation”, they seem to be here after all.
It is up to you to decide what you believe. I would love to hear from you and what helps you to believe or not believe.
The Sweetwater County Library allows a select group of hand-picked volunteers to assist us on our Ghost Walks and special events. These special people have attended ghost walks for years and are very familiar with our procedures. They have shown themselves to be dedicated to the search for the truth about the spirits here and have proven this by their respect for those still inhabiting the property. For anyone that has attended the official Ghost Walks, you know these people and see for yourselves their willingness to help. No matter what task you give them, they are there to help. How lucky we are to have such an amazing enthusiastic bunch to work with.
Kyle and Shalise Lamb travel a good distance to join our events. They both have a strong belief in the paranormal and have on their own time traveled to many non-library related events and have networked with some of the more well-known ghost hunters. They come prepared with their own ghost hunting gadgets and understand the basic hunting technics that we apply. Shalise has her own photography business and Kyle does a good job also. He was able to capture the locally famous “Ghost Girl” photo. Good job!
Tiffany Kennah is a local lady that is quiet but gets the job done. For several years she has been a part of the so called “regulars” that attend the ghost walks. She is always one the first to say “yes” when asked to help with an event. What a sweetheart this lady is. She brings her own ghost gadgets and knows her stuff.
Ursula Krentz is a ball of energy walking. She is super ready to interact with the spirits here. She has been a “regular” for some time now and is very into the paranormal. She has her own ghost hunting gadgets and is very good with the ghost box. She has one special spirit that likes to let her know he is around. They have an interesting connection. While hunting in the garage for a special event, she seemed to come in contact with “Cowboy”. He come through often and likes it when she is here. But……he does not talk to her when her husband joins the hunt. We get a good laugh about it.
Kenedie Grant has worked with us since the first ghost hunts in 2006. She has always been willing to help in any way we have asked and is a huge asset to the group. During one special even, Ghosts of Christmas Past, the guest speaker author was snowed out and she was willing to do a reading from the Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol. Now there is a team player.
Hannah Redden Yeager is also someone that has been with us since the first few ghost walks. She has always been willing to jump right in and do anything that is needed. She too was able to capture one locally famous photo. Hers is the one and only photo we have on file that actually shows two, yes two, spirits in the same frame. Hers is the one known as “Lady with dark hair/Blue mist”. What a great catch that was. It is very hard to get any photos of ghosts, but to get two at once, wow!
(No photo available at this time) New to our group is Ian and Sami Doak. This is their first year and we think they will be great. Welcome you two.
Almost all of the volunteers have had major contact with spirits. Some have had their hair stroked, some have seen full apparitions, and others have caught photos and EVPS. If given the chance, make sure to sit and visit with them. They have as many stories and encounters as Bianca (my cohort) and I do.
Special thanks to the volunteers for all the work they do for us and for helping to make the ghost walks happen. Thank you so much!!!!!!
When was the last time you tried to do a search for information on our haunted library online? Because most of you can visit the Sweetwater County Library, you may not have tried. Several patrons have reported multiple online links about the many ghost stories at the library. So I decide to check it out. I had no idea there were so many online sources mentioning our little library. Who knew?
I began by doing a simple search on the search engine Ask.com. Here are the links I found.
PI Team of Utah: http://www.piteamofutah.com/
Haunted Places: http://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/sweetwater-county-library/
Haunted America Tours: http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/books/ghostbook/
The Shadowlands: Wyoming: http://www.theshadowlands.net/places/wyoming.htm
Encyclopedia Britannica blog: http://blogs.britannica.com/2007/10/haunted-libraries-in-the-us-utah-wyoming-and-canada
Green River, Sweetwater County Library. Lights have gone off and on mysteriously ever since the library opened in 1980. Flapping sounds reverberate through the building at night. Former Director Patricia LeFaivre said that her staff has seen dots of light dancing on the walls inside the closed art gallery room in such a way that ruled out an external light source like car headlights. Back when the library had electric typewriters instead of computers, at least two of the machines were seen to type on their own. There was no paper loaded at the time, so if these were messages, they were lost. The staff experimented by leaving paper in the typewriters overnight, but no phantom typing occurred. The most bizarre event occurred some years ago when the interlibrary loan librarian turned away briefly from her computer—it was a dedicated GEAC terminal—and when she looked back she saw her name spelled out on the screen. “I don’t think the system could have done that itself,” LeFaivre explained. “It had no word-processing capabilities, and at that time we didn’t have email. Her name appeared in quite large letters . . . with nothing else on the screen.” Since 1993, the staff has kept a record of all odd goings-on in a Ghost Log. The library was built on top of a cemetery dating from the 1860s. Most of the graves, primarily those of Asian railroad workers, were moved in the 1920s, but a coffin turned up as recently as 1985. Paranormal activity most often takes place when maintenance crews are working on the building or the grounds. LeFaivre added, “What’s interesting is that when we finally accepted the ghost’s existence, it seemed to quiet down—like it just wanted to be recognized.”
Documents Delivered: http://www.documentsdelivered.com/2015/11/
Angry Spirits at the Library
Hearing the story of the Sweetwater County Library will teach you a very important lesson. Never mess with graveyards or you will disrupt the spirits that linger there.
The Sweetwater County Library is without a doubt the scariest place in Wyoming. The library opened in 1980 and shortly after the opening, problems started to occur. Appliances and lights started to go on and off randomly and books flew off the shelves at night. It was almost immediately that these experiences started to occur. A few years’ later people started hearing strange voices and flapping noises throughout the library. That was when the people in the city realized that their local library was haunted.
If that wasn’t scary enough, soon balls of light were seen wandering around the halls. The people who witnessed these balls of light believe them to be supernatural orbs. Typewriters started typing on their own and gates began swinging uncontrollably. There was never any reason or rhyme for these things happening. Nothing could explain why these things were happening.
Sometimes the recorder in the library would record on its own. It would record the air and sometimes clicks and loud breathing would be heard on the recording. This was where people working at the library drew the line. They desperately wanted to know why this was happening to their library.
After extensive research, they found that the library was built directly on top of a cemetery from the 1800s. Supposedly graves were moves in the early 1920s, but bodies kept turning up. They thought they had moved all the graves, but there were always more bodies found. A slew of bodies were found in the 1940s and again in the 1980s and it’s likely that there are still bodies underneath the library today.
This serves as a great lesson about not disturbing cemeteries. Do not build on top of a cemetery or you are sure to hear from the spirits who are upset that you disturbed their peace.
American Association of Paranormal Investigators: http://ghostpi.com/PhotosMain.html
Lisa Writopia: http://lisaswritopia.com/haunted-libraries-in-the-u-s-a/
Community Treasures: http://repository.uwyo.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=comm_treas_grrs…
Kou K. Nelson: http://www.kouknelson.com/2012_10_01_archive.html
Partial interview with Kristina Wojtaszek author
And, of course, have you ever had a ghostly encounter?
KW: I have had a few occasions in the past where I thought I might have seen a ghost, but nothing definite. However, I recently went on a ghost walk at the Sweetwater County Library in town and at the end of the tour, as the librarian told us how the area used to be a playground before it was a library, we heard the sound of children’s laughter resonating from the dark, abandoned hallway behind us. It was very real, loud enough to startle us, and several people heard it, including me. It was pretty cool, actually! You can read more about my experience on the ghost walk on my website http://authorkw.wordpress.com/.
Archives West: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv63192
I hope you enjoy all the posts. As I wrote this I was surprised to see the article about the “angry spirits”. I have worked for the library for 23 years and have never found that to be the case. Our spirits here, seem to be just that “here”. We have only had a couple people ever state they felt anything other than friendly and it was more the spirit was angry about something in the past, not at us. I look forward to your comments about the many sites listed.
Many of these involved unexplained electrical disturbances. Women staff members on several occasions reported turning off the lights in the Multi-Purpose Room, only to find them on again ten minutes later, with the switch controlling them still in the “off”position. Maintenance men Marlin Dillard and Don Leasor experienced similar disturbances in the same room and on the stairwell, and each time they could determine only that nothing was causing a short.
Ed Johnson was no more successful in finding the cause of mysterious behavior in a vacuum cleaner. “One night after the library had closed, I was running the sweeper back and forth between the book stacks,” he said. “Once I moved too far and pulled the plug out of the wall. Naturally, the vacuum quit working, so I turned the switch off and went back down the stacks to plug in the fifty-foot cord. But before I had walked back to turn the switch on again, the vacuum started by itself!
Ed is positive that the switch was off when the machine came to life. “The next thing I did was to unplug it, wind up the cord, and say to whoever or whatever was there, “Okay, guys, the building’s yours. I’m going home! Lots of times I’d had feelings that I was being watched, but nothing like this had ever happened before.”
Nearly everyone I interviewed reported the same sensation of being watched, especially in the Multi-Purpose Room. A custodian was vacuming there one day when she happened to glance up at an adjoining stage. The curtains were open and the stage was set for some upcoming events. The woman thought to herself how nice it looked and went back to her sweeping. When she glanced up again a short while later, the drapes were closed. Because they were operated by an electric opening and closing mechanism, the woman reasoned that one of the control switches must be at the Circulation Desk, and that the staff there were playing tricks on her. Upon confronting them, however, she discovered that the only switch for the curtains was the one in the Multi-Purpose Room itself.
Maintenance man Don Leasor had another eerie experience while vacuuming, when he heard what sounded like someone “rattling the heck out of a key chain.”
“Whatever was making the noise was in the same room with me,” he explained. “And whenever I’d shut the vacuum off, the noise would stop, too.”
Don has probably experience more unnerving icident’s that anyone else. Several times since he began working in April 1986 he has seem mysterious glowing lights inside the building.
“The first time,” he said, “I was getting ready to walk out the door, so I turned off the lights in the front room. About five seconds later, I saw small glowing lights moving over the wall, right above the entry way, just as if someone were shining little flashlights with eight-inch diameters of illumination. The glowing would appear and disappear every three or four seconds.”
Don is certain that he was not seeing reflections from passing automobiles. “I’ve seen car lights shining from the street and into the library, but these looked nothing like that.”
Even more upsetting was the experience shared by Don and former custodian Marlin Dillard. “We were upstairs, in a different part of the library, but we could hear distinctly what sounded like somebody latching the doors to the Multi-Purpose Room,” said Marlin. “Then, when we went down to look, nobody else was anywhere in the building.” Strangest of all was the fact that the doors were not even pulled shut when the two men came to inspect them!
Another time Don heard strains of “something that sounded like Beethoven” coming from the piano in this same Multi-Purpore Room. “I heard just a little of it, but then it stopped. And there was absolutely no one else around,” he siad. “What made this even creepier was that it happened the same night that the gate swung back and forth by itself.”
Perhaps his scariest experience was hearing voices, however. “One night when I was carrying out the trash, I thought I heard people talking, “ He said. “So I set the trash outside and closed the door as if I’d already left. Apparently, whatever was in the building thought I had. But then I sneeaked back inside and heard the voices coming from the Multi-Purpose Room. It sounded like a man and a woman yelling and arguing, although the words were muffled so I couldn’t tell what they were saying. And since I had just come through that part of the library before taking out the trash, I knew no one was there.
“I even checked to make sure that the noise wasn’t coming from outdoors,” Don said. “but finally, I gathered up my nerve and opened the door to that room. As soon as I did, the voices immediately stopped!
Don Leasor was not the only staff member to hear the strange voices. A former maintenance assistant who was too terrified to be interviewed claimed that she often heard them when she worked alone from eight until ten at night.
Since so many frightening things were taking place late in the evening, library director Helen Higby rearranged schedules and made it a rule that no one worked alone.
“Even if it turns out that there’s nothing there,” she pointed out, “if someone were to get nervous and imagine something, then trip and fall down the stairs, we might not find them until the next day. And we’ve got enough ghosts already!”
Not long after the new policy took effect, the business manager came in to do some work on a holiday, and mindful of the new rule, she brought her Doberman pinscher along. “After she had been in the office for a while, “Helen said, “the dog suddenly went over to the door and cocked its head as if someone were outside. Then it came back and sat down in the middle of the room, but it continued to stare at the door, fully alert. That’s all that happened, but it gave everybody the creeps, because dogs, unlike people, don’t imagine things.
“At one of the staff meetings,” Helen continued, “I told everyone, “Listen, I know how to deal with budget cuts; I know how to deal with all kinds of normal problems. But I don’t know how to deal with spooks!” So we talked about the possibility of getting an exorcist, about having a priest come and bless the building, but some of the emplyees didn’t want that. In their minds, that gave credence to something they didn’t want to think about.
Apparently nothing out of the ordinary had been reported for a year or so at the time of my interviews in February 1988, but it is unknown whether the phenomena have stopped or are just not as noticeable now that workers are forbidden to be alone in the building. Skeptics might conclude that the new rule provides less opportunity for overactive imaginations to concoct spooky stories, but with so much evidence from so many people, it seems clear that something of an unusual nature was occurring. Even former librariian Grace Gasson, who attributes the disturbances to the building’s structural defects and the susceptible imaginations of the living, admits that she has no explanation for such things as the wildly oscillating security gate.
If the troublesome manifestations at the Sweetwater County Library were indeed of a paranormal nature, what caused them? Do the spirits of the dead really return to wreak havoc when their resting place is disturbed? No one I interviewed believed that the spirits were of a malicious nature. As Helen Higby observed, “Whatever is going on, if it’s some kind of being, apparently it’s benign, because it hasn’t done anything destructive or harmful. And in a a library, you could make a big mess in a hurry if you wanted to, by throwing the books on the floor or dumping the card catalogues.”
Whatever caused the strange events at the library, most of the staff are less inclined to scoff at the supernatural these days. And even without the new rule, the odds are that you’d have a hard time finding anyone willing to spend the night there alone!
To read more stories about haunted Wyoming, be sure to look for “Ghosts on the Range” by Debra D. Munn.
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.
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