Excerpt from “Ghosts on the Range” by Debra Munn Part II

May 15, 2008 on 9:41 am | In Article | No Comments

Part II The Library Built over a Cemetery (continued)“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 feet 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 was 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 thing that had happened.”


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 was there, “Okay guys, the buildings yours. I’m going home! Lots of times I’d had feeling 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 vacuuming 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 event. 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 keychain.”


“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 incidents that anyone else. Several times since he began working in April 1986, he has seen 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!

(to be continued)

Special Thanks to Debra Munn and her publisher for allowing the copying of this article.

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