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Paranormal Activity at the Morgantown Public Library

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Morgantown Public Library

I’ve always said that if I had the choice, I’d probably choose to come back and haunt my local library. There’s no way I’m going to get to all the books I want to read before I die, so maybe I can finally catch up in the afterlife! As far as I know, there are currently no ghosts haunting my public library, but the same cannot be said about the Morgantown Public Library in Morgantown, West Virginia!

Morgantown gained its first public library back in 1926 when the Morgantown Women’s Club started the Waitman Barbe Memorial Library, which was housed in the city’s municipal building. The library stayed in this location up until 1964 when construction began on the Spruce Street location. The modern library, now known simply as the Morgantown Public Library, located at 373 Spruce Street, is the library said to be haunted. But, before construction could begin on the (then) 1-story building with basement, two private homes had to be razed. 

It didn’t take long before the brand new library was complaining that it was running out of space. However, it wouldn’t be until 1993 when a second story was added. And, sometime over the relatively short history of the library, it has picked up the reputation for being haunted. 

Construction of the Morgantown Public Library
Source: WV History on View

The most common example of paranormal activity is the sound of books falling or being tossed off shelves. But while the sound is unmistakable, when investigated, no books are ever found out of place. In addition to these sounds, the sound of toilets flushing themselves in the ground floor bathrooms has been observed. The elevator is said to move between floors without being called by living hands, and even small objects have been moved around. 

Employees note that the majority of the activity happens after the library is closed to the public for the evening, when things are calm and quiet among the shelves. The employees have taken it upon themselves to give this mischievous spirit the name of ‘Isabelle Jane,’ but cannot explain why. It doesn’t seem like there are any former librarians with that name, or anyone else associated with the library itself. Even stranger…on the few occasions when a FULL BODIED APPARITION has been observed, it’s been a MAN, dressed in 19th century clothing! No wonder he throws books—people keep calling him Isabelle!

In November of 2018, Spirit Walk Paranormal became the first team to conduct a formal paranormal investigation of the property. Although they investigated all levels of the library, the majority of activity seemed to come from the main floor. In their YouTube video of their investigation, they shared some pretty interesting data they captured. At one point, one investigator heard what sounded like a child screaming. Knocks and other weird noises were observed at various points and locations throughout the night. In the children’s section, some really odd, sustained high EMF readings were observed. There were also a few EVPs, but what I found most fascinating was some of the spirit box responses that seemingly answered direct questions, giving the name of ‘Sarah’ several times, and even saying the name of the investigator conducting the session. Definitely go check out their video, linked below! 

Spirit Walk Paranormal (YouTube: Art House Media WV) 

The Southern Spirit Guide’s ‘Guide to Haunted Libraries of the South-West Virginia’

WV Library Commission Page

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Big Book of West Virginia Ghost Stories. 2014 Globe Pequot.

‘Library Problems Told to Kiwanis.’ The Dominion News. 06 June 1969. 

‘Librarian is Appointed’ The Morning Herald (Uniontown PA) 04 November 1965.


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