Haunted Libraries: Scottsdale Public Library

When we think of hauntings, our minds tend to zero in on houses, theatres, hospitals, etc. Rarely do we think of libraries, being so benign as they are. I found a list of the top 10 haunted libraries and will explore each of their stories in detail in this short series.

Arabian Library, Scottsdale, Arizona

Arabian Library, Scottsdale, Arizona

10. Scottsdale Public Library – specifically the Civic Center branch and the Arabian Library branch.


The Scottsdale Public Library System serves the residents of Scottsdale, Arizona as well as the rest of Maricopa County and all visitors to the area. It is run by the City of Scottsdale. The first library for Scottsdale opened in 1955 in the Adobe House which was, at the time, also serving as the community center. It was open only 2 hours, 2 days a week and had a collection of 300 donated books. Four years later, the Friends of the Library non-profit was begun to raise additional funds for the library and offer additional support. In 1960, the town of Scottsdale assumed responsibility for the library and in 1968 a new 37,000 square foot main library was opened. Today there are five branches, including the main branch, Civic Center. Four of the five branches are named for horse breeds: Mustang, Palomino, Arabian and Appaloosa.


As stated above, the main branch and the Arabian branch are the two which are alleged to be haunted. It’s not easy to find any stories of what seems to go on at either location other than vague references to books flying off the shelf and unexplained voices being heard. Whoever or whatever haunts each of the two branches is not malevolent in any way, according to the investigation team Sonoran Paranormal Investigations, the team who has been to both branches to attempt to help the library gain some answers in 2010.

At the Arabian branch, voices were recorded, one of which was heard without the aid of a recording device. There were also responses on the team’s K-2 meter to verbal prompts in the children’s reading room, especially when one of the investigation team members read “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Also, a video camera which had been left on its own to record any ghostly activity was inexplicably knocked over when no one was around.

The Civic Center investigation found some moderate activity in the room containing historical documents. A photograph of the late Scottsdale Mayor Bud Tims hangs in the room and whenever it is moved, electronic devices start to “act funny.” A male voice was recorded three times saying the word “no” in response to various questions.


If you find yourself passing through or visiting Scottsdale, Arizona for a little while, you can find each of the branch’s hours here:  Scottsdale Public Library Details of the investigation can be found on SPI’s website. Lastly, you can hear the recordings captured at each branch location and judge for yourself the validity of the captures.