9. The Phoenixville Public Library, PA
The public library in the Borough of Phoenixville, PA began life in 1896 as the Public Library of the Phoenixville School District after prominent citizens took advantage of a newly passed law which allowed schools to own and operate public libraries. A donation of books from the Young Men’s Literary Union served as the core of the collection. In 1901, the town contacted steel magnate Andrew Carnegie who had been bestowing libraries on worthy communities around the United States. He agreed and sent architect’s plans along with $20,000. The new library building opened a year later.
Over the years, the library saw many changes, including a Children’s Library in the basement and other remodeling in the main library. In the 50s, the school district expanded and patrons living within the school district had access to the library service for free those living outside the school district were charged $5 per family. In the 1960s, the State Library of Pennsylvania provided funding to the library to expand its collection to 1.5 books per capita. By 1978 the Phoenixville Public Library joined the Chester County Library System which would increase the funding for the library at $1 per capita.
Today The Phoenixville Public Library has the third largest circulation of any of the libraries in Chester County, with 69,000 pieces.
Though there isn’t a lot of detailed information, there are a few ghosts believed to haunt the 100 + year old library. First, there’s the lady in the attic. I can’t imagine why she’d be up in the attic, but according to the library’s Executive Director, John Kelley, “she’s having a grand old time.” Another site stated that a man and his dog, which could probably be the haunting on the front lawn of the library that another site made reference to. A crew from the para-reality show “SCARED!” filmed an entire episode at the library and one investigator was allegedly really spooked in the office down in the Children’s library in the basement. When a more local investigation group, Chester County Paranormal Research Society, spent the night in the library, their electronics seemingly went crazy. A night surveillance camera even caught a book flying off the shelf. Further research indicated that there are three ghosts, but no details were forthcoming so it is assumed that the three areas of the library people feel are haunted are the three in question.