Haunted Libraries: The Phoenixville Public Library


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.



Library Ghosts: Northeastern US
Phoenixville Public Library


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.