Haunted Libraries: The Saline County Library

Old Palace Theatre, Benton, Arkansas converted into a library for Saline County from 1967 - 2002

Old Palace Theatre, Benton, Arkansas converted into a library for Saline County from 1967 – 2002

5. The Saline County Library, AR

History

The Saline County Library has its beginnings like most other small libraries around the country: it was begun by a social organization which often took on civic projects to benefit the surrounding community. In this case, it was the Benton Junior Fortnightly Club of Benton, Arkansas that took on the task. The library was located on the second floor of the Walton building in downtown Benton and opened in 1931.

As with most libraries, the first location and many subsequent locations of the Saline County Library became too small to hold the library’s ever growing collection. Seven years after opening, the library was moved to a building next to City Hall. Ten years beyond that, it was relocated again to a former doctor’s office. There would be three more moves over the years before the library finally settled into its own building in 2002. A second location was dedicated in 2003.

Today there are only two branch locations that serve the entire county.

Hauntings

The interesting thing about this library’s haunted history is that it’s from a former location, not a current one and the alleged hauntings might not have anything to do with the library. From 1967 to 2003, the library was housed in an old theatre, the Old Palace Theatre. One reported story is that the director once heard the tick-tick-tick of a manual typewriter when the library had discarded theirs long ago.

Other librarians reported hearing phantom footsteps, seeing paperback carousels rotating on their own, and the typical books falling off the shelves.

As there are no stories to be found of former librarians who passed on yet couldn’t quite let go of their earthly duties to the patrons of the library, I’m more inclined to believe that whatever ghosts there might be are from the days when the Old Palace Theatre served its true purpose to the people of Saline County as an entertainment venue.

Sources

The Saline County Library site
Library Ghosts: Southern U.S.
10 Haunted U.S. Libraries

Paranormal Festival

If any of our readers live in northwest Louisiana, southwest Arkansas or in Texas within a reasonable distance of Shreveport, they are having a Paranormal Festival June 20 – 23. Despite living in New Orleans, I won’t be able to make the trip since my father’s birthday is that weekend. If anyone happens to go, please drop us a line – either via email (address is on the right sidebar) or by commenting on this post – and let us know about your experiences.

Details about the Festival can be found here: Downtown Shreveport Paranormal Festival

Haunted Lodgings: Crescent Hotel & Spa

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Built in 1886, the Crescent Hotel & Spa has reigned supreme nestled in the Ozark Mountain town of Eureka Springs. When the doors opened, the hotel catered to the “carriage set” of people living in and traveling through the town during the Victorian Era. Horses were made available for any equestrian minded guests to enjoy. Tea dances were held in the afternoon while dance parties were held at night, with music from the in-house orchestra. For many years, the hotel enjoyed prosperity as a year-round resort for those seeking the healing properties of the springs that seem to be abundant all over Arkansas.
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