team assembled at Kenny’s home at 12:00 noon on Saturday,
October 20 for the 3 hour drive to Evansville, IN. The Willard Library
is a free public library which was established by Willard Carpenter in
1876. The actual facility was dedicated in 1885. The beautiful
Victorian Gothic Revival style building consists of three floors open
to the public and a tower where original materials from the 1883-85
construction are stored and used to make any needed repairs to the
massive and elaborate oak interior. The researchers were not granted
access to the tower.
The story of the gray lady began in 1937 when a janitor reported seeing a floating apparition of a woman in the boiler room. Since the initial report, the story has become legend. In the late 1990’s, the installation of web cams operated by The Courier Press has spread the fame or infamy of The Willard Library across the planet.
Over 1000 sightings have been recorded since 1937; mostly visual in nature. However, according to Maer MacKay of The Willard Library Ghost Chatters, they have also uncovered the existence of the spirit of a male child in the basement children’s reading room. The manifestations in this area range from levitating books, to orbs of light, to being touched and having one’s hair stroked.
The team on investigation #34 consisted of: Robert, Greg, Kenny and Elisa. Equipment used: 3 infrared cameras, 1 hand held night vision camera, digital cameras, digital voice recorders and EMF detectors.
Earlier in the afternoon, the team checked out the sight. Access inside was not available at that time. It was noted that the building contained enormous windows on each side of the facade which could have an effect on any visual images captured.
At 11:00 p.m., the team joined the other groups at the library for the investigation. The other groups involved were; The Willard Library Ghost Chatters, MESA (Multi frequency Energy Sensor Array Project), Quest Research and Poesy County Ghost Hunters. The actual number of people inside the building during the investigation is not certain but exceeded 30. It is a very large building; however this number of people in constant movement over creaking floors had a huge impact on the viability of our evidence.
MESA had sole access to the Bayard room for most of the evening to perform special experiments. There was also a portion of the children’s room in the basement which was not accessible to us due to a sealed experiment conducted by WLGC. All other public areas were available to the team. The second floor has had no reports of activity and was used by all teams as a control center. No equipment was set up by our teams on this floor.
After a tour of the facility led by Greg Hager, Director of the library, the equipment was set up and teams were selected. One infrared camera was allowed to run unattended in the Bayard room. One infrared was placed in the stacks of the research room on the third floor where many sightings of the gray lady have been reported. A third infrared was placed in the children’s reading room in the basement. Each team member carried a digital voice recorder and digital cameras for the entire investigation. Robert and Kenny both used EMF detectors. Robert carried a night vision equipped video recorder.
Base line EMF readings were recorded exposing extremely high readings in the vicinity of an electrical junction box and also high readings near electrical conduits attached to support columns throughout the third floor.
The basement hallways converge near some AV storage rooms. EMF readings of 2.0+ were recorded here. Elisa experienced feelings of oppression and dizziness in this portion of the hallway. To note, the area in question is the location of the 1937 boiler room where the first sighting was reported. Elisa also reported dizziness and a tightness of the chest near the electrical conduits on the third floor. Future experiments will be performed to see if she has sensitivity to high levels of electrical current.
The members split into two teams. Team #1, Robert and Greg, began their research in the children’s reading room. Team #2, Kenny and Elisa, began on the third floor in the research room stacks.
The third floor research was difficult to conduct because of the amount of ambient noise from the many other researchers and squeaky wooden flooring. Elisa and Kenny decided to pick a spot and sit with recorders. A tapping noise became apparent and seemed to be coming from nearby. Kenny investigated and discovered the source of the sound was across the large room, an investigator tapping his fingers on a desk. It was clear that all of our recordings would be too contaminated to use as evidence. At this point, Kenny and Elisa decided to join the other team members in the children’s reading room.
Team #1 found Robert and Greg alone in the reading room but within a couple of minutes, several other groups came into the room also. Another team requested that we leave to allow them to have sole access for an EVP session, however, that was not in the earlier agreement and we continued our own session for a short while.
We rapped up the investigation at about 4:30 a.m., returned to the hotel for some rest and left for home that morning. After reviewing our evidence, the decision was made by the entire group to discard all collected material due to the overwhelming amount of contamination.