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Ada's Ghost Forever the Librarian

My mom was our village's librarian for over 15 years. For most of that time, the library was housed in the old village school building, which was, after the new school was built, turned over to the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the public library for use.

The library was located on the top floor of the old brick building, which had been built in 1924, in honor of the village's official incorporation. The VFW took up the basement and third floors - the second floor was merely an entrance foyer. To get up to the top floor, one had to negotiate three flights of stairs. The first led to the VFW hall, the second led to a mid-way landing, housing the library rest rooms and also the lights for the library's lobby upstairs. The last set of stairs led to a little balcony, where there were the glassed in window and door, that opened into the lobby.

The library itself, consisted of only three rooms: to the left of the lobby/main desk (as you face the desk coming in), was the children's room. To the right, opposite, was the doorway to the reference room, and the entire back of the building housed the adult fiction and non-fiction room.

The reference room often weirded people out. It had cold spots. Also, just off the reference room, was a storage area, with huge glass windows which looked out on the front lawn and street.

I mention all this because it is important to the story, in some respects.

Above my mom's desk, in the lobby, was a plaque. It was dedicated to the library's original librarian, whose name was Ada Lee (As an aside, we once found a fifty or sixty-year old framed hand-written poem in the storage room, dedicated to her - it was the poem, "Annabelle Lee," by Edgar Allen Poe, of all things.) Anyway, Miss Lee was an old spinster whose entire life, it seems, was wrapped around the library.

Anyway, one of mom's assistants for years, was an old woman named Lena. One day, they had locked up for the dinner hour, and were going out to eat, when Lena looked up at those windows in the reference room's storage area, and said, "Oh. There's Ada." Mom looked, but saw nothing, and just shrugged it off.

But, for years, people would be uncomfortable sometimes, using the reference rooms - cold spots, odd sensations and strange noises - all often explained by the creaky old building.

Some adults - once a retired teacher, and another time a village board member, and a couple of others - would be standing waiting to have their books checked out, and whirl around, exclaiming, "What was that?!" If they admitted to seeing anything, it was invariably a wisp of white, seen out of the corner of the eye, going into the reference room.

Sometimes, a book would fall off a shelf - while no one was in there, or there was unusual noise, or cold spots on a hot day, and mom would just take it all in stride, saying out loud - "I'm taking care of your library Ada, don't worry."

Well, in the late 80's, there was a handicapped access legislation boom, (a good thing) and suddenly, the library board realized they could not accommodate handicapped patrons without installing a very expensive elevator (lift).

The Catholic church was moving out of their old building (a converted hay barn dating from the 1900's), so, the village got the old church for a song.

So, the moving process began. I was targeted to help clean out the store rooms (found some neat stuff in the process). Well, the last Saturday at the old library came, the last patron was checked out, and the store rooms were emptied of 60 years of junk. On Monday, the movers would come and pack all the books and shelving and furnishings for their trip to their new home.

Now, for the entire time mom worked there, I was her unpaid assistant. I did everything she did, eventually, even helped her with the book work, sometimes. I didn't mind much, as I loved books as much as she did, and was a voracious reader, and, I really liked hanging out at the library - well, most of the time.

For my efforts, my mom was taking me out for pizza at my favorite restaurant, me being a pizza-holic, this is how mum usually re-paid me for helping her - that, and riding lessons. Well, we locked up the glass doors and went down to the little landing by the rest rooms. Mom asked me to turn off the lobby lights while she went and used the ladies room.

Coming out, she asked, "Did you turn off the lights?" I said yes, but just to be sure, glanced up at the glassed-in lobby doors and windows to be sure, and there was this woman, standing there, staring down at me!

I'd never seen her before in my life! I couldn't believe my eyes! She was standing near the reference room entrance, just staring down at me. She had dark, carefully coifed hair, and a plain navy blue mid-length dress. Well, at least I think she did. I say that, because in real-time, this is what happened: "Did you turn off the lights?" I look up, see the woman, and startled, I look at mom and say, "Who's THAT?" Mom says "Who?" I look back up--NO ONE is there! It happened in less than a minute, I think.

Mom told me to go back up and check, but about that time, very literally, the hairs on the back of my neck started crawling, and I played the coward and refused. So mom, rolling her eyes at me, went up and checked every room, every store room, and even the fire escape doors. No one there!

Well, no one ever saw Ada ever again, after that, or if they did, they weren't talking about it. And, just a couple of years ago, the old building was finally torn down.

Still, I'll never forget our "other" librarian, and will always wonder if my own mom, who loved the library as well, will haunt the new building, ha-ha.

This is an absolutely true story. Real names are used. It wasn't my last spiritual encounter, but it was my first.

Contributed by Dusty and Copyright © 2007 True Ghost Tales all rights reserved. No part of this story may be used without permission.

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