I work at the main library downtown, sorting and retrieving books in the stacks, those windowed galleries in between the 2nd and 3rd floors. If you look up from the atrium on the ground floor, sometimes you’ll see me walking by up there.
And every once in awhile, when I’m back deep in the long rows of shelves, I’ll see a dark shape flit past out of the corner of my eye. Other times, I’ll suddenly feel a presence, like there’s someone approaching or already behind me and I’ll turn around to find . . . no one. My rational mind kicks in and tells me that it’s just my imagination, feeding off of the ghost stories I’ve heard about the library and the ground it’s been built on. And because the human mind is a funny thing and sometimes it sees what it wants to see.
But a few of my colleagues there tell me they’ve had the same experience, that presence of an eerie otherness. Others insist they’ve seen these ghosts up close for a short moment, one of whom is a woman in a long, dark-patterned dress; two more are a man in a top hat and a small boy at his side.
I’d truly like to believe that these ghosts are real, that they are in fact some sort of ethereal echoes of dead people. And I’d like to be as convinced as Hamlet was after seeing the ghost of his father, that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in my so-called philosophy. But until I get my hands on one of those Negative Ion Capacitors that Bill Murray had in “Ghostbusters,” I’m going to remain skeptical.
Now who else has some ghost stories?