The Main Library is haunted and we have proof

Not your typical ghost story

September is already half over, the weather is cooling down and the leaves are beginning to change. October is nearly here, which can only mean one thing: spooky bitch season is fully under way.

But believe me when I tell you, this isn't just a Halloween hoax. Our very own Main Library is haunted and I have real evidence.

I work in Special Collections on the third floor of the library. Special Collections has three storage places for books and archives: third floor stacks, North storage and East storage.

North storage is home to mostly boxes of papers written by people from Iowa—and the Special Collections ghost.

Over the summer, I was putting a box away in North storage. The box belonged on a top shelf, so as I was standing on a step stool putting it back, I heard a loud thump.

I turned around ready to deliver the classic "SHH THIS IS A LIBRARY" angry librarian bit when I found another box sitting in the middle of the aisle, a box that hadn't been there before.

Getting down from my step stool, I inspected the collection and box number so I could put the box back where it belonged. I walked up and down aisle after aisle only to find it didn’t belong anywhere at all.

There were no empty spaces for the mystery box.

So where did it come from? Naturally, I came to the only logical conclusion: a ghost must have placed it there.

For months after my strange interaction with the Special Collections ghost, I kept the incident to myself. I had to have been overreacting, and besides, who would believe me?

The Main Library was completed in 1972 and nothing tragic has happened to warrant a restless spirit haunting the building, but I had to know where the ghost came from.

I spoke to a few of my fellow library workers to see if anyone else had experienced a run in with the Special Collections ghost.

One of the janitors recalled never having an ominous experience. The only odd happenings he could remember was an intoxicated man throwing a chair through a window and climbing into through the ceiling tiles on the night of the Nebraska football game a few years back, but no ghosts.

Another staff member, Grace Oeth, recounted weird feelings and hearing strange noises in certain parts of the library, but she brushed it off as the air conditioning acting up.

Finally, Elizabeth Riordan, another staff member at Special Collections, shared some insights as to where she believes the ghost came from.

“If there is a ghost, it’s not going to be one associated with the library,” Liz said, “It’s going to have come with one of the collections we have.”

North storage, where I had my encounter with the ghost, feels the creepiest when you first walk in. The weird vibe seems to fade the further you venture into Special Collections, so Liz believes the entrance of North storage is where the ghost probably hangs out.

When she first started working in Special Collections a year ago, a number of strange occurrences also convinced Liz that North Storage was haunted. However, she came up with an answer to the inexplicable happenings by creating her own ghost: the notorious Hawkeye Ghost.

The Hawkeye Ghost appears every Friday in the month of October in videos Liz creates with other staff members at Special Collections, and is the only known ghost living at the Main Library.

While the Hawkeye Ghost isn't actually a real ghost, Liz and I are still convinced that Special Collections is definitely haunted. We all know there are other ghosts lurking around campus (Currier, we're looking at you), so who’s to say the library doesn’t have one too?

These spirits are just waiting to be discovered.

University of Iowa haunted hawkeye ghost main library University of Iowa