A Library Haunting?
Posted By: Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted: 10/14/2020
Tales abound of haunted libraries across the country and around the world. Perhaps it’s because so many libraries are old and have decades of stories to tell, or maybe it’s because the very stories housed in them are restless. Whatever the reason, a good library ghost story isn’t hard to find. In fact, we found one right here at our very own Deschutes Public Library.
The library district’s administrative offices at 507 NW Wall Street in Bend sit one block south of the Downtown Bend Library. The offices are housed in what was the original Deschutes County Library. It was built in 1938 and was the first permanent library in Deschutes County. In 1998, the new Bend Public Library was completed. The collection formerly housed at 507 NW Wall was moved up the street to 601 NW Wall.
When all the hustle and bustle of a day-to-day library moved out of the 507 NW Wall space, things grew quieter. People working early in the morning, late in the evening or on the weekends began to hear things. Some say they saw things.
One employee recalls coming in on a Saturday. To her surprise she heard the sound of feet walking on the floor above her. Thinking she was the only person in the building, she made her way upstairs to say hello to whomever else was working that day. But of course, there was no one there. The sounds, however, continued.
Another employee tells a tale of the time when she was in the building alone and went down to the bottom floor (technically, it’s a basement, but it used to house the children’s collection). This employee went across the room in the dark, as the light switch is far from the entrance. She wasn’t spooked and really thought nothing of it. She turned on the light and began to go about her business when suddenly the elevator bell rang. She turned to look just as the door slid open—to reveal an empty elevator. Again, no one else was in the building, and now that employee refuses to head to the basement alone.
There have been many stories told of something moving just out of the corner of one’s eye, of automated paper towel dispensers that set themselves off at random times, and, once, the sighting of something hazy and white.
No one seems to know whom it might be—if anything more than our imaginations—that haunts the halls. There are speculations and ideas, but nothing much to go on. Today, no one who works in the building at 507 NW Wall seems too concerned or frightened of potential ghosts. People still work late and alone, and they still tell stories of sounds heard and glimpses caught. But we’ll be on the look out to see if we have any new tales to tell you next Halloween.