Part of me wishes I could say that my library is haunted by a malevolent spirit bent on the annihilation of the patronage and people of Craig, but another part of me is glad I can’t say that. What I can say is that, yeah, there is what I shall describe as a “critter” in the library. I can call him a “critter” because he’s never taken offense about me calling him that. Yes, I believe it’s a “he” rather than a “she.” He is mischievous, wiley, funny, and, sometimes, moody. Sometimes the library feels “sad” or “melancholy.” I always ask (aloud) “Are you okay?” I figure it’s not just polite to do that, I also really care that the mood of the library shifts that way. I’ve seen him by the circulation desk. He stands there. He watches. Sometimes books slide off the shelves with no one around. It’s unnerved people who have seen it, but I’ve just smiled and said, “Oh! That’s odd…” I’ll pick up the book and shelve it. Sometimes it’s an interesting book and I’ll read a bit of it. My critter definitely has good taste in literature…
I don’t talk about the critter much. I mean, people would look at me all askance if I made a big deal out of it. Besides, it’s like we’re friends and you don’t talk about your friends like that. He’s here, I’m here, we’re just comfortable together. But, I can’t help but wonder…. who IS he? No doubt he’s been here longer than I have because I’ve heard stories. Never bad stories, just…stories. It’s not a bad feeling you get in the library. Ever. He’s curious to be sure, and, like I said, sometimes sad, but I’ve never been scared or anything. I’m happy about that.
But then, those of you who know me shouldn’t be surprised that I ended up in a library like this. Most assuredly there were critters of a different sort at Fort Bliss (when you have human remains on shelves, how can there NOT be? And, before you go calling the Feds, they were properly excavated remains that were being curated in accordance with 36 CFR 79 and NAGPRA). Other sorts at The Harbor Defense Museum, and still others at…Kennecott. Yeah. Kennecott. Overall, the place didn’t weird me out, but the West Bunkhouse at 3am was unnerving as HELL. It was only there and around the house that Hastings occupied (the notorious mass murderer of The McCarthy Massacre) that I ever got creepy feelings. Then again, my husband and I raised eyebrows when we showed up there. We were Tim and Amy. People who had survived the massacre and were still in the town remembered ANOTHER Tim and Amy who were murdered on the airstrip.
There are no coincidences.
I guess that’s why the idea of something being around me doesn’t weird me out so much. It must have started with the original birth story—when the daughter of the couple who found me, cold and abandoned in the bathroom of that launderette mentioned another connection:
I always wanted to tell you this, and I wanted to TELL YOU. I didn’t want you to read it anywhere. You were born in the early morning hours of November 16, 1964 in the Grover Bungalo Laundrymat. What you need to know is that, in the early morning hours of November 16, 1963, my mother’s dad, Wallace E. Grover who owned the place, went into work, hung up his coat, and dropped dead of a massive coronary not more than three feet from where you were found a year later.
Check out the Top 10 Haunted Libraries in the Country!
And now, a quick word about Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read.: FANTASTIC!
If you’re not participating this year, please make plans to participate NEXT year. Literacy, especially EARLY Literacy, is SO IMPORTANT. Mr. Gaiman’s idea to hand out scary books on Halloween either with or in lieu of candy is nothing short of brilliant. If you’re looking for a book to hand out to your friends for Halloween, may I suggest Coffin Hop: Death By Drive-In? Not only will you be reading some of the weirdest and most wonderful things from your Coffin Hop buddies, you’ll be supporting LitWorld—an International Literacy Charity with the 2014 goal of teaching ONE MILLION CHILDREN (And Adults) how to read! What could be better? Horror for you and a leg up for those in need! 100% of the proceeds of the sale of the anthology benefit this charity; and it’s not just some “hey-we’re-doing-this-during-Coffin-Hop-only” stunt. No. This is FOREVER. This is why I love this group. Stuff like this (and other things, but stuff like this)
Happy Halloween and the end of Coffin Hop! Hard to believe it’s been 8 days of darkness (it’s kind of like Hannukah in reverse, right? I just thought of that…). Tell me a Ghost Story – long, short, real, not, just a bit of a Ghost Story. Why? Because this is the GREATEST of all the Coffin Hop Prizes and YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!
Yeah, you WAAAANNNT This! Tell me a story!! Contest Closes at Noon on November 2nd!