Saturday, September 12, 2009

Is there anybody out there?

Lots of people have this belief that libraries are haunted. Almost every library has this kind of superstitious nonsense attatched to it, which I think has more to do with the terror of reading that so many people possess than actual spirits roaming the halls.

This being said, I once worked in a library with that kind of rumor, which (if I were the kind of person who believed in this sort of thing) actually had a pretty compelling story.

See, in the MC library where I used to work, the elevator had this freaky thing that it did. It would take you from the first floor to the second. It would take you from the second to the basement, and the basement to the second, and the basement to the first.

But it did not want to take you from the first floor to the basement.

I got in the habit of talking to the elevator, encouraging it to move down when I stood in it, waiting for something to happen. I used to say, "You can do it, little elevator, it's all okay!" As well as many, many other nonsensical things that I say when I think no one else is listening.

And, more often than not, it did the trick. Soothing the elevator, making sure it knew there was no pressure, that made it move.

Then, after I'd worked there almost a full year, I was sitting in the Lounge and talking with some friends, one of whom was Jen, and of course Becky was there too, because that was back when the three of us did everything together.

Becky worked for The Oak Leaves, our appallingly bad college newspaper, which I can say because I worked for it too.

She had been working on a story about hauntings at the college, and had researched one at the library because, "this guy was fixing it, and it came down on top of him and killed him."

Okay.

My librarians explained it a little better, I think because Becky wanted me to actually read her story and not just get the Cliff's Notes version from her. The facts are as follows: 1. an elevator guy was installing the elevator, as they do 2. the elevator started moving and 3. it went from the first floor to the basement, where he stood in the shaft and 4. it crushed him and 5. he died.

Not only is that a very sad story, it was also pretty freaky to me, because the elevator never wanted to go from the first floor to the basement. Given what had happened, and the already-rumored haunting of the library, made me think for just a moment that maybe there was a reason for all the rumors.

I say all this because it is 8:15 am and as of this point, it looks like I'm the only one who bothered to show up for work today. I know everyone else will come at some point, that usually is the way things work, but this whole deal is enough for me to sit down here in the basement listening to all the noises hundred-and-some-year-old buildings make, and think, "hmm...did it make that noise before?"

Which is why that show Ghost Hunters is so darn good. It happens to all of us.

I'm pretty sure no one has died in this building though, at least not yet.

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