The Grey Lady: Willard Library’s Friendly Ghost

Robbed of her inheritance, the Grey Lady waits until she gets what is owed.

The Willard Library has been serving the community since 1885, but its vast collection of books is not the only reason for visitors to come.

Visitors come for normal library business and to meet Willard Library’s friendly ghost, the Grey Lady.

Related: Halloween: River City’s Guide to haunted houses, tours and trails

The Grey Lady is thought to be the daughter of Willard Carpenter, Louise Carpenter. When Willard Carpenter passed away, he left the entirety of his estate to his businesses and the library. Louise Carpenter sued the library board for what she thought was hers claiming that her father was not in a sound state of mind when he wrote his last will and testament. Louise Carpenter lost the case and is believed to haunt the library until she gets what is owed.

The first sighting

The first Grey Lady sighting was reported in the basement of the Willard Library in 1937 by a custodian.

“A maintenance worker came in the middle of the night. There was a big furnace and he was there to stoke the furnace,” said Adult Services Librarian, Arrika Dedmond.

The worker put his light down and as he picked it back up there was a woman standing in front of him.

“He reported that she was wearing a long grey dress and a veil over her face. He was supposed to be the only person in the building, so he said something to her and she disappeared around the corner.”

The custodian is the only known library employee to quit because of the Grey Lady.

Grey Lady’s hot spots

The Grey Lady is known to haunt specific rooms at the library.

“There are three levels to the library. She’s been seen upstairs in our local history department quite a bit. She’s also been seen downstairs in the children’s department and in the hallways downstairs. The children’s department is considered the most haunted spot in the building; especially the story pit area.”

Multiple paranormal groups have confirmed there is an “electromagnetic something” going on in the children’s department story pit.

Grey Lady Ghost Tours

Willard Library is hosting 27 Grey Lady Ghost Tours starting Thursday, October 11 and will run through Halloween. The tours are free and will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The tours will be led by the Willard Librarians who will share stories of the Grey Lady and their own accounts of the friendly ghost in the locations that they happened.

Although tours are free, registration is required. Click here to register.

Evansville Haunted Houses
Source: Willard Library


Willard Library has placed cameras on all levels of the library, particularly aimed towards the Grey Lady’s hot spots. The cameras are on 24/7 to keep an eye out for the veiled woman.

Click here to view the GhostCams.

If she decides to make an appearance, be sure to snag a photo by clicking on the video feed!