Paranormal investigation results revealed at library tonight

Paranormal investigation results revealed at library tonight

June 29th, 2012 by Casey Phillips in Life Entertainment

Does a ghost roam the halls of the Chattanooga Public Library? The Global Paranormal Society will reveal the results of its research tonight as part of the library's teen summer reading program.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

* What: Teen Summer Reading Program ghost hunt reveal.

* When: 7 p.m. today.

* Where: Chattanooga Public Library, 1001 Broad St.

* Admission: Free.

* Phone: 757-5310.

* Website: www.lib.chattanooga.gov.

POLL: Do you believe ghosts exist?

Apparently, ghosts have little respect for the Dewey Decimal System.

Inside the Chattanooga Public Library on Broad Street, a phantom known to library employees as Eugene has been wreaking havoc on the fourth floor for years.

Some of his antics include throwing books or slamming them onto shelves, sprinting through otherwise empty rooms and generally giving people the creeps, said young-adult librarian Della Phipps.

"With that and some of the other stories I've heard over the years, I wanted to get the library investigated," Phipps said.

In November, she got her chance when the Global Paranormal Society, a Cleveland, Tenn.-based troupe of ghost hunters, visited the library to research another haunted locale.

Phipps offered them the chance to conduct a thorough search of the downtown building, which opened in 1976, to find out what Eugene was up to and if he had any friends.

On March 3, the Society sent a team of about a half-dozen members to join as many library employees, including four teen advisory board members, in a floor-by-floor, room-by-room investigation. Their six-hour search included making numerous video and audio recordings to seek out electronic voice phenomenon and other indications of paranormal activity.

The Society has spent the last three months analyzing that data and will reveal its findings tonight during a presentation as part of the library's teen summer reading program.

Phipps said she has no idea why employees named the resident spook "Eugene," but she is confident his pranks aren't malicious. Nevertheless, the experiences she and the other investigators had while combing through the building were enough to convince her he is real.

"There were some things that happened that night," she said. "They heard footsteps where there shouldn't have been any footsteps in a completely empty room. They heard someone running back and forth down the hall.

"There were books that slammed down on the shelves in a room while the investigators were sitting at a table."

Teen advisory board member Caleb George, 15, was part of the search. He said the experience was creepy, but thrilling.

"In some rooms, we heard a lot of noises and things creaking," he said. "It was scary, but at the same time, it was a lot of fun.

"It didn't really change how I view the library, though. It's still the same old place."

However attendees to tonight's lecture interpret the team's findings, Phipps said she is glad she looked into the mystery.

"We've never told outside people that there are ghosts in the library," she said. "Some people will be really interested in it, and others will be scared by it.

"I guess the truth is good to know."

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.