Did you know that there are actual haunted areas right here in Peoria? With the Halloween season upon us it seems like a fitting time to take a look into it. There are various supposedly haunted locations around the city limits but one of the most prominent places that you may not have known is haunted is the Peoria Public Library.
This library holds the number 10 spot on the Top 10 creepiest places in Illinois as seen on trueillinoishaunts.com. Under the website listing it reads, “According to legend, the Peoria Public Library is built on cursed ground and is occupied by as many as a dozen different ghosts.” The legend goes that back in 1830 a prominent local Peorian by the name of Mrs. Andrew Gray lived in a house on Monroe Avenue where the Peoria Public Library is now built on top of. She lived with her adopted, troublesome nephew. Eventually, the nephew got into so much trouble with the law that he required the services of a lawyer named David Davis. Davis took a mortgage out on Mrs. Gray’s home as a security deposit. When the bill came, Davis sued Mrs. Gray in order to foreclose on the home and collect his money. Mrs. Gray was so mad at her nephew that she evicted him. Soon afterwards the nephew’s body was found floating in a river. The legend says that Mrs. Gray cursed the property so that all future occupants experience misfortune. Even though the city of Peoria bought out the property in 1894 and built a library where the home once stood, the property is still said to be cursed. The first three library directors all died under unusual circumstances. In recent years, employees have said they have heard their names being called while alone in the stacks, felt cold drafts, and even claimed to have seen the face of a former library director in a basement doorway.
Are these rumors true? It is all up for speculation. Try asking a librarian the next time you check out a book at the local library! Oh, and keep an eye out while you read at night. Happy Halloween!