Ghosts at RPL – Review

The episode of “Ghost Hunters” aired last night on the SyFy channel about the possibility of ghost in the Rundel building of the Rochester Public Library. A couple TV stations gave the episode a short 15 second mention. The Democrat & Chronicle ran this story about the episode.

The episode mentions a possible ghost being a Mrs. Laura Young who died under mysterious circumstances in 1902. Her body was found in the Johnson Mill Race that still runs underneath the Rundel building. The Rochester Subway blog has this article that gives much more details on Mrs. Young’s case.

The TV episode kept calling the area under Rundel “the aqueduct” when it is really next to the aqueduct. It really was the bed of the Erie Canal and later the Rochester subway. The subway was still active when the Rundel building was built above it. The subway bed is an active area for homeless people but that wasn’t mentioned in the TV episode.

The investigating team looked into a door on the third floor that would open and close by itself. There is even surveillance video taken by the library showing the door opening after hours. The team was able to show that the door would easily open with a window slightly open in the room. Then the closer on the door would automatically close the door.

Shadows on the first floor were shown to happen with people going in and out of the Dinosaur Barbeque which is across Broad Street.

Then there were mysterious noises heard in the stacks (where extra books are kept). Some sounded like voices and other sounds were thought to be like books being put on a shelf. It was thought the noises could be coming from the ghost of a former librarian that had a heart attack at the library and died soon after. None of the voices were intelligible. Must be ghosts mumble!

The best evidence of a ghost was a recording of a shadow that appeared to come out of a row of shelves in the stacks and then disappear. That is a place that doesn’t have an windows so it is hard to figure where a shadow could be coming from. Still, the “Ghost Hunters” team spent two nights in the library and that was the best that they could come up with.