Local Folklore and Rumors

July 15, 2013 on 10:41 am | In Article | No Comments

grave yard










Growing up in Green River, one always hears stories as a young person of the “haunted library”.  Children, teens and adults alike enjoy telling scary tales. “Did you hear Mr. Smith said when he was in the library one night he heard a child giggling” or “Jessica said she saw a shadow in the stacks when she was doing her homework”.  There are countless stories and they are all very interesting, but…..they are not all true.

That’s the funny thing about folklore it is usually based on fact but many times exaggerated.  Many of the stories are true accounts of what a person has seen, heard or felt and unfortunately several are just plain tales.  One example is that books can be seen flying off the shelves at any time.  If we had a dime for every time we are asked about this one, we could build a new library.  The truth is we have at least one account of two people seeing a book come out from the shelves, hover then drop.  Many of the staff have worked at the library for years and have never had this happen.  Please remember, just because something happened once, does not mean it will happen again or happen constantly.

One fact is that there were eight Chinamen that were believed to have died of smallpox and were buried towards the back of the property.  Local stories have it that there were a huge amount of graves contaminated with the virus.  Research does not back-up this claim. It is amazing how stories spread and fear can cause the truth to be embellished.

Many of the so called old-timers in Green River tell tales from their childhood of grave robbers or looters.  This unfortunately seems to be true.  Several persons have come forward telling tales of their brothers or friends that did in fact take rings and jewelry from the bones while they were being moved.  Where the workers were at the time, it is not known.  One account, told by Sharon Rhodes, tells of a local boy that stuck his hand in a casket to steal something and his hand became caught in the beard of the poor dead man.  He had to have help, to get his hand free.  The late Edith Sunada stated many years ago when she was young the graves were being moved, the workers would lay each coffin or set of bones side by side all the way up the street.  It was a dirt street in those days, but they would have been laid where the sidewalks are today.  Ms. Sunada was sad to state that several young men came along and stole several items.  The questions is did they keep the items or did they get scared and throw them out?

The public will many times ask if there might be a special time of day/month/year that we find more of the paranormal activity happening.  The answer is yes and no.  Activity does seem to be always present in the fall into October which should be no surprise.  However there does seem to be a vast amount of reports received throughout the year.  According to staff that work early in the morning before the library is open, voices are heard along with sightings of shadows being seen.  The time of day does not seem to matter in the least.

Just remember when your hear stories take them with a grain of salt.  Not everything you hear is true.  Do your research and truth usually is a really great story just as it happened.

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