Is the Levi E. Coe Library haunted?

There are two types of people in this world: those who like candy corn, and those who don’t.

But when it comes to the Levi E. Coe Library, there appears to be only one type of person: the type who loves this always-welcoming resource in Middlefield.

What’s not to love? Continuous book sales, a small-town feel, beautiful gardens, artifacts from history, an outdoor labyrinth, and, of course, all those books.

And in October’s past — pre-COVID — many of us found our visits to the library inspired by the paranormal groups that shared their expertise on all things spooky. Attendees at those programs heard of objects that moved on their own and shadows attached to no human form. And we heard some terrifying recording, EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon). 

During each of these paranormal visits, the library director, Jessica Lobner, would quietly step into the room and assume a seat in the back. This is when those in attendance assumed the program was drawing to a close.

But not so fast. Lobner had her own stories to share, and each of them takes place at the very library in which we were seated. Some occurred when the speakers in front of the room visited the building, not to share a presentation, but to investigate unexplained occurrences. 

The first strange incident Lobner says she experienced at the library came when she was working there as a college student. One morning 20 years ago, checking in returns from the book drop prior to the library opening for the day, the future director said she heard her name, shouted loudly, right into her ear. The source was unseen.

Understandably shaken, Lobner went to spend some time in the safety of her car and shared her experience with co-workers as they arrived at work. Others had strange tales to tell as well; some detailing unexplained beams of sparkling light that extended from floor to ceiling within the library. 

Prior to a recent meeting with paranormal investigators, Lobner found a chair in the meeting room moved, without explanation. And an EVP recorded soon after appears to reveal a disembodied voice responding “eventually” to the question “would you like some coffee?”

Lobner shared additional EVPs that were captured at the library. Along with footstep-like sounds, and those of a cat yearning to be let out, it seems one recording captured the faint whisper of a woman stating “I’m nice.”

The library was built in 1893 by Judge Levi E. Coe in memory of his two sons who died as infants. That’s alot of years to collect spirits.

“I truly don’t know if the history of the library can explain the unusual experiences,”  Lobner said. “One can only speculate.”

So instead of being nervous about sharing the space with ghosts, perhaps we can be grateful that we are welcome at the library, even in the afterlife.


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