The Damned Story: The Deep River Library is your typical small-town New England public library, housed in a charming older building and home to books, research materials and … otherworldly spirits?
That’s what they say — or whisper. It is a library, after all. Shhh!
The building that has housed the library since it was opened on May 10, 1933, was originally built as a family home in 1881 by Richard Pratt Spencer, a prominent banker and citizen. Located in the heart of town on the corner of Main and Village streets, Spencer lived there with his family until his death in 1910. In 1932, the house was obtained by the town’s library association — which had been quartered in the town hall for decades — and then was officially opened on May 10, 1933, as the Deep River Public Library. It has been serving the citizens of Deep River as a center for reading, research and public events ever since.
Unlike many other allegedly haunted edifices around the state, there doesn’t seem to be a specific story or legend associated with the house that would explain why it might be a haunted locale. Additions have been made over the years, although witnesses generally claim paranormal events only occur in sections that were part of the original Pratt house.
The otherworldly activity at the library has varied over the years. Some people have reported hearing voices and sounds when no one else was around; those who claim to be psychically sensitive have said they have experienced ghostly entities in the building. Famed ghost hunter John Zaffis says that during one investigation he felt the spirit presence of two women in the reference area. Other groups have claimed to have taken photographs reputedly showing a ghost.
As you might expect, the library has been investigated by multiple paranormal research groups, including very recently by Full Spectrum Ghost Hunters and the Connecticut Ghost Seekers, both of whom claimed to have recorded orbs, EVPs and other mysterious phenomena.
Does the Dewey decimal system cover this? File it away in the 130s …
Our Damned Experience: We have yet to visit Deep River Public Library, but as they like to say at libraries, we’ll check it out!
If You Go: Deep River Public Library is located at 150 Main Street in Deep River. As it is a public library, it is free and open to the public year round, Monday through Saturday.
Under director Ann Paietta, the library has been very open about its haunted reputation and even has an active Facebook page, which sends out updates after paranormal groups investigate.
When you visit, please be sure to follow all the rules and regulations, and be respectful of others who are there to check out books not spirits.
View 150 Main St in a larger map