Who is the Ghost?
Popular lore considers Louise Carpenter, daughter of Willard Carpenter, to be the ghost.
Willard left the bulk of the family fortune to support the library. While he provided for his family, Louise was unhappy and she sued the library over her fatherís estate; she considered it her inheritance. She lost. Louise questioned her fatherís sanity during the trial and was apparently quite angry over the whole situation. Louise was very much like her father, which is probably why they didnít get along very well. Some say she held a grudge against the library and its trustees, and that might explain why she haunts the Willard Library to this day.
However, Louise died in 1908, in Newark, NJ, 29 years before the first reported sighting of the Grey Lady.
Others say the ghost has something to do with the property, or the land. Their thinking is that the ghost has never been seen as a malevolent figure. Some who have worked at the Willard Library for a number of years actually regard the Grey Lady as just another staff member. They just take it for granted that they would see the Lady in Grey every so often.
Some psychics who have visited the library have said yes, itís Louise; others say no, itís not.
One psychic went into a long trance when she visited Willard Library. She was in the trance so long that her husband had to coax her out of the spell. She said she had communicated with a woman, and while this woman couldnít actually speak, she was sure it was not Louise. The woman was overwhelmed with grief, perhaps due to the loss of a loved one. She said she could sense the image of a child near a body of water. She also said the ghost wore her hair in a chignon, which is a roll or knot of hair worn at the back of the head; this is exactly the same way Margaret Maier describes the Grey Ladyís hair.
While there are nearby bodies of water, there has never been an indication of water on this property. The Ohio River is nearby, and the terminus of the Wabash & Erie Canal is close to where the old court house used to stand. There are some who speculate the psychic may have seen a watering trough for horses near the Willard property.