UVA Library Ghosts

A recent list of statistics published about the University library includes many of the expected facts, things like the number of books (more than 5.1 million) and manuscripts and archives (19.1 million). One entry, however, is more surprising: “Ghosts reported: 2.”–Robert Vicellio


Alderman Library, University of Virginia

From “Ghoulish Grounds” Vicellio identifies two ghosts:

Dr. Bennett Wood Green, a Confederate surgeon whose collection of books was donated to the University library after he died in 1913. According to legend, Green’s ghost once haunted the Rotunda, which served as the library until 1938. When the books were moved to the newly constructed Alderman Library, Green’s ghost followed them across McCormick Road.

Dr. Bennett Wood Green

Alderman is being modernized and remodeled. Many of the books have been transferred to the Ivy Stacks on Old Ivy Road. Some of the book have been transferred to the Clemons, the undergraduate library. I don’t know where the Green collection ended up, but I wonder if Dr. Green followed his books to their current location.

The library’s other ghost haunts the Garnett Room, which houses a large collection of books donated by the family of Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett. The ghost is not a member of the Garnett family, and is instead believed to be the ghost of a physician who often visited the family’s home in Fredericksburg, Va. The estate was abandoned after the Civil War and was vacant for many years. The collection of books, however, remained immaculate, and some say the doctor’s ghost took care of the collection he had admired while alive. The books were eventually given to Alderman Library, where the ghost still watches over the collection.

This collection seems to have ended up in Ivy Stacks. I wonder if the ghost likes his new accommodations.

10 thoughts on “UVA Library Ghosts”

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