It’s Halloween month, but this is real. The photo below of the Classics Library’s book stacks was taken by Mike Braunlin a few years ago. However, only after looking at the photo recently, did he discover that in addition to the books, he had captured a real “live” ghost. The upper torso of the ghost can be seen flush with one of the book cases in the back while one of its arms can be seen closer to the camera and its legs on the floor. The ghost is clearly browsing the stacks. The profile of its head, chin, nose, eyes is just below the row of lights and its left shoulder and left arm are raised towards the stacks. Light is illuminating its torso. It may be carrying a book bag. It wears dark trousers, its right leg is straight and its right foot lies flat on the floor. Its left leg is bent backwards and it touches the floor with the toes of its left foot. Its sex and age cannot be definitively determined although it is tempting to think that it is John Miller Burnam himself, forever laboring to complete his monumental Palæographia iberica.
It was not Mike’s only encounter. One early morning, still dark outside, he was in a stairway in the Library when he heard a raucous laughter engulfing him. Mike was alone in the Library and he could hear the laughter coming from all directions in the stairway. Scared out of his wits, he ran to the apartment of a grad student on McMillan telling her about his harrowing experience and asking if he could relax there for a while. That grad student was his future wife, Susan, so the ghosts may in fact have been responsible for bringing them together. And ghosts who live among books must be benevolent, so instead of being fearful, the Classics Library’s staff have decided to embrace their resident bibliophile ghosts.
A real ghost?
A fake ghost?
The Classics Library aims to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all!
Mike insists that our new security gate is either a portal to Another Dimension or a gate whose ultraviolet rays might very well prevent Covid, at least in cats.
We are looking forward to a graduate student organized “A Very Blegen Halloween” with Desk Decorating and Costume Contests, and Party on October 29, followed by a library organized Movie Night!!!
Happy Halloween UC Classicists!