A Weighty Encounter With The Paranormal
Thetford Librarian recalls unexplained occurrence at children's library
On a biting cold January night many years ago, Thetford Librarian Peter Blodgett’s car wouldn’t start, leaving him stranded for the night at the historic George Peabody Library in Post Mills.
At the time, the library didn’t have a blanket or cot to sleep on for winter emergencies. Fortunately for Blodgett, there were some old carpet squares he used to create a makeshift bed.
The front door to the George Peabody Library has a habit of opening on its own, even when the door gets stuck (Children in center of photo have been blurred)
On this thinly padded surface Blodgett lay down in the narrow balcony section of the library and covered himself with his winter coat.
What happened next has haunted him for years.
“I felt this weight on my chest, like someone sitting on you” — like an adult male, Blodgett said.
The library balcony section, where Librarian Peter Blodgett spent part of an eventful night many years ago
Banker-philanthropist George Peabody, the library's founder
Blodgett didn’t scream or become frightened. “You know who I am,” he said to the unseen force. “I am not here to hurt this library, and I can’t go home tonight.”
The weight lifted. Blodgett gathered his things and slept downstairs.
Throughout his 31 years as librarian Blodgett hasn’t experienced anything else like it at the library.
Sometimes, though, he is certain he can feel another presence when he’s alone. Then there are the times when the front door opens on its own, even on windless days.
Maybe the building is just old.
Built in 1866, the library was a gift of banker-philanthropist George Peabody, better known for his museums at Harvard, Yale, and Baltimore. “As Thetford’s first library housed in the oldest library building in Vermont, it boasted a grand collection of 6,000 volumes and was the largest library for 30 miles within the state,” according to the Thetford Library website.
The George Peabody Library is one of five libraries in the Thetford area operating under the direction of the Thetford Library Federation. Today, the building operates as a children’s library and activity center.
Children’s Librarian Emily Zullo said that in her seven years worked at the library she has yet to experience any strange occurrences — except for the front door, which opens by itself often.
Blodgett said he’s finally come to terms with his long-ago encounter with the unknown.
“I think it was to protect the library [although] I’d like to think it was George Peabody, but he came up here only once to visit his maternal grandparents,” Blodgett said.