The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – North Dakota’s Liberty Memorial Building

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

Libraries are usually known for being calm, quiet and generally innocuous. While this is often the case, the North Dakota State Library may have housed something a little more lively than stacks of aged tomes during its time operating outing out of the Liberty Memorial Building.

Haunted North Dakota: Liberty Memorial Building

The Liberty Memorial Building can be found at 604 East Boulevard Avenue in North Dakota. It was constructed in 1924 and is currently the oldest building that still stands on the state’s capitol grounds.

It’s original purpose was to provide extra office space for state agencies. It also commemorated the end of World War I and was intended to honor those who served during that time.

The North Dakota State Library moved into the elegant Liberty Memorial Building in 1936. The library actually moved out of the building in the 1970s but returned in 1982.

Paranormal Activity at the Liberty Memorial Building

Those who worked in the Liberty Memorial Building claimed to have had numerous paranormal experiences. The entity that allegedly exists in the library is often referred to as the “Stack Monster.”

In the early 1970s, superintendent of the Historical Society James Sperry was working late one particular evening. His dog Shadow was there to provide a little friendly company. Sperry decided to take a break and headed to the lower level to meet with archivist, Frank Vyzraiek.

During a brief chat between Sperry and Vyzraiek, Shadow suddenly began to growl and act strangely. The dog bared his fangs and kept his ears flat back against his head. He suddenly darted away, ran down a hallway and disappeared into the basement.

Startled, James attempted to follow but the dog had quickly returned. His pet’s demeanor had completely changed. Shadow was cowering and shaking. He whimpered fearfully for no explainable reason.

During a separate incident, Sperry was again working late and stepped into the elevator to go to the basement level. As the elevator’s door slid open, Sperry spotted a male figure in a white shirt walking into a storage room a short distance away.

Sperry did not recognize the individual so he went to see who it was and what they were doing. When Sperry reached the storage room, no one was there.  The light was off, as if the room had been unoccupied for some time. Sperry flicked it on to make sure no one was lurking in the shadows but saw nothing.  The room had only one entrance.

Others claimed to hear disembodied coughing and to have seen lights flicker and doors open and close on their own.

Walter Bailey, who worked as a historic preservationist, would also spend time after hours in the building. As he worked he would sometimes get the overpowering sensation that someone wanted him to leave. He also heard strange footsteps but never found anyone else around.

Craig Gannon and Liess Vantine were working in the building at the same time one day. Vantine had moved into the basement when he heard someone calling his name. Thinking it was Gannon, Vantine looked for the source but found no one. He soon discovered that it could not have been Gannon because his coworker had been hard at work two floors up when the incident occurred.

The Liberty Memorial Building Today

The Liberty Memorial Building may have been a good place for a paranormal investigation at one time, but that may not be the case today. It seems that whatever entity was haunting the halls of the building has since moved on. Reports of strange activity suddenly stopped after the Historical Society moved out in the early 1980s.

It’s difficult to say exactly why there are no more reports after this period. Some think it could just be a simple matter of no one being around to witness it since the Historical Society employees are not there late into the evening anymore. Or perhaps whatever it was had ties with someone in the society or the entire group as a whole.  Either way, it’s an intriguing chapter in the otherwise mundane life of the Liberty Memorial Building.

Have you been to the Liberty Memorial Building (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

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