Birmingham Branch Library

Birmingham library

Some of the patrons visiting this institution are searching for a good book of ghost stories.  And some of those  visiting are LIVING a ghost story. If dead men tell no tales, perhaps they stay around to read them.

Investigation Date: January 11, 2014

Location: 203 Paine Ave. Toledo, Ohio


  • Don
  • Kelly
  • Al L.
  • Ray
  • Chad (Weston Paranormal)
  • Matt (Weston Paranormal)
  • Andy (Weston Paranormal)
  • Tony (Weston Paranormal)
Investigation Conditions
Temperature °F Avg.  38  High  43   Low  33
Humidity Avg.  92  Max  100  Min  79
Barometric Pressure 29.50 in.
Wind  13 mph SSW
Precipitation .18 in.
Dew Point ºF 37
Geomagnetic Field  Quiet
Solar X-Rays  Active
Moon  Waxing gibbous  84% of full  Age 37%


  • 8 camera DVR system
  • Audio recorders
  • REM pods
  • KII meters
  • Hand held video cameras

Camera Placement

  • camera 1 – teen reading section
  • camera 2 – computer stations
  • camera 3 – basement
  • camera 4 – meeting room

History and claims

Located in the heart of Toledo’s Hungarian community, the Birmingham branch library is a hub of activity. The roots of this institution trace back to 1920. The library took up residence in a second floor room at the National Catholic Community House on Genesee Street with Eleanor Boyd as its first librarian. In 1922 Miss Catherine Gorman was appointed. Success was immediate and within a short time the small library moved to two rooms in the front of the second story. In September of 1925 the library took up residence in its current location near the corner of Paine and Front streets. The library, measuring 35′ x 60′ , is in the colonial style with a brick veneer. It was built at a cost of $30,000 by contractor William Pioch and architect Alfred Hahn. The basement seats 200 people and is focused on the history of the neighborhood. In its day it served as a focal point and meeting place for the Hungarian community. In 2005 the Birmingham branch library underwent remodeling.


The Fringe team and its associates from Weston Paranormal arrived around 6:30 pm and began by touring the location. We opted to use four of our eight cameras to cover the location. Equipment set up and placement took about an hour to complete.  In addition to the video surveillance system we also placed stationary audio recorders in several locations.  As per our usual routine we carried roaming voice recorders as well.  REM pods were posted on the main floor and in the basement. A REM pod is basically a form of EMF meter. Instead of measuring the amount of EMF (electro magnetic field) this device emits sound and activates colored lights in response to a disturbance in the field in the area surrounding the device.  As the library is somewhat size-able the Fringe team split into two groups to perform the investigation.  Don, Kelly, Al, and Ray from Fringe started in the basement while Chad, Matt, Tony, and Andy from Weston began on the main floor. In the basement we experimented with trigger objects to see if that might arouse some activity. The library has a long history of being a meeting place and activity center for the local Hungarian community. The trigger objects we opted for were in the form of Hungarian food from Tony Packo’s Restaurant. We utilized two KII meters; one marked “Yes” and one marked “No”. If we were to receive any replies to questions perhaps we could direct any unseen entity to answer using the appropriate KII meter. We did receive several hits on the meters. The meters were stationed on the same table as our trigger objects.  During our stay in the basement the Weston team radioed that they were hearing what sounded like footsteps or running on the main floor near the elevator in the teen book section. This noise was occurring around the same time we were receiving hits on the KII meters downstairs.  Floor plans indicate that this area upstairs is right above the area where we were sitting with the meters. Later in the evening during their stay in the basement the Weston team noticed the REM pod activate in one instance.

Later in the evening the Weston team heard what sounded like coughing or throat clearing near the first floor meeting room.  Around 12:00 am several agents made the short trip down the street to Tony Packo’s restaurant to prepare for the second half of the evening. We would be investigating the restaurant as well. It was during this time that the librarian overseeing the building heard strange noises coming from the front room near the computer stations. She described it as a moaning type sound. Shortly thereafter we ended our investigation at the library.


We believe that the majority of the KII meter hits in the basement can be explained by natural means. As they were lighting up we placed a Radio Frequency detector nearby. The RF detector reacted in sync with the KIIs. This leads us conclude that there was some type of radio activity causing the KIIs to go off. That being said, there was some KII activity that did not correspond to the RF detector. The lack of corresponding EVP evidence leads us to question the use of the meters as evidence on this particular investigation. The same holds true for the lone REM pod hit in the basement as well. We can not explain the footsteps heard on the first floor near the elevators. While they did occur around the same time as the KII activity we are still reluctant to include the KIIs as evidence for the reasons previously cited.  Unfortunately, the footsteps were not captured on audio. We did record some anomalous audio during the investigation.


This investigation did not turn up sufficient evidence to allow us to say with certainty that something out of the ordinary is occurring. While we did pick up some EVPs they did not seem to correspond with any of our questions. Other activity did not seem to be in reaction to our presence as well. If something is occurring at this location it is possible that it is residual in nature according to current definitions. The Birmingham branch library has a storied past and a long history of community involvement. We expect it will continue on this course. Perhaps future investigations will answer the questions surrounding this institution.

About 15 secs in Chad hears what sounds like a cough

About 23 secs and again at 1 min 19 secs what sounds like “No”

Don and Kelly prepare to leave the basement.  “Get me out of here”

Check out the Tony Packos Investigation

Prepared for Fringe Paranormal by Don C

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