When the season of horror was upon the city of Malden, The Malden Public Library hosted the Young Adult Haunted Library Tour. The tour took place on October 25, 2019, at Malden’s Converse Memorial Building. The tour was led by the Malden Public Library Director, Dora St. Martin and Librarian Patrick Brennan. Throughout the tour, the history of Malden was told through many horror stories about the City, and the Malden Public Library. Horror stories were also told about many other libraries throughout the country.
The tour began in the entrance of Memorial Hall, the original part of the library. Martin directed the group towards a painting of Henry Hobson Richardson, the architect of the Malden Public Library. Martin began to explain that following the construction of the Library, Richardson began to design a mansion in Chicago. Following the completion of the mansion, Richardson would soon die at the age of 47, haunting the mansion until the end of time. To this day, a painting of Richardson is hanged at the mansion in honor of the architect and a ghost of Richardson may be seen passing through its halls.
Following this story, the group was directed into Memorial Hall, where Martin began to reveal the story of the Headless Mad Scientist. The story goes that a mad scientist had found a chemical of immortality. The scientist had used the chemical in order to preserve his body after death, where he is buried in Bell Rock Cemetery. Several years after his death, a group of researchers had heard of his story and planned to rob his grave to see if the story was true. So in the dead of night, the researchers went and dug up his grave. They found that the stories had been true. The body had been perfectly preserved. In order to understand what chemical was used to preserve the body, the researchers took the head of the corpse as a sample. Angered, the headless Mad Scientist roams Bell Rock Cemetery in search of it’s missing head. To this day, the grave of the Headless Mad Scientist has been paved over by streets and roads, but his ghost still roams the Bell Rock Cemetery in the dead of night, in search of it’s missing head.
Following this tale, Martin led the group towards the Lower gallery. Martin pointed to the painting of Frank Converse, retelling his murder. Martin told the group that Converse was murdered at 12 in the First National Bank, now the Main St. Lot. No one knew who had murdered Converse, but the citizens of Malden were suspicious of everyone. Two detectives from Boston were assigned to the murder case, while a Circle was established in order to find the murderer. By the end of the investigation, Edward Green was found guilty for the murder. Green had made several suspicious actions and transactions. During the hunt for the murderer, Green had seemingly not cared for the murder of Converse, however he was able to pay off large debts that he was unable to pay off before the murder. In the end, Green confessed to the murder. Despite his confession, Green remained well liked through out his community, and a petition began to save him. The petition was called “Shall I Suffocate Ed Green." It would take 20 years for Green to receive the death sentence for the murder. This case was the first murder during a bank robbery in North America.
The idea for the Young Adult Haunted Library Tour originally came from Librarian Patrick Brennan, who had then handed it off to the Teen Advisory Board (TAG). The Board had approved of the idea, and plans for the event were put in motion. Brennan wanted to host the tour because “[he] love[s] showing off the old parts of the library, and think that teens would get a kick hearing ghost stories here about Malden.”
During the research for the tour, Martin “was surprised at all the other ghost stories regarding many locations in Malden.” With many more stories yet to be discovered, Martin expects many more sites and horror stories to be included in next years tour.
Martin felt that the tour was a “great opportunity for students to learn more about the history of the library and the City of Malden.” This feeling was reciprocated by Freshman Eric Tang, who found the tour “eye opening”. Tang mentioned how the tour made him realize that “Malden’s history was this deep” and “changed the way [he thought] about [his] city.”
The staff at the Malden Public Library are already planning to bring back the tour for next year.