GARDINER — Tony Lewis felt a sense of peacefulness at the city’s public library in August.

But he wasn’t curled up with a great book or taking in the quiet hush. He was conducting an investigation into the paranormal.

Library staff invited Lewis, who is cofounder and team leader of Maine Ghost Hunters, to spend a night in the 130-year-old building to see if there were any ghosts lingering around the bookshelves.

Lewis said his team had conducted an investigation at the Portland library, but that Gardiner’s is much smaller and more comfortable.

One would think that means no ghosts were found inside the library.

“We haven’t really discussed the investigation with the library yet, and wouldn’t want to reveal any evidence we found there yet,” Lewis said. “We spent an evening there conducting a paranormal investigation.

“According to our standards, we feel we found evidence of activity.”

Lewis said he will discuss the methodology of the investigation and share his findings in a forum from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the library. The event is free and open to the public.

Anne Davis, director of library and informational services, said staff thought the paranormal investigation would dovetail well with the rehabilitation of the Community Archives Room, which many people use to research their families and homes.

“Oftentimes, people come to research the past families within their own homes, so we thought we would do the same,” she said Friday.

She said the library is still in the process of raising money for the renovation, which will cost about $160,000. The work will be finished next spring, she said.

“I can assure you that no one ever died within the building, but the sprit of imagination, wonder and reading thrives to this day,” she said.

A brief history of the Romanesque building, which cost $13,000 to build of brick and sandstone, is at

Davis said she doesn’t know if ghosts inhabit the Water Street library.

“I guess it depends on an individual’s own spirituality and beliefs, but if you could come back to a favorite place, wouldn’t you want it to be a library?” she said. “You could spend all your time reading all those books you meant to get to.”

And if there are ghosts, “It could also give the staff an excellent excuse when things go missing, books turn up lost and items get inexplicably broken. ‘Sorry it wasn’t me, must be the ghost.’ “

For more information about the event, call 582-3312.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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