Mystery solved


Brenda Echeverria

photo by Brenda Echeverria / Arts & Rec Editor

Brenda Echeverria, Arts & Rec Editor

After hearing so many rumors about a supposed “haunted book” locked away somewhere inside the library, I thought it would be a good idea to go see it for myself.

What if some of the rumors say that you will go crazy if you read it? Or that you will die if you touch it?

All of those things were non-issues. The important thing was finding out whether the “haunted book of Whitewater” existed or not.

As it turns out, finding it was incredibly easy and not as mystical as you would think. 

After contacting digital scholarship and preservation archivist, Jennifer Motszko, she revealed that the book can be found in Special Collections, located in the lower level of Andersen Library, and invited me to see it.

When I arrived, I was presented with a really heavy, old book that was rolled over to me on a cart.

Brenda Echeverria
photo by Brenda Echeverria / Arts & Rec Editor

Motszko then explained that the book was an old hymn book written in Latin, published in 1899. It was donated to the library archives by a church in

Walworth County, but not much else is known about it.

When rumors about a haunted book started, a former archivist at the library “decided well, this book looks like it could be the one, and the lore just sort of built around it,” Motszko said.

Now this book just sits on its own shelf in the archives but mostly because of its size. Motszko said she has not felt anything paranormal from the book, but she invites others to see it for themselves.