You might want to keep your senses alert to any paranormal activity while perusing books or sipping coffee at the Wandering Hermit Books and Gifts.
“A whole group of books just fell off the shelf,” said Abby Mickelsen, employee at The Wandering Hermit. “I don’t go downstairs alone or at night because I’ve just heard so many things.”
The ghostly visitor is rumored to be George Milne. George was the former town treasurer and manager of The Wheatland Hardware Store in the same building that the bookstore is now. Friends and members of his family had reported that he had been despondent for the past few days because he was replaced as manager and had been relegated to a clerk’s position. Probably due to his physical limitations stemming from a fall the previous year.
The Wheatland Times had the story on the front page of the Feb. 9, 1934 edition. The morning of Friday, Feb. 2, George got a .22 calibre pistol and shells from the hardware store and went downstairs to the basement and shot himself through the right temple. He was found by a fellow clerk and was still alive, but died later that morning at the hospital across the street.
Nancy Munier ran a quilt and gun shop in the building several years ago and used to say quite often that “George is a permanent resident.” She reported that things were often moved around and the sound of heavy footfalls could be heard.
Wandering Hermit owner Dan Brecht believes that it’s just the noises that happen in an old building.
He tells of the only time he was unsure, “I came towards the front of the store and suddenly I heard noises and thumping, I thought
“A whole group of books just fell off the shelf...I don’t go downstairs alone or at night because I’ve just heard so many things.”
it could be the radio. I got so frightened it was hard for me to go back to turn off the lights.”
However, later he found out that the neighboring store, Celtic Willow, was renting out her basement to the Hard Knocks Boxing Club in the evenings. That would explain the thumping noises. In any case, the store has books on various hauntings and ghost towns in the state.
Books must be something that ghosts relate too because down the street at the Library they have their own spooky dealings.
“Late at night or early in the morning you can hear books falling off shelves, but when you go back to look, there is nothing there,” said Children’s Librarian Shiloh Weber.
Sometimes in the evening you can see lights on in the basement when the library is closed, floating images on the security cameras, and hear little girls giggling in the furnace room. But unlike the Wandering Hermit ghost, no one has a story as to where or who the haunting is coming from.
“Once all the books in the 700 room were all on the floor, in perfect order one morning,” said long-time employee Lee Miller. “And right before the children’t library section opened I saw a reflection of a woman walking among the books but when I went to tell her it wasn’t open yet, there was no one there.”
It’s definitely a wonder why so many different people around town have a story about strange occurrences in the Platte County Library, upstairs and downstairs. Perhaps it has something to do with the old books in the Wyoming Room? After all, when all the lights are turned out for the night, the Wyoming Room glows mysteriously.