Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Ghost Story for Halloween

Of course, Halloween is special here at MedChi, what with us having our own personal resident ghost, dear Marcia!
For decades, there have been stories about hearing footsteps going up the main staircase to Marcia's old penthouse apartment on the fourth floor, hearing the squeak of book cart wheels, finding paintings tucked into the stacks and much more. 

As I read through a lot of old accounts of the early years on Cathedral Street, time and time again, I read about the physicians sending Marcia bouquets of flowers after she had done them some favor or for her birthday, or in Sir William's case, just because...
(There's a note on the back of this saying "Of course, he knew it wasn't really my birthday.")

When we first decided to give a bouquet of flowers to the winner of the Noyes Award at the Medical Library Association of which she was a founder, I went to the top floor of the stacks and told Marcia that we were doing this in her honor. We wanted to acknowledge the influence she had on her profession down through the years. And we wanted to circle Marcia back to MedChi where she worked for 50 years.  

Naturally, I felt a little silly making my little speech out loud, but I thought that if she was to ever know we were doing this, I had to actually speak the words. 

No sooner had I finished up, than I heard something like a pencil fall and hit the ground. My hair stood on end and I had goosebumps all over. I said something like "Oh, I am glad you like the idea," and flew down all four flights of stairs! It was totally spooky and no other time I've been up in the stacks has something randomly fallen. 

The bouquets of flowers have been a big hit with the winners of the Noyes award, and it's been fun continuing the tradition started more than a century ago by such notables as Sir William Osler, Dr. John Ruhräh and other friends of Marcia's.


  1. Hi Meg, Just testing here...the system looks back to normal again. I guess that Marcia's Halloween prank is over!