The nation’s capital has a long history of hearing and seeing ghosts. One of those sightings comes from where the current U.S. President lives. Many people have heard or read stories of a certain past President roaming the residence. Another location is where laws are enacted.
There are many other historical sites and events where you can hear sounds from the past and it comes from no mortal source either. What exactly makes Washington, D.C. so haunted? It’s been the sight of numerous duels, battles, untimely deaths, assassinations and other tragedies. Come take a very safe trip into some of the haunting sites in Washington, D.C.
The White House – The Ghost of Abe
By far the ghost of Abraham Lincoln is the most famous one of all roaming around in the White House. According to very reputable sources they’ve heard his footsteps, felt Abe’s presence, heard Lincoln knock on the door when someone stays in his bedroom or actually seen him in ghost form. These all comes from either the former residents of past Presidential administrations or members of the White House staff. Press Secretaries to Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson as well as a White House staffer have heard Lincoln’s footsteps in the hallway outside his bedroom.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt could feel his presence. Franklin Roosevelt’s dog Fala always barked when Eleanor could feel the ghost of Lincoln. President Truman and his daughter, Margaret, heard constant knocking whenever they stayed in the Lincoln bedroom believing it to be Abraham Lincoln. Various other First Ladies, dignitaries and Presidential children have seen the ghost of Lincoln standing at a window looking out at the Potomac River.
In 1942 when the Queen of The Netherlands stayed the in White House she answered the door only to see Lincoln in a coat and top hat. Shortly thereafter she fainted from the sight. Other ghosts have also haunted the White House such as Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Lincoln’s son, Willie, and a number of First Ladies and other ghostly intruders make their presence known from time to time.
The U.S. Capitol – One of the Most Haunted Buildings
One of the most famous buildings, besides the White House, in Washington, D.C. is none other than the U.S. Capitol with its famed dome roof. This is considered the most haunted building in Washington, D.C. Some of those spirits haunting the building are workers who died during its construction. The majority of the ghosts are politicians. These were House of Representatives with strong personalities and attachments to the Capitol. Sometimes after midnight when everyone has gone home you can hear the loud rapping of a gavel. As if a debate was in session.
Some members of the U.S. Capitol Police and tour guides have seen ghosts of other Senators and Congressman. The famed Major during the American Revolutionary War, Pierre Charles L’Enfant, wanders around the building trying to get his plans submitted for a new capital city. By far the strangest and creepiest haunted sighting is that of the “demon black cat.” It tends to show up right before a national tragedy or with the change of a new Presidential administration. It appeared before the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy as well as the 1929 Stock Market Crash.
Chinatown – Mary Surratt’s Boarding House
These Federal-style townhouses that feature a business on the ground floor and residences above are still in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood. At the intersection of 7th Street NW and H Street NW was the central commercial district before the Civil War. It also included the infamous boarding house of Mary Surratt. She was convicted of taking part in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Surratt was the first woman to be executed by the U.S. federal government. Surratt died by hanging on July 7, 1865.
Presently the boarding house is now a Chinese restaurant. Ever since 1870 residents have heard whispers, mumblings, footsteps, sobs and creaking floorboards which they say is scary. It’s been reported it is the ghost of Mary Surratt. One of the many ghosts haunting the White House is Anna Surratt, the daughter of Mary Surratt. She actually did go to the White House on the night before her mother’s execution to beg for her mother’s life. Anna was unsuccessful, so every July 6, based on some White House staff members, her ghost returns by banging on the door pleading for her mother.
Georgetown – Sounds of General Edward Braddock
D.C.’s famous and upscale neighborhood in the Northwest quadrant also has embassies of France, Sweden, Thailand, and Venezuela to name a few. It’s also home to Georgetown University. There are various parts of this area that feature high-end shops, restaurants and ghostly activity. The M Street Bridge is said to have two apparitions there. Some residents claimed to have seen a silent stagecoach racing down Bridge Street on starless nights.
Another one is a ghost of a drummer boy who was knocked off the bridge during the Revolutionary War. When General Edward Braddock left Georgetown for an expedition during the French and Indian War they were met with a surprise attack and nearly everyone was killed, including Braddock. On the anniversary of this expedition you can hear military orders shouted, horses hooves on cobblestone, marching men and other similar sounds. The Old Stone House and the Halycon House are known to have ghost sightings and other strange noises.
Many of these sites in Washington D.C. we’ve all heard about at one point in our lives due to the media or studying about at school. Only the White House has ever mentioned ghosts. There is a lot of history in this city and many of those buildings are still around. It’s no wonder there would be ghosts. Now you may look at Washington, D.C. in a whole different light. That’s a scary thought.
Reportedly haunted locations in Washington, D.C., Wikipedia