Friday, June 3, 2011

Haunted White House

This famous residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been around for more than 200 years. Apart from its rich history is the ghosts that haunt this location. 

Many first ladies, employees, and visitors have experienced things that they cannot explain.

One ghost who haunts the White House is a man by the name of David Burns. Burns sold most of the land to the government that Washington D.C. and the White House were built upon. 

During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, his valet heard a disembodied voice coming from the Yellow Oval Room state “I am Mr. Burns.” 

During Harry S. Truman’s administration, a guard heard a similar voice, thinking it was the Secretary of State the guard went looking for him only to be told the secretary had not been in the White House that day.

Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams who was the second president (1797-1801), used to hang the families wash in the East Room because at that time this room was the warmest and driest in the White House. 

Since then her ghost has been spotted wearing a cap and lace shawl holding her arms outstretched as if carrying laundry. 

To this day the faint smell of soap and damp clothes is detected. One of the most haunted rooms in the White House is The Rose Room that was Andrew Jackson’s bedchamber. 

While he was president (1829-37), Jackson was known to hold bitter feelings about his rivals. Abraham Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd told friends she often heard Jackson stomping and swearing through the halls of the presidential residence.

By far, the most often seen or felt presence in the White House is Abraham Lincoln’s ghost. Lincoln was the 16th president he was assassinated early in his second term as president. 

Grace Coolidge the wife of Calvin Coolidge (1923-29) was the first of many who said they had actually seen Lincoln’s ghost. She spotted Lincoln looking out a window of the Oval Office. 

Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of Lyndon Johnson (1963-69), stated she felt Lincoln’s presence one night while watching a television program about his death.

Many sightings of Lincoln’s ghost occurred during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration (1933-45). His wife Eleanor used The Lincoln Bedroom as her study. She felt his presence there when she worked late at night. 

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands while visiting the White House heard a knock on her bedroom door one night, when she answered it she reported seeing Lincoln’s ghost wearing a top hat, she fainted dead away. 

In another post, I recounted Winston Churchill’s humorous encounter with Lincoln during one of his stays at the White House during WWll.

Employees have heard the sounds of Lincoln pacing back and forth in the upper levels of the White House. Many have speculated that Lincoln’s spirit remains in the White House to be on hand in times of crisis and to complete the difficult work that his untimely death left unfinished. 

In future posts, I will share more information about the ghosts that haunt the White House.

Happy Ghost Hunting!

No comments: