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Famous Hauntings

Ghosts in the White House

All the security in the world cannot keep ghosts out of the White House. And I'm not just talking ghosts in the closet but actual apparitions!

Though the White House was relatively new for its first reported sighting in the late 1700s, it was surrounded by towns along the Potomac River and as life does everywhere in the world, there were deaths of all kinds and by all means. John Adams, the second United States President, moved in when he won the Presidency in 1797. He and his wife Abigail were tenants there from him taking office to the end of his term in 1801. During their four year tenure there, his wife would often be found doing laundry in the sunny and dry room called the East Room. Here she reported seeing a woman wearing a cap and lace shawl, arms outstretched as if she were welcoming her into a haunting embrace.

Ghosts in the White House Another spectre was David Burns, who was a large land owner and sold what the White House and much of Washington sits on now to the government. Both a guard and a White House seamstress reported hearing a haunting voice declare itself as “I'm Mr. Burns!” though he was not actually seen by either, more a disembodied voice generally heard from the vicinity of the Yellow Oval Room.

It makes sense that as White House occupants age and pass on, that Presidents themselves would make ghostly appearances. One of the most haunted rooms in the White House was former Andrew Jackson's bedchamber, the Rose Room. Andrew Jackson was reported to be heard by the then wife of President Lincoln, Mary Todd. She was keenly interested in the occult and it was reported that she would hold séances in order to communicate with her sons but would sometimes receive cantankerous messages from the previous President, Andrew Jackson, who was reported to be surly in nature.

The ghost of President Lincoln was also reported to be seen and heard by numerous staff and residents of the White House. In fact, his spirit is the most prolific of ghost sightings to date. Calvin Coolidge's wife, Grace, was one of the first residents to report seeing President Lincoln while she and her husband resided there from 1923 to 1929. She reported seeing him gaze out at previous Battle Fields beyond the Potomac. It's interesting to me that so many First Ladies reported seeing ghosts at the White House. Another First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, said that she felt President Lincoln's presence while she did her work in the Lincoln Bedroom at night when it was most quiet. I personally think Lincoln continues to make so many appearances at the White House because his life was tragically cut short, an impetus for being earth bound. He was also one of the most beloved Presidents in our Nation's History and that energetic tie to society may have created a stronger bond at the White House. Other people too reported seeing him. Winston Churchill reported seeing Lincoln by a fireplace when he emerged from taking a bath. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands fainted dead away when she opened her door in the middle of the night in response to a knock, only to find Lincoln standing there, top hat and all!

I'm sure many old homes are haunted but rare are they so famous or the holder of such impactful people as the United States White House.

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