Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that all of you out there who will be trick-or-treating tonight will stay safe and have fun.
For today’s post, I thought I would do some research about some of the more famous hauntings in and around Washington DC. This idea came to mind when I was watching a program a few weeks ago on the Biography Channel about this very subject.
For starters, the most obvious building to begin discussing when it comes to hauntings is the White House.
John worked at the White House for 8 1/2 years. I wonder, did he ever encounter anything scary or unexplainable during that time? Well, perhaps all he could tell you is that that there were occasionally mice in the basement booth he worked out of, and that he heard the usual creaky noises old buildings sometimes emit, but other than that, I’m sure he wouldn’t be able to tell you much else, except that he was so busy back in those days, he could have been sitting there working around a ghost visit and would have missed it!
Did you know that the official White House web site has an entire section devoted to famous hauntings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Check out the above link, it makes for some fascinating reading. There’s even a quiz you can take to test your knowledge of famous haunted happenings in and around Washington DC.
Here’s an interesting article from the History channel website that discusses some of the more famous ghostly sightings in The White House, primarily accounts from staff and visitors who are said to have seen the ghost of Lincoln himself.
Another fascinating Washington DC ghost story is that of a Capitol Hill cat who is not your “Garfield-garden-variety” type of feline, but a demonic animal!
About.com explains “The Legend of the Demon Cat” as follows:
“Most Washingtonians have heard one version or another of the frightening legend of the Demon Cat, also known as D.C. The best known version tells of a supernatural black cat that lives in the basement of the U.S. Capitol Building, possibly in the room known as the Crypt. Other versions of the story place the cat in the basement of the White House or simply among the shadows of the National Mall.
According to the legend, years go by without a sighting of the Demon Cat, but when it does appear a national disaster is likely to occur within a short period of time. A creepy detail, of some versions of the story, warns that while the Demon Cat may first appear as a helpless looking kitten, it grows in size and menace the closer one moves toward it.”
Ford’s Theater is also supposedly haunted.
This article features a woman named Natalie Zanin, a Washington DC historian who knows a lot about the haunts around town.
In the article, she says “I was doing research for a Civil War tour at Ford’s Theater, and when I went behind an alley to explore, I spotted a man in a Civil War costume. When I went back into the theater I asked around about him and nobody knew who he was. They weren’t even performing that night, nor were they performing anything having to do with the Civil War any other night.”
I am a bit of a Civil War buff myself so stories like that are simply fascinating to me. I visited Ford’s Theater several years ago and the place does give off a strange vibe, but that of course could be contributed to knowing you are standing inside a building of profound historical significance. It is nonetheless intriguing to read about stories such as the one above.
Enjoy your trick-or-treating everyone!