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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Haunted places in Washington D.C.



It's the time of year where the sunny days of summer are long gone and the slightly brisk temperatures of autumn are starting to emerge in the D.C. Metro area.

It is also the season where people turn their attention to fall festivities and haunted locations. And the Washington D.C. area purportedly has a lot of them. Many of the haunted locations are very prominent in the city, yet others are more obscure. Some of the alleged most haunted places are as follows:

White House - Reportedly, the White House is occupied by a few ghosts - Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. First ladies Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison have also purportedly made themselves known in the presidential home. 

President Lincoln is said to make the most appearances. Although, according to CBS News, several presidents and members of various White House staffs have heard and seen many ghostly appearances over the years.

front view of the White House
Photo credit: Leigh Goessl

The Octagon House - Noted by a number of websites to be haunted, The Octagon House was reported by D.C. Curbed to be the most haunted spot in the District. It is said people have heard "girls screaming, spectres climbing the stairs, bells ringing and even first lady Dolley Madison wandering the premises." The house dates the turn of the 18th century and it seems many of its earliest inhabitants have never left the premises.

Lafayette Square Park - A 19th century shooting is said to be the reasoning behind the park being haunted in the subsequent centuries. Philip Barton Key II, the son of Francis Scott Key, was shot by a friend named Daniel Sickles due to having an affair with his wife. Key is not the only ghost said to be living in the park, President Andrew Jackson is also said to keep a presence.

Ford's Theatre -This was a popular theatre (and still is today), but it landed in history books due to being the location where President Lincoln was assassinated. HauntedPlaces.org reports the shooter, actor John Wilkes Booth, can still be heard running up and down the halls. 
Balcony where President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth

Woodrow Wilson House - It is said President Woodrow Wilson, who died in the third floor bedroom in 1924, continues to make himself known in the modern day. People have said they've seen the President in his rocking chair and walking with a cane. 

"Black Aggie" statue - Updated for 2015, I just learned about this one after I was told about a story that aired on TV last week. Reportedly, this statue has a reputation for being "evil" with tales of red glowing eyes, bare ground where no grass would grow in its shadow and even death, to name a few. It originally was on a grave in Maryland and, after being vandalized many times, the family donated it to be displayed in a museum, but it sat in storage. 

Today it sits in a courtyard located in Lafayette Square (behind the Dolley Madison House). One day I'll probably walk by to take a look. This website gives a detailed description of its history, including the fact it was a stolen design from a different grave statue. 

These are a few of the more famous spots that are said to be haunted, but they are far from the only locations. Even the U.S. Capitol is said to have a few ghostly residents, including James Garfield, John Quincy Adams and some U.S. representatives. 

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