October 23, 2012

Hauntings in the White House

With being almost time for the US Presidential Election as well as Halloween, I decided to combine the two subjects into one glorious blog post. As I tried to figure out how I would perform such a feat, I realized that I could write about the most famous haunted house in the world: the White House.

Yes, that's right, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a reportedly haunted location. Instead of some slack-jawed yokels claiming the resident is haunted, there are some well-educated and respected individuals spread across many years claiming to have had some paranormal experiences in the house.

It's not uncommon for old buildings to manifest ghostly activity. Some think it's the product of spirits who have such a strong connection with the building that they cannot bare to completely leave it behind in the afterlife. Others think the activity is just spiritual energy playing out the events that took place in the building in the past.

So who haunts the White House? Some have reported hearing Andrew Jackson stomping and yelling through the house's hallways (he was known to have a fiery temper). Jackson's old bedroom, the Rose Room, is also arguably the most paranormal active room in the entire house. President Harrison has reportedly been seen and heard rummaging in the attic. Abigail Adams has been seen going toward the East Room, where she spent much of her time hanging the wash out to dry. Harry Truman told his wife he regularly would hear footsteps in the hallways and in the room where he would be studying, and he would even see the drapes in the room move back and forth by themselves.

Lincoln, however, is by far the most commonly attributed to paranormal activities in the White House. In fact, Lincoln has been seen in various rooms for decades, including by a past queen from the Netherlands and Calvin Coolidge's wife. Could it be that Lincoln died so violently and suddenly at a time he felt he had much left to do in this life, and that's why he's been seeing sticking around his former house?

Perhaps some of the paranormal activity in the White House has come about from the practices of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln's wife reportedly was very into the occult, including seances. She would regularly hold seances in the White House in an attempt to communicate with her deceased sons

The paranormal happenings in the White House have not suddenly ceased. In fact, back in 2009 Michelle Obama told a group of kids visiting the White House that she and President Obama had been awoken in the night by strange noises. That's not an unusual thing to experience, especially for anyone who's lived in a house that old. What's weird is that the First Lady also told the children that different members of her family have felt the sensation of someone chewing on their feet. Yeah, that definitely crosses the line into creepy ghost activity.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ghosts are one thing, but when it crosses over into feet chewing, I'm out of there!

Steven said...

Alex, I agree with you: feet chewing is just beyond creepy!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I wonder if they could put the ghosts on the tour?

Steven said...

Diane, that would be great, except I think Andrew Jackson would throw a fit!