Posts Tagged White House History
Rumor has it there’s more than one President that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But only one is alive.
It may seem like a ghost in the White House would be fictional nonsense, especially at such a serious place. But it’s difficult to disregard these ghost stories as folk lore or myths, when they came from some very reputable sources that include former and present White House staff, former First Ladies, visiting Heads of State, and former Presidents.
The White House is owned by the National Park Service. Technically the White House is one of America’s National Parks; the second most popular National Park with Yellowstone being the first. Construction began in October of 1792, and a lot of renovating took place to make the White House the modern structure it is today. Indoor plumbing and central heating were added in 1835, the East Wing was added in 1866, and the West Wing was added in 1902. White House renovations are actually a continuing process. The style of the interior is still pretty much the same since the White House was rebuilt after British Forces set it, and almost all of Washington DC, on fire on August 24, 1814.
Most of the people who visit the White House are amazed by how much smaller it is in person than it appears on TV. Almost every room has been the setting for many significant events that shaped American History. A visit to the White House is an inspiration for any American or foreign diplomat, as walk through the stark white finely appointed rooms that reflect a period when America was a developing country. Whether it’s for a tour, a legislative visit with White House staff, or even a meeting with the President, any American can’t help but amazed to be in the same place where so much history has taken place.
While walking through the White House it seems like those scenes in that history book you studied in school come alive each time you enter a room. It’s as if you can almost imagine with vivid detail historical events happening right in front of you. Being in the same setting makes ir easy to picture in your mind what it was like when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, when President Nixon paced the White House halls with torment during Watergate, or when Jackie Kennedy mourned beside the casket of her husband as he lied in repose in the East Room. Could that same vivid recall of prior influences, combined with being in the actual place where many events occurred be a logical explanation for these ghost stories? Maybe the mind playing tricks? That certainly could be an explanation if there were no consistency to the stories. But may of these claims of ghost came from different people who never met. And each account had the same vivid detail
Hearing unexplained noises and feeling the presence of ghost are a common occurrence in the White House. Seeing actual apparitions have also happened on several occasions. There have been several reports of hearing President Andrew Jackson stomping and swearing throughout the presidential residence. In a letter to his wife Bess, President Truman made reference to ghost residing with him in the White House ghost; “I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches, all the while listening to the ghost walk up and down the hallway and even right here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth.”
At one time there were plans to move the Rose garden that was created by Dolly Madison. That was until gardeners claim they were chased off by Dolly, who was very upset and vehemently opposed the idea. The Rose Garden remains where it’s at with no future plans to move it. There have also been several reports of a demon cat that haunts the White House basement. It is alleged this cat will first appear as an adorable kitten, but will immediately glow in size and increase a demon like appearance. It appeared during two very sad times in American history; just before the stock market crash in 1929, and before the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963.
According to her blog featured on the website Huff Post 50 in October of 2013, Journalist Joan Gage chronicled a conversation with President Reagan during a state dinner at the White house in 1986. Reagan claimed one time their dog pointed his nose up in the air and stood on his hind legs, then began barking at the ceiling and continued to do this while walking around the room. On another occasion Reagan’s daughter Maureen and her husband were sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom during their visit her husband woke up and saw a transparent figure standing at the window looking out. His wife didn’t believe him, until she saw the same thing on a different night.
There have been several sightings of a British soldier wearing a red coat and carrying a flame lit torch while standing just outside of the North Portico. The East Room is where Abigail Adams has been seen hanging laundry to dry just as she did when she was alive. Its also alleged the ghost and a child in their preteens can be heard running up and down the central hallway on the State level. There have also been several reports of ushers and doormen who passed away several decades ago and still tending to their duties today. According to all accounts the most haunted room in the White House would be the Rose Room in the third floor Presidential Residence. The Ghost of both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln were both seen there.
The most popular ghost of all is that of Abraham Lincoln. Several of the people who once lived in the White House including First Ladies Grace Coolidge, Lady Bird Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and President Ford’s daughter Susan have sensed or literally seen Lincoln’s Ghost. Lincoln has been seen in the Presidential Residence, the East Room, and the Oval Office. On one occasion Roosevelt’s valet ran screaming from the White House after seeing Lincoln’s ghost.
The most famous Lincoln sighting of all came from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill while he visited the White House during World War II. After taking a bath Churchill came from the bathroom and saw Lincoln sitting by the fireplace in his room. On subsequent visits Churchill refused to step foot in the Lincoln Bedroom. According to psychics, Lincoln hangs around the White House to help current Presidents when they’re facing difficult situations.