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Here we go with the second installment of October's Spooky Sunday Series...

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the structure known as the White House was built between 1792 and 1800 in the Neoclassical style and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams.  Thomas Jefferson moved into the residence in 1801 and expanded the building outward creating two colonnades to conceal stables and storage.  Since then much renovation has been done including a full reconstruction from the fire set by the British Army in 1814 during the War of 1812.

The White House is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement and is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park.

It also happens to be haunted.

White House ca 1846 from a Daguerreotype
The White House circa 1846 from a Daguerreotype
The White House is certainly large enough and old enough to qualify as a haunted location and I suppose if it were photographed in just the right conditions then it could even look haunted. However, when you consider the amount of intense energy that was expended within the confines of those wall and you believe the claims of paranormal investigators that that energy can produce a residual haunting, then if any place could be haunted the White House surely would.

Abigail Adams, the first first lady to live in the White House moved into the White House from the former capital in Philadelphia while the house was still under considerable construction. Built so close to the Potomac River on still swampy ground, the first lady found the East Room of the White House to be the warmest and driest and it was there she chose to hang her laundry to dry.  

Abagail's ghost has been spotted walking out of the East Room with arms outstretched as if carrying laundry.  

David Burns, who sold the government most of the land on which the city of Washington--including the presidential residence--was built, has been reportedly heard but not seen.  

FDr's valet, Cesar Carrera heard a voice calling his name as he stood in the Yellow Oval Room. When he turned to see who it was, the voice said, "I am Mr. Burns."  A guard from the Truman administration heard the same thing in the same spot.

Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson is another case of being heard, but not seen.  Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly told friends she had heard Jackson stomping and swearing through the halls of the presidential residence. The Rose Room, Jackson's bedchamber while he was president, is believed by some to be one of the most haunted rooms in the White House.  One of Lyndon Johnson's aides heard the same cursing coming from the Rose Bedroom in 1964 and a White House seamstress once felt Jackson lean over her as she was hemming the bedspread on his bed.

Harry Truman wrote to his wife Bess in June 1945 about the spooky quality of their new home:

"I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches--all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth--I can just imagine old Andy [Jackson] and Teddy [Roosevelt] having an argument over Franklin [Roosevelt]."
Lincoln Bedroom in White House
Lincoln Bedroom, ca 1947
Abraham Lincoln's ghost has been the single most reported sighting and it is no wonder when you consider his time as a resident in the White House.  His son, Willie died in the bed that is in the Lincoln bedroom, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln regularly held seances in the White House and Lincoln's life was tragically and violently cut short by an assassin's bullet.

Lincoln himself is reported to have had some psychic ability as evidenced in his prophetic dream of his own assassination.

President Lincoln's dream as he reported to his close friend, Ward Hill Lamon:

About ten days ago, I retired very late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room. No living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds met me as I passed alone. I was puzzled and alarmed. Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room. Before me was a catafalque on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng or people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. "Who is dead in the White House?" I demanded of one of the soldiers. "The president," was his answer. "He was killed by an assassin."
Most notably, sightings of Lincoln's ghost were frequently reported during the long administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45), who also presided over his country during a time of great upheaval. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt used the Lincoln Bedroom as her study, and spoke of the sense of someone watching her as she worked in the room. She believed Lincoln was there with her.  A young clerk in the Roosevelt White House claimed to have actually seen the ghost of Lincoln sitting on a bed and pulling off his boots.  While spending a night at the White House during the Roosevelt presidency, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was awakened by a knock on the bedroom door. Answering it, she was confronted with the ghost of Abe Lincoln staring at her from the hallway.

Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman all reported unexplained knocking on their bedroom doors.  Why they all believed it was President Lincoln is unknown.

Calvin Coolidge's wife reported seeing on several occasions the ghost of Lincoln standing with his hands clasped behind his back, at a window in the Oval Office.

During one of Winston Churchill's visits to the United States during WWII, he spent the night in the White House. Churchill loved to retire late, take a long, hot bath while drinking a Scotch, and smoke a cigar and relax. On this occasion, he climbed out of the bath and naked, but for his cigar, walked into the adjoining bedroom. He was startled to see Abraham Lincoln standing by the fireplace in the room, leaning on the mantle. Churchill, always quick on the uptake, blinked and said "Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage." Lincoln smiled softly and disappeared.

Seamstress, Lillian Rogers Parks once investigated the sound of someone pacing an upper level of the White House. A staff member told her the room in question had been unoccupied, and "that was old Abe pacing the floor." Psychics have speculated that Lincoln's spirit remains in the White House to be on hand in times of crisis, as well as to complete the difficult work that his untimely death left unfinished.

There have been no sightings of Abe Lincoln's spirit since the renovations to the White House during the Truman administration.

Engine
The Engine "Nashville".  Lincoln's Funeral Train (1865)
Even the Funeral Train that carried Lincoln's remains is reportedly a ghost train.

On April 21, 1986 the "Nashville" funeral train, dubbed "The Lincoln Special" with Lincoln's portrait fastened to the front of the engine left Washington DC at 12:30 pm and travelled 1,654 miles to Springfield, Illinois, arriving on May 3, 1865.  On board along with the President's remains were the remains of Lincoln's son, William Wallace Lincoln, who had died in the White House at the age of 11 from typhoid fever; eldest son, Robert and approximately 300 people.  

The Legend of the Lincoln Ghost Train gives an accounting of various spectral sightings that occur in April, the anniversary of the train's passing.

If ever there was a soul who could not rest in peace, then it must be President Abraham Lincoln. Robbers attempted to steal his body in 1876 and this poor soul has been exhumed and reburied a total of 17 times.

Abraham Lincoln's Body Exhumed and Viewed in 1901.  Needing repair, the tomb of President Lincoln in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, was moved to a temporary grave a few feet away while a 15 month reconstruction took place.

Once all was ready for reburial on September 26, 1901, the coffin was opened for final identification.  The coffin was then lowered into the cage and 4,000 pounds of cement were then poured down covering the cage and casket.  Mr. Lincoln lies buried 10 feet beneath the floor of his tomb that is visited by more than 1,000,000 people a year.

A few books on this subject that may be of interest to you:

Stealing Lincoln's Body

The Lincoln Funeral Train

Who's Haunting the White House?

Originally posted to MOT - Morning Open Thread on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Sunday Morning, MOTliteers! (42+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    Have a great day, everybuddy ;~D

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 03:19:43 PM PDT

  •  Good Morning (13+ / 0-)

    I did knock on doors.
    Doubt I'll do that again !

    Today I'm going to Pensacola to help with the late model test. Wheels up at 9:00 am.

    So I'll see if I can get another nap before I head to the Concord airport. it's 75° in Pensacola right now ! It's 43° here  LOL

    Happy Sunday

  •  Flag buttons.... (6+ / 0-)

    I drew the Psubatomic Byrdbath logo on Revellia's T-shirt last night and then pooped out. I added another flag button. Of her Rockin' buttons there are a red, white, and blue one; a red, white, and black one; a black, red, and gold one; and one with three interlocking rings.

    BTW, if you need help with the last one: it's The Trusrisian Royal Empire, on the third planet out from Tau Ceti....

    Does the GOP have much of jobs program besides bragging and bragging that they do?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:48:08 AM PDT

  •  Mornin' JaxDem (7+ / 0-)

    I'm suppose to be working on diary, but you sidelined me a bit. I am very grateful for this brief time away. ;-)

    A picture for you of what will happen if we don't get out the vote:
    Photobucket

    As President Obama explained, we believe we should build this country the old fashioned way; not from the top down, but from the middle out.~ J. Biden

    by khloemi on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:52:09 AM PDT

  •  Neat story, JaxDem! (7+ / 0-)

    This is certainly true:

    ... when you consider the amount of intense energy that was expended within the confines of those wall and you believe the claims of paranormal investigators that that energy can produce a residual haunting, then if any place could be haunted the White House surely would.
    Because the White House is both the residence and the work place for our presidents, there must be all sorts of energy swirling around. The souls who inhabited it had some incredible decisions to make that affected the lives of many millions. And the sadness that would accompany tragedy and hardship (for those presidents capable of empathy --- sociopaths excluded) would be off the charts intense especially if added to by successive presidencies.

    The story of Lincoln's dream sent chills up and down my spine.

    It is 62 degrees here and the expected high is 58 degrees. Sheesh. How hard would it be to do a little "observation" and realize that the forecast is off and make an adjustment? Weather Channel app FAIL.

    I will not be watching the Packers game live. I am sure we will be slaughtered and I don't need to see that right before I go to bed. I do have to figure out how to record the game (just in case!!) using my old DVR since I switched around all my TV cables. My satellite went out yesterday and only one of the receivers is working now (NOT the one with the DVR). The tech can't get here until Friday. Yeeps!

    Have a great day, all y'all.

    Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

    by JanF on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:00:17 AM PDT

    •  Good Morning, Jan. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm glad you enjoyed the piece and you are so very right about this:

      The souls who inhabited it had some incredible decisions to make that affected the lives of many millions. And the sadness that would accompany tragedy and hardship (for those presidents capable of empathy --- sociopaths excluded) would be off the charts intense especially if added to by successive presidencies.
      I wondered what it would be like to spend a night there all alone and I decided I would not want to give it a try.

      Good luck with the cable reconfiguration.  I hope you get that dvr up and going.  I too will have to watch just a bit of the Packer's late game tonight.  I cannot watch a game that is important to me and fall asleep immediately after.

      Enjoy your day and GO PACK!

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:07:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Football viewing right before bed is impossible. (5+ / 0-)

        I have visions of dropped passes and missed tackles dancing in my head.

        After I cancelled my cable, I never hooked the HD antenna signal up to the standalone DVR. The satellite receiver has a built in DVR and it had been at least a couple of years since I used the DVR for recording (I do use it for playing DVDs). It shouldn't be too hard to get the cables right.

        My Badgers won yesterday. We had to watch it over streaming video because the dish was out. I have a computer hooked up to the downstairs TV and we can pull BigTen games off the Internet. After fiddling with the speed settings, it was a decent connection.

        It helps to be a geek when you are a sports nut.

        Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

        by JanF on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:30:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  By the way, the president I was thinking about (5+ / 0-)

        when I said "sociopath" is George W. Bush. Beyond his excitement of having his own helicopter, I can't imagine he ever spent one second reflecting on the import of being in the White House and the souls of past presidents. Maybe because he was never really president like the other inhabitants were. He became "president" because the Supreme Court appointed him, not because of votes or rights of succession. His "soul" did not belong there.

        Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.

        by JanF on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:38:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I figured as much. (5+ / 0-)
          His "soul" did not belong there.
          Absolutely.  That is the best (and kindest) way of putting it.

          When I wrote the piece about the National Parks and watched the video I had included, I wasn't surprised to find that "W" was the only recent president to not make the traditional visit to Yellowstone National Park.  Why would he?  There was nothing in it for him.

          As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

          by JaxDem on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:49:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  WTG JD! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, JKTownsend, JanF, Aunt Pat

       Another fine piece. Good morning!

    Best, HH99

    Compost for a greener planet.............got piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:25:26 AM PDT

  •  I love the Daguerreotype of the Whitehouse. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Only Needs a Beat, JaxDem

    IIRC Daguerreotypes had quite a clarity of picture, but looking at that one I never imagined it would be that clear, in 1846.

    God be with you, Occupiers. God IS with you.

    by Hohenzollern on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:39:37 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the spotlight dance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherriG, JaxDem

    Its a melancholy day, as a former NASA contractor. Advanced Spaceflight Training Systems based out of Ames/Moffet. Good thing I didn't tak the badge flip and go civil service.

    Seeing Endeavor reach her final berth, remembering days clambering around the full size training mock at JSC, or peering from the pool deck at the NBL to see a shuttle beneath the glass smooth water.

    I have a long list of stuff to do today,and I don't think much of it will get done. A few mugs of tea, talk to a couple of old colleagues, and remember the days when we were sending dreams and dreamers in to the sky.

  •  Thankx Jax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem

    For an interesting Diary.  

    I have read about hauntings at the White House.  These odd events have happened so many times, to so many people that we can conclude there is definitely something going on.

    I believe that many other older houses are haunted.  It seems that the dead are right among us.  We just lack the insight to recognize it, or how to deal with it.

  •  Thanks for the interesting diary JaxDem! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem

    I've been to Lincoln's final resting place - my son went to Vet School in Illinois (UI-UC).  We went to visit him for Open House or White Coat ceremony and my folks, Ryan and I all drove to Springfield to the Lincoln Museum and then over to the cemetery.  The museum was newly opened back then and it was very interesting.  We found the cemetery fascinating.  

    Spent most of the day there - my dad is a WWII vet and there were monuments there for him to look at and then we stumbled upon the Bureau of Vital Stats building while we were driving around and took a shot at trying to find my dad's grandparents.  He said they left Philly when he was 3 and he "thought" they moved to Illinois but wasn't sure.  Sure enough, the nice people working in the archives located his grandparents' death certificates and told us where they were buried - Joliet, IL.  That was neat, because we had never been able to figure out what happened to my dad's side of the family - other than his own mom and dad, we had no idea what happened to the US part of the family (although we knew where most of his mom's Irish relatives were).  

    We went to Lincoln's little house where he lived when he was a state senator, too.  My son is a Civil War history nut, so he overdosed on all things Lincoln that day :)  He's been to the White House and done the tour, but he was only 9 when we went - doesn't remember too much of it, remembers more about Arlington cemetery - he's got a thing for exploring cemeteries - everywhere we go, if we see an old cemetery, he's gotta stop and explore.  Now he does it in Canada (and we were surprised that when he was living in Chatham, Ontario, that Uncle Tom's Cabin and the settlement for escaped slaves is actually there in the little town of Dresden).  He manages to get his history fix where ever he goes :)

    "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

    by Ricochet67 on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:13:11 PM PDT

    •  I'm glad you enjoyed the piece, Ricochet. (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for sharing your visit to Lincoln's gravesite and all the interesting spots in the general vicinity.  I had never stopped to think about how much history was there.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 03:50:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  has anyone asked President Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem

    wether he's seen ghosts, or heard any strange phenomena (sic?) in the White House?

    As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

    by GenuineRisk on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:59:28 PM PDT

  •  in future centuries the ghost of Monica Lewinsky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem

    will be seen in repose or repoussoir with the Big Dog

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 07:45:40 AM PDT

  •  Have no (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, swampyankee, JaxDem

    particular faith in the existence of ghosts but I would walk to Washington on my knees and hang out in the attic for a month if I  thought I might see the ghost of Lincoln.

    What a joy that would be.

    Greatness often depends on circumstances but for deep down goodness Lincoln was the hands down winner. What a kind man. He had, I think, very little ego. His ambition was to do good things. He never thought of himself.

    When he was told that George McClellan was saying hateful things about him, he calmly replied, "If General McClellan would bring us victories, I would gladly hold his horse for him."

    McClellan made nasty remarks about Lincoln's appearance. It seems that few could see the beauty of his face. Photographers were the exception, evidently. He was the most photographed man of his time. I have a book of Lincoln photographs. Not a handsome man, but a beautiful man. And the last picture was the most beautiful.

    Facts matter. Joe Biden

    by kpardue on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:23:19 AM PDT

    •  What a moving testament to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kpardue

      our most extraordinary president, kpardue.  Thank you.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:43:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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