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Lincoln's Ghost Train

Updated on March 5, 2013
Lincoln's Funeral Train.
Lincoln's Funeral Train. | Source

Lincoln's Phantom Train

Everyone is aware of the American tragedy that took place on April 15, 1865. One of the United States greatest presidents was murdered at Ford theater. Of course, I am talking about Abraham Lincoln our sixteenth president. It was a moment that many Americans mourned. However, this murder led to quite the supernatural phenomena on the train tracks from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.

Before Lincoln was killed, his son Willie had died. Lincoln’s wife Mary was into spiritualism, so she would conduct seances in an attempt to communicate with their son. Lincoln attended the services. He was skeptical, yet open minded. In his first term, he was having some experiences that he couldn’t explain. One time, he came across a double image of himself while looking into a mirror. Telling his wife, she believed it to be an omen that he would be in office for a second term, but would not make it through the entire term. Another strange thing happened when Lincoln dreamt that he has in the lower level of the White House, witnessing a funeral. A few weeks after this dream, he was killed.

When Lincoln was killed, he was put on a special funeral train to be transported to Springfield, Illinois. His son was on this train as well. The train started it’s 1,700 mile journey in Washington D.C. The train went through the Hudson Valley, a valley that’s known for it’s many legends, to Springfield, Illinois. This train took the same route that he took when he was elected president years earlier. This train went through many towns along the way. People came by so they could pay their respects before he was laid to rest. A strange rumor is said to have happened. Apparently, where ever the train made it’s stops, the clocks in that town would stop as well. The train went through a total of 444 communities and made it’s final stop at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Unfortunately, since Lincoln’s body was targeted for a ransom, his body had to be moved numerous times.

After this amazing procession, it seems that the emotional residue of this time was so potent, that over the course of close to 150 years later, people report to hear and see a ghost train. This phantom train appears in late April around the time that Lincoln was assassinated. Witnesses see a train that is draped in black, with a casket that has skeleton guards in blue uniforms protecting it. It’s said that it can be seen in Albany on April 27th of every year. It always makes it’s appearance around midnight. It coasts slowly down tracks with funeral music playing. Along with this, a black carpet covers the tracks. As it passes by, it is said to “fade from view over some phantom horizon” according to the Pittsburgh Press (1978). Many track-walkers, section hands, and other railroad workers say that they have seen or heard this train and have described the air along the tracks as becoming “keen”. Interestingly, this ghost train seems to make watches and clocks stop as it goes by, just like when the procession was happening in 1865.

April is just around the corner, meaning that Lincoln’s ghost train is due to make an appearance. Will this residual haunting resume? We’ll find out come April.


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    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is the first time that I heard that story. Really cool.

    • manofmystery24 profile image

      manofmystery24 4 years ago

      Anytime! Thanks for stopping by again Ericdierker!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a fascinating story. Thanks.

    • manofmystery24 profile image

      manofmystery24 4 years ago

      I just heard about this as well and found it fascinating. Had to write about it. Thanks for Reading Seeker7!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      It's the first time I've heard of the Lincoln ghost train - what a fascinating story! I wonder as well due to the emotional feelings that this president's death would have caused is some of the haunting is residual energy? Having said that it wouldn't explain the skeletal figures in uniform - how creepy is that!

      It would be great to hear if anything paranormal does happen in April!

      Fascinating hub + voted up!