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Ghosts That Haunt The White House

Updated on October 16, 2011

The History of the White House

The White House is the most recognizable house in the world. It's unique from other homes in so many ways. It is where the president resides during his term (or terms) in office. It's where the president works too. What also makes the White House very unique is that it is open to the public and free tours are conducted.

The rich history of the White House is like no other home in the United States. The house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban under George Washington's instructions between 1792 and 1800. Washington chose the location but interestingly, he never lived there. The first president to live in the White House was John Adams.

The White House survived two fires. Deliberately set on fire by the Britsh during the War of 1812 and in 1929 when an electrical fire broke out in the West Wing.

Many people have died in the White House in the 210+ years that it has been inhabited. President Henry Harrison, First Lady Letitia Tyler, President Taylor, President Lincoln's young son Willie Lincoln, First Lady Caroline Harrison, First Lady Ellen Wilson and President Grant's father-in-law, Frederick Dent all died in the house.

Séances have also been held in the White House during the Lincoln, Reagan and Clinton administrations. President Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd held séances in order to contact son Willie from the other side. Rumors of Hillary Rodham Clinton making contact with Eleanor Roosevelt have been around for a while.

It's no wonder why so many people who have lived in or visited the White House throughout history have insisted the White House is haunted.

Dolly Madison
Dolly Madison
Rose Garden of The White House
Rose Garden of The White House

Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison is responsible for planting the White House's beautiful rose garden. She prized her rose garden so much that her spirit frequently checks up on it.

It was during the Wilson administration when Dolley's ghost was most active. First Lady Edith Wilson wanted to have the garden removed. The workers hired to perform the task of removing the garden were never able to do their job. Dolley Madison's spirit simply wouldn't let them. The workers were distracted constantly by her angry ghost and finally fled. First Lady Edith Wilson gave up and left the garden alone.

After two centuries the roses in Dolley's beautiful rose garden still bloom. Nobody has dared to remove this garden since Edith Wilson's failed attempt.

Abagail Adams
Abagail Adams

Abagail Adams

First Lady Abagail Adams is the White House's oldest ghost. The White House was still new and many of the rooms were cold and damp. The East Room was the warmest and dryest room in the house. A perfect room for the First Lady to hang her laundry.

Through the years, her ghost has been spotted hanging clothes in this room. Sometimes people can smell wet clothes and laundry soap in the East Room. She has also been seen walking to the East Room with her basket of laundry.

Presiden Abraham Lincoln
Presiden Abraham Lincoln
Willie Lincoln
Willie Lincoln
Lincoln Bedroom
Lincoln Bedroom

President Abraham Lincoln

Honest Abe is the most famous spirit to haunt the White House. President Abraham Lincoln dreamed of his assassination and even saw his dead body. Sure enough, just five days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered, the beloved president was assassinated by a Southern sympathizer.

Lincoln has been known to pace the grounds of the White House when the nation is in danger. His ghost was most active during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. First Lady Eleanor often used the Lincoln Bedroom as her study. Late at night she would sense his presence. When Queen Whilemina of the Netherlands stayed at the White House, she head a knock on her bedroom door late one night. She arose from bed and opened the door only to find herself face to face with President Abraham Lincoln. She fainted dead away. Prime Minister Winston Churchill saw Lincoln when he stayed at the White House. One night he emerged from his bath and found Linclon sitting by the fireplace. A young clerk from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration claims to have seen President Lincoln sitting on his bed, putting his boots on.

President Calvin Coolige's wife, First Lady Grace, saw Lincoln's spirit standing by the window in the Oval Office, looking out with his hands clasped behind his back. Daughter of President Ronald Reagan, Maureen, claimed to have seen Lincoln's ghost several times. Tobias Johnson has been a butler since the days of the Kennedy administration has been reported saying that Lincoln's ghost is a polite and harmless one who will get your attention by tapping you lightly on your shoulder.

The Demon Cat

Perhaps the most creepiest ghost of all is that of a phantom cat which has been seen in the basement of the White House. From far away, the cat looks like a harmless kitten but as you get closer, the kitten gets bigger and looks more menacing. The cat makes its appearance before something devastating is about to happen to the nation. The cat has been seen before President Kennedy was assassinated and before the Stock Market crash of 1929.

Other Spirits

Many other spirits have been reported at the White House. A British soldier who died in front of the White House during the War of 1812 is often seen at the front entrance holding a torch.

First Lady Mary Todd often heard President Andrew Jackson 'cursing up a storm' during her stay at the White House. President Harrison can also be heard rumaging through the attic. President Truman has been spotted and President Johnson's daughter Linda sensed Willie Lincoln's presence in his former bedroom.

Indeed, the house located at 1600 Penslyvania Ave. is by far the most famous home in the United States. It is also perhaps the nations first and most fascinating haunted house.

Do you like ghost stories? Check out my other hubs:


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    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy DeMarco 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Glad you liked this. It was a fun hub to write! Take care!

    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy DeMarco 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Glad you liked this. It was a fun hub to write! Take care!

    • Ma Pro profile image

      Ma Pro 

      6 years ago

      Cool beans great article, i definitely have to "like" this one.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting read. I love stories about ghosts of famous people. But I really wish they would get some rest.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Story but scary at the same time to come face to face with abe!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      6 years ago from United States

      Interesting stories, I've never heard of the Demon cat before.

    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy DeMarco 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Babygirl,

      Yes, I was also impressed at how many intelligent people claim they've seen or sensed spirits in the White House. Thank you very much for dropping by and voting this up!

    • baygirl33 profile image


      6 years ago from Hamilton On.

      Very interesting Amy. Seems like a lot of intelligent people have seen ghosts in that very famous house.

      Thanks for sharing.voted you up!

    • amymarie_5 profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy DeMarco 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for commenting everyone. So glad you enjoyed this. Peter- I couldn't agree more, I think Lincoln is probably the only person who could save our country. Hopefully he's giving Pres Obama some advice!! Thanks for stopping by!

    • MemphisYankee profile image


      7 years ago from Tennessee

      Great Halloween-time history lesson. Vote up!

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image


      7 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Mr. Lincoln needs to take a more proactive role and save this country once again. Grat stories, Thanks


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, fascinating! Especially Lincoln, Wow! great hub, really interestiing, rated up! cheers nell

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      Very interesting. Enjoyed this hub. Vote Up.


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