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Scary Places: The White House – Part II

Yesterday, I was talking about the ghosts at the White House. Abraham Lincoln is a spirit that many have claimed to have seen. But, what other ethereal apparitions may be hanging out there?

Mary Todd Lincoln claims to have heard President Andrew Jackson stomping around the Rose Room, which he used as a bedroom. If you remember, then General Andrew Jackson was supposed to have stayed at the Bell house in Tennessee after hearing of the Bell Witch haunting.

Poor William Henry Harrison has the distinction of being the first president to die in office and having served only 30 days as president, he still holds the record for shortest tenure. Harrison gave a very long inauguration speech – it took two hours to read after editing! Some think that all that time spent out in the bitter cold resulted in Harrison catching, literally, his death of cold. He became ill with a cold on March 26, 22 days after his speech and died on April 4, 1841.

(This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.)

Maybe because he was there the shortest period of time, Harrison decided to hang around. White House aides have reportedly seen him wandering around the White House attic.

Some have claimed to have seen the ghost of the first occupant, John Adams. It is said that his wife Abigail always hung her wash in the East Room. It’s hard to imagine a president’s wife hanging up her own washing, huh? Anyhow, people have reported seeing her rushing around the East Room with an armful of laundry.

Another famous permanent resident seems to be Dolley Madison, the wife of our fourth president, James Madison. She planted the rose garden at the White House, but when Woodrow Wilson’s wife tried to have the garden removed, Dolley appeared to the workmen. The garden is still there today.

Think this is all hogwash? Maybe so, but even the Chief Usher of the White House Gary Walters has said “The presidents that I have worked for have all indicated a ‘feeling’ of the previous occupants of the White House.”