America’s Haunted House

Built in 1800, the White House has been home to many people over the years, and perhaps some have yet to leave.  Supernatural sightings have spooked presidents, residents, staff, and even pets.  Here are a few of the most famous phantom encounters from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…


ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Over the years, Lincoln has been sighted in the Lincoln Bedroom and the Yellow Oval Room.   First Lady Grace Coolidge reported seeing Lincoln looking out of the window.  Both Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands claimed to have seen Lincoln’s ghost while on overnight visits.  And, Ronald Reagan’s dog, Rex, refused to go into the Lincoln Bedroom.  He’d only sit outside and bark by the door.


ANDREW JACKSON

Since the 1860s, a laughing Andrew Jackson has been sighted lying in the bed of the Queens’ Bedroom.  Mary Todd Lincoln reported Old Hickory swearing and stomping around the house.


THOMAS JEFFERSON

Thomas Jefferson has been heard playing his violin in the Yellow Oval Room.


WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON

Evidently, the ghost of Old Tippecanoe haunts the attic.


JOHN TYLER

The ghost of John Tyler has been heard in the Blue Room proposing to Julia, his second wife.


ABIGAIL ADAMS

The ghost of Abigail Adams has been reported doing laundry in the East Room, along with the scent of lavendar.


DOLLEY MADISON

During Woodrow Wilson’s administration, some staff reported seeing Dolley Madison tending the Rose Garden.


ANNIE SURRATT

The ghost of Annie Surratt, daughter of the Lincoln assassination conspirator, Mary Surratt, knocks on the front door of the White House.


DAVID BURNES

David Burnes sold the land that the White House was built upon.  His ghost is said to roam the grounds, and his voice has been heard in the Oval Office.


BRITISH SOLDIER

Staff have reported a British soldier from the War of 1812 holding a torch and roaming the exterior grounds of the White House.


SOURCES

White House Ghost Stories, White House Historical Association

“Is the White House Haunted?” The Washington Post