Is the White House Actually Haunted? Check Out these Ghost Stories from Pennsylvania Avenue

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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the official street address for the White House. The historic home has housed every United States president since the John Adams was in office in 1800. As far as American homes go, few are more historic. What many people don’t know is that few U.S. homes are reported to be more crowded with the souls of the undead. Where are these reports coming from though? And is there any REAL evidence that the famous home is in fact haunted?

Ghosts of First Ladies

According to one legend, Abigail Adams, who was the very first First Lady to reside in the home remains there in spirit to this day. There are reports that Abigail Adams can be seen hanging laundry to dry in the East Room. She is not the only former First Lady that is reported to be haunting the White House. Dolley Madison, wife of president James Madison has also been reported to have been seen in ghost form in the house. Madison, who is credited for designing the Rose Garden while her husband was president, is said to have returned to stop the garden from being removed years later.

Those are just two of the many accounts of hauntings taking place at the White House. The Rose Room, which is commonly referred to as the Queen’s Bedroom, is reported to be the most haunted room in the home. There, the spirits of everyone from Andrew Jackson to Abraham Lincoln are reported to be haunting the room.

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Ghost of Abraham Lincoln

Visitors and residents alike have reported seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln walking around the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Both Eleanor Roosevelt and Grace Goodhue reported seeing Lincoln’s ghostly apparition in the Lincoln bedroom. In addition, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands stated that while staying the night at the White House, she heard Abraham Lincoln knocking on her bedroom door. (We’re not exactly sure what it was that made her think the know was his.)

Are the White House Ghost Stories True?

Many believe that hauntings are brought on by deaths that involve trauma and strong emotion. If you’ve read any number of ghost stories, you’ll find that most are linked to unfortunate events. It seems that ghosts do not take up residence just anywhere. They most often choose to haunt locations where they perished or where some type of event took place. The White House no doubt meets the “conditions” for not only one haunting, but many, so while this does not provide evidence, it does provide an optimal scenario for ghosts to appear.

While most of the evidence is circumstantial, there are plenty of White House ghost photos online. With so many tourists passing through the home each year, it stands to reason that some of them would capture paranormal photos if the home is indeed haunted. Interested in reading additional ghost stories from the White House? Read Ghosts of the White House or Who’s Haunting the White House? You may also want to check out this article from the History Channel (History.com) website: Ghosts In the White House.

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Ridgeway Chronicles Chapter 1: The Haunting Begins with a Bang

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THE RIDGEWAY CHRONICLES

The home on Ridgeway Road was familiar to me long before I ever lived in it. Originally, it was purchased by my parents, after which, it was rented to my cousin and her husband. The first entry in what will be a long series of true ghost stories about this home, took place when my parents owned the house. My husband at the time was working for an ambulance company and would work 24-48 hour shifts, leaving me home alone (and pregnant) for extended periods of time. Sometimes, I would spend time with my siblings when I grew tired of being alone.

Before proceeding, I should give a bit of history about the home. The house was one of the oldest in town, and was not a standard home. In fact, it was a log cabin. The fact that it was a log cabin is what appealed to my mother, who was positive that she was Laura Ingalls Wilder in another life. I personally saw no appeal in the cabin aspect, and my husband and I would later cover the logs with siding, much to my mothers dismay. After the haunting started, I did speak with an elderly, local librarian, who was not much help, but did confirm that at least one person had died in the home. According to public records, the home was originally constructed in 1940.

Below are photos of the before and after. I’m still trying to find a photo of the full original front of the home, and will make sure to post it in a future post. For now, here are a few that show the old logs (along with a project car and my children at Halloween).

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On this particular night, my parents were not at home, and I was hanging out with my sister and one of my brothers, both younger siblings. We were in the den, towards the end of the one-story home, when we heard a loud crash and the distinct sound of glass breaking. The basement was directly below us and in that basement was a massive glass book shelf. My family, all avid readers, had hundreds of books on those shelves. My guess was that the weight of the books were too much for the glass shelves, and that one or more had given way and come crashing down onto the concrete floor.

There was another possibility in my mind, and that was that someone had broken into the basement. A thought which was quite scary. As the oldest sibling, I knew it was my duty to investigate. I cannot recall whether I chose a baseball bat or a knife as my weapon, but I do remember being armed as I slowly descended the steps to the basement. In that home, you only needed to step down a few stairs before being able to see most of the basement. As soon as I was able to view the room, I could see that the glass shelves were perfectly fine. No cracks, no shatters, nothing.

After seeing the that the shelves were undamaged and everything else in the basement seemed to be in place, I retreated to the den to discuss the matter with my siblings. At this point, I did begin to at least wonder about a cause that would have been paranormal. My sister had told me a few weeks earlier that she as awaking at 3:15 am each night, for no apparent reason. She also said that she was hearing walking around the home in the middle of the night, and was certain that it was the large family dog, Buster. She was able to keep that assumption intact until she got out of bed one night after hearing steps, only to find Buster sound asleep.

This paranormal occurrence would be the first of many to take place in the home on Ridgeway Road over the next sixteen years. I invite you to read each of these accounts and follow the haunted history of the home from start to finish. I’ll do my best to provide as many details as possible, but if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. Just post below or reach out to me using the contact form or on social media.

 

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