From the attic to the garden, we have top
10 most haunted areas of the White House. Number 10, The Attic.
William Henry Harrison holds the dubious distinction of being the shortest-serving
president and the first to die in office, succumbing to pneumonia a mere month
after his inauguration. However, subsequent residents have believed that
Harrison’s ghost still haunts the White House attic, rummaging around for
something unknown. In fact, several presidents have reportedly heard the unexplained
noises coming from the attic above the Oval Office. Others report that Harrison
is not alone. A Truman-era security guard once reported hearing
“I am David Burns” coming from the attic above the Oval Office.
According to the history, in 1790, David Burns was the man forced to surrender his land so
that the White House could be built.
Number 9, The Rose Garden. The Rose Garden is one of the commonly used
sites for presidential announcements. It is also the site of a particularly creepy
haunting. The garden was originally planted by First Lady Dolley Madison in the
early 1800s. A century later, when First Lady Ellen Wilson requested that the
garden be dug up, garden workers reported that Madison’s ghost appeared and
prevented them from destroying her garden. Since that time, other White House
insiders have reported an occasional and inexplicable smell of roses in the White
House. These instances are often credited to Madison’s ghost.
Number 8, The Basement. White House lore tells of something particularly
dire lurking in the basement. Unlike other areas of the White House that
are inhabited by spirits of figures from American history, the basement is said
to be the home of a “demon cat.” Those who have reportedly seen the cat claim
that it first appears as a small kitten, but as you get closer it becomes a
larger and larger phantom beast. According to the legend, many years will pass
with no one encountering the demon cat, but, when it does appear, it serves
as a warning of a great national disaster. The demon cat was supposedly sighted
shortly before the great stock market crash of the 1920s and right before
President Kennedy’s assassination. Number 7, The Second Floor Halls.
The second floor of the White House is the residence for the First Family,
so many of the stories that emerge about this area come from presidents and
their families. One of the most frequently reported White House ghosts is
President Abraham Lincoln, and the second floor hallways are some of his
favorite haunts. Lincoln has been seen or heard by many residents,
including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. President Truman once claimed
to have heard Lincoln pacing the hallway and knocking on his bedroom door.
It’s not just Lincoln in the halls. President William Howard Taft became the
first person to report seeing the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams, who he saw
floating through doors on the second floor. Number 6, The Second Floor Bedrooms.
Various bedrooms on the second floor are used for the president’s family and
other guests. One husband and wife pair reported that the ghost of a British
soldier tried to set fire to their bed. It is presumed that this soldier was
the man who set fire to the White House during the War of 1812. In addition,
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, Lynda once reported seeing the ghost of
Lincoln’s son Willie, who had died in the very room in which she was staying.
Other reported activity includes the ghostly screams of President
Grover Cleveland’s wife, the first woman to give birth in the White House.
Following renovations in 1952, activity in the bedrooms has decreased
significantly. Number 5, The Yellow Oval Room.
During Lincoln’s administration, this room was his personal library and one of
his favorite rooms in the White House. Numerous White House employees have
reportedly seen Lincoln gazing out the windows of this room. First Lady Grace
Coolidge also claimed to have seen him here. In addition to Lincoln, the
disembodied voice of David Burns has been heard from
this room. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln also reported seeing the ghosts of
both Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler here.
Number 4, The North Portico. The White House entrance has a number of notable
ghost fixtures. A torch-wielding British soldier is often seen standing outside
the front door. People have also reported seeing long-deceased White House
ushers and doormen still tending to their duties. Perhaps most bizarre is the
ghost of Anne Surratt, whose mother Mary was hanged in 1865 for her role in the
Lincoln assassination. Anne’s ghost has been spotted pounding on the White House
doors begging for her mother’s release. She is also reported to sit on the
front steps every July the 7th, the anniversary of her mother’s execution.
Number 3, The East Room. The East Room is the favorite haunt of Abigail
Adams’ ghost. During her tenure in the White House, this was the room in which
she would hang her laundry. She is often seen walking to the East Room
with her arms outstretched, as though carrying a laundry basket. Sightings were
particularly abundant during the Taft Administration, but as recently as 2002, a group of tourists reported of seeing Adams. In addition to her sightings, many people
report the faint smell of laundry soap around this area. Lincoln has
also been spotted here, the room in which his body lay in state.
Number 2, The Rose Room. The Rose Bedroom is frequented by its former occupant, President Andrew Jackson. According to White House lore,
there is an inexplicable cold spot on the canopy bed in the room where Jackson
slept. Among the most notable reports, Mary Todd Lincoln claimed to have heard
Jackson swearing, and White House seamstress Lilian Parks felt his presence over
her, which she recounted in her memoirs about her time in the White House. Not to
be outdone, Lincoln has also been spotted here. When Queen Wilhelmina of the
Netherlands stayed in this bedroom, she answered a knock on the door one night
and saw Lincoln’s ghost standing in the hallway. Number 1, The Lincoln Bedroom.
Given Lincoln’s frequent appearance at various places on this list, it is no
wonder that his bedroom comes in at number 1. Winston Churchill famously refused to
sleep in the bedroom ever again after seeing the ghost beside the fireplace.
Beyond those already listed as seeing Lincoln in other places, he has been spotted
by Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower.
Other than that, other guests have reported that lights in the bedroom will turn
themselves on and inexplicable cold spots will occur in the room.