at the White House
people know that the White House is the principal residence and
workplace of the sitting president of the United States and his family.
What most people don't know, however, is that many of the past
residents of the famous address are allegedly still around, in a
non-corporeal sort of way, wandering the building and its grounds and
interacting with the living.
have apparently been seen or heard, at the White House,
right up to the present:
Obama reported to a tour group of children that she and her husband,
having heard strange noises in the hallway, have gone so far as to
climb out of bed and investigate only to find nothing. The hallway was
- dare we say “dead empty.” 
After taking up residence in
1945, former president Harry Truman made reference to spooky goings on
in a letter to his wife: "I sit here in this old house … all the while
listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in
here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth—I
can just imagine old Andy [Jackson] and Teddy [Roosevelt] having an
argument over Franklin [Roosevelt]."
So who, or what, is
creating a ruckus roving the White House and its grounds? Here's a
The most common alleged apparition is Abraham Lincoln, said to have
haunted the White House since his assassination.
Roosevelt though never claiming to have seen Lincoln's specter, did say
she had felt his presence, her dog Fala often barking at nothing.
Roosevelt's secretary, Mary Eben, claimed to have seen Lincoln putting
on his boots in the Lincoln bedroom. (She apparently ran screaming from
the room following the incident.)
Wilhelmina, Queen of the
Netherlands, after hearing a knock on her bedroom door apparently
opened it saw Lincoln in full regalia and promptly fainted.
claimed, Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, after
taking a bath, emerged from the bathroom sans clothing with a scotch
and cigar to see Lincoln standing by the bedroom fireplace. Apparently
nonplussed the British bulldog is alleged to have taken the cigar from
his mouth, tapped the ash off the end and said “Good evening, Mr
President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage.” Lincoln by reply
purportedly laughed before disappearing.
The last sighting of
Lincoln's ghost is said to have taken place in the late 1980s, when
White House operations foreman Tony Savoy is alleged to have seen the
former president sitting in a chair at the top of a flight of stairs.
John and Abigail Adams were the first to reside in the White
House, the building, still under construction a constant challenge. One
story goes that with a
finished drying area not available Abigail would hang her wash in the
East Room the warmest and driest space at hand (a second version calls
it a little differently, the
clothes hanging part of a wedding shower, the laundry a prop
forewarning the bride-to-be of things to come). Either way later
Hoover wife of Herbert Hoover for one) claimed to have seen a nebulous
Abigail, wandering about her arms outstretched as though carrying
laundry, a scent of soap lingering in the air.
legend that First Lady Edith Wilson's plan to revamp part of the
South Lawn was halted by Dolley
Madison's ghost protesting changes to her rose garden is a great story
but definitely untrue. It was Ellen Axson, the first
wife of President Woodrow Wilson, who created the White House
Rose Garden not Dolley.
Not as famous but ghostly nonetheless: a British soldier is alleged to
walk the grounds in front of the
White House at night. Carrying a fiery torch he is said to be one of
those that set ablaze the White House in 1814. Others purportedly seen
are a long dead usher still turning off lights and a long deceased
doorman who acts like he is still on the job.
 The dead of night, active imaginations and clanking copper pipes
are a scary trio.
The Lincolns themselves allegedly ran into the ghost of a former
president. In 1865 Mary Todd Lincoln supposedly encountered a
cantankerous Andrew Jackson in the Rose Room, stomping about and
cussing. By the 1950s the Rose Room had acquired the dubious reputation
of being the most haunted area in the White House, supposed cold spots
contributing to a sense of overall creepiness.
* Are White House ghosts real? They are to those that see them.
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