Not your average (haunted) houses!

Posted by Abbott Klar Real Estate on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 9:53am

Founded pursuant to an Act of Congress in 1790, Washington DC has seen its fair share, and then some, of military engagements, duels, assassinations, untimely and mysterious deaths, and other assorted tragedies in its long and storied history. So famous are Washington's ghosts, they have been featured in documentaries and name dropped by author Dan Brown. So, in honor of Halloween, turn down the lights, put on some spooky music, set up your Ouija board and  keep reading for our guide to some of the most haunted houses in the City....if you dare!

The Capitol   
The Capitol building, Washington DC                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Yes, yes, we know the Capitol building is not a house. Minor detail. The Capitol building just so happens do be one of the most active paranormal spots in the city. The Capitol building has seen no shortage of murder and death in it's long history. Those rascally politicians, always saying something to upset people. In 1890, for Rep. William Taulbee was involved in an altercation with Charles Kincaid, a journalist who had ruined Taulbee's political career with claims of adultery. Taulbee tweaked Kincaid's nose. Kincaid rushed home, retrieved his gun, went back and shot Taulbee in the face. Taulbee died two weeks later and his blood still stains the steps where he was shot. Legend has it that whenever a journalist slips on those steps, his ghost appears. 

DC Firehouse carved pumpkin
Not even law enforcement remains unscathed from the ghostly appartitions, as many United States Capitol Police have reported seeing Senator Thomas Hart Benton working at his desk in Statuary Hall, which hasn't been used as a legislative chamber since the 1850s. Congressional money problems and reneging on promises is nothing new. Pierre L'Enfant, spent years trying to get a monetary payment from Congress for his plans in desgining the city. He died in poverty in 1825 and his spirit has been seen pacing the Capitol. So if you think Congress owes you money, get in line, it's a long wait. 

Despite being haunted by former Presidents and Congressman, the most infamous of all the Capitol hauntings is a cat. Not your ordinary, run of the mill housecat, but a clairvoyant 'demon black cat'. Obviously. Allegedly the cat prowls the Capitol building just before national tragedies or changes in Presidential administrations. The demon cat was first seen in the first half of the 19th century and was even shot at by a night watchman in 1862, which left him obviously puzzled. The cat was sighted before the assassination of President Lincoln, the October 1929 stock market crash and the assassination of President Kennedy. No word yet on if it was seen before the recent government shutdown.

The White House   
The White House, Washington DC The first location on our list that is actually a house, the White House is home to some of the city's oldest and, appropriately, most prominent ghosts. No run of the mill ghouls here, this is where the creme de la creme of the ghostly socialites call home. Disclaimer: Abigail Adams has been sighted hanging her laundry to dry in the East Room on many occaisions, so even the upper crust have to get their hands, err ectoplasm, wet once in a while.
Old executive buiding next to the White House

Perhaps the most famous of any spectre to appear on this list is Abraham Lincoln. The former President's footsteps have been heard many times in the hallway outside the Lincoln Bedroom (a meeting room during his administration) and etherial knocks have often been heard on the door. There are also no shortage of physical (well sort of...) sightings of the President. Most famously in 1942, Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands heard footsteps outside her door while staying at the White House. When she answered a knock at her door, it was none other than Honest Abe, top hat and all, standing before her. Her Majestly promptly, and probably not very regally, fainted. Lincoln has been seen by the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Grace Coolidge, President Truman, and Winston Churchill to name a few. All these political figures would never lie, his ghost most assuredly be real. Alas, you cannot stay in the Lincoln Bedroom to find out for yourself. 

The Queen's Bedroom may rival the Lincoln Bedroom in hauntings. What is it with bedrooms at the White House? President Andrew Jackson is said the make this room home as it, reportedly, contains his old bed. His spectre has been seen and heard lying on the bed, laughing, and stomping in the room since the 1860s. Presidents Thomas Jefferson, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler reportedly haunt the Yellow Oval Room, attic, and Blue Oval Room respectively. A British soldier from the War of 1812 has been seen with a torch, still trying to carry out his orders to burn down the White House, 200 years later. 

House in Georgetown ready for Halloween                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Most of us have seen the 1973 classic The Exorcist (those who haven't, go watch it now!). Swing by 3600 Prospect Street in Georgetown to view the infamous steps. While, admittedly, there have been no ghost sightings there, the steps are creepy enough in their own right to warrant making this list. And they are a part of movie history, enough said.
The Exorcist stairs in Georgetown Washington DC
When driving through Georgetown, most people go right past a little unassuming stone home, one of many in the area. In reality, the Old Stone House is one of the oldest buildings in Washington DC, and one of the most notorious. Built in 1765, the Old Stone House remained in private hands for almost two centuries until it was bought by the Federal Goverment in 1953 and is now maintained by the National Park Service. For such a small house, it is filled to the brim with ghosts. As many as 5 spirits call the Old Stone House home, though the most infamous is named George. One of the only malevolent spirits in DC, George has been associated with pushing and choking visitors. His presence is often known with the cliche cold spot and a feeling of dread. 

The Octagon House                                                                                                                                                      The Octagon house in Washington DC                                                 
One of the most unique homes in DC, the Octagon House is also allegedly one of the most haunted. Built in 1801 by Colonel John Tayloe III, this house has seen plenty of history and tragedy. President and Mrs. Madison lived here for a year after the burning of the White House in 1814 and it seems Dolley Madison never left; her spirit has been seen in the ballroom and the scent of lilacs, her favorite flower, frequently appears from nowhere. It seems no square in of this home is without stories of sighting.  Tragedy seems to beget stories of ghostly visitors and the Octagon is no exception. Legend has it that one of Colonel Tayloe's daughters quarrelled with her father on the second floor landing. The girl had fallen in love with a British officer sationed in the city and her father disapproved. She turned quickly in anger and fell down the stairs to her detah. Her ghost can reportedly been seen as a crumpled heap at the base of the stairs. In 1817, another of Colonel Tayloe's daughters died by falling down the stairs after arguing with her father over a young man she eloped with. She haunts the second floor stairs. If you visit the home, be careful on the stairs...

Haunted Hotels                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 Hotels are really just temporary homes, so why not include them in our list? The Hay-Adams Hotel is said to be home to the ghost of Marian Hoope Adams, wife of Henry Adams who was the grandson of President John Quincy Adams. Boy, that Adams Family. Marian Adams took her own life in 1885 after the death of her father. Years later in 1927, the home she shaed with her husband was razed and in it's place was built the Hay-Adams Hotel. Hotel staff and guests have reported hearing a woman sobbing, locked doors opening and closing, and a woman's voice whispering. Even luxury hotels can't escape ghostly happenings. Guests in Suite 870 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel  have experienced furniture being out of place, lights turning themselves on, and carts moving on their own. Suite 870 had in the 1930s been an apartment where two women died within a few months of each other. 

So, if you can't wait to have a ghostly encounter, call up a hotel and book a room. Take a tour of one of the many haunted houses in DC and you might just get lucky.

Happy Haunting.

Thanks for reading our blog.  If you want to buy or sell a house, haunted or not.... Call us (202-642-9004)  We are the local experts!

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