Most people would NOT want to live in a haunted house but one of the most influential people in the world does exactly that – the President of the United States.
We thought it would be fun to share some of the stories about the most famous house in America – The White House and some of the ghosts who reportedly live there.
For years, it has been rumored that the White House is haunted. Former presidents, residents, staff members, and visiting heads of state have reported sightings, eerie presences, and unexplained thumps, noises, and chills. A house which holds so much history and powerful figures, the White House would be a likely place to find a few ghosts rattling around.
Here are the most commonly reported “ghostly inhabitants.”
Abraham Lincoln —The 16th president was rumored to have psychic powers during his life and is the most notable and frequently seen of the resident “ghosts.”
Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln supposedly held many successful levitations and séances in the Green Room trying to contact their son Willie, who died there. After Lincoln's death, even Winston Churchill and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (who reportedly fainted at the sight) claimed seeing Lincoln and feeling his presence.
Abigail Adams — The first of the First Ladies to occupy the White House. She and the second President John Adams moved in on November 1, 1800, prior to the house being completely finished. She is still spotted in the hallways and the East Room where she was known to hang her laundry to dry.
Dolly Madison — The wife of James Madison planted the original and now famous White House Rose Garden. During Woodrow Wilson’s term, First Lady Ellen Wilson planned to dig up the garden; evidently Dolley’s ghost appeared in the gardens and stopped the work from proceeding. The Rose Garden exists to this day.
Andrew Jackson — The seventh President has been heard laughing and swearing in his old bedroom, the Rose Bedroom. White House staff has also reported cold spots around his canopy bed in that room.
Other ghostly reports include President William Henry Harrison (rummaging through the attic), Willie Lincoln (son of Abraham Lincoln), British soldiers (from the 1814 attempt to burn down the White House), Anne Surratt (daughter of Mary Surratt, who was executed for her role in conspiring to kill Lincoln, pleading for the release of her mother), and a phantom “Demon Cat” (any sightings of which forebode a national disaster/tragedy).
Unfortunately, the National Association of Realtors has not come up with a PHS (Paranormal Housing Specialist) designation, nor is it possible to search for homes in our local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) using haunted as a criterion.
If you don’t want to live in a haunted house, then buyer beware. Some states require disclosure of such things as murders, suicides, and haunting under the heading of “emotional defects” or “psychologically impacted,” but many do not (including Pennsylvania). Of the states that do require disclosures of this nature, the requirements vary by state and many are unclear as to what is required of the seller and the listing agent.
The stigma of a haunted house can be erased over time. The “Amityville Horror” house sold for a whopping $950,000 back in 2010. This is the home where Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six family members in 1974. The subsequent owners George and Kathleen Lutz experienced 28 harrowing days before fleeing the house and inspiring the bestselling book with their story. Then foreclosed on, the next owners purchased the home in 1977, renovated it, and changed the house numbers (to protect their privacy). They, nor any subsequent owners, ever experienced any supernatural activity.
In the meantime, if you hear something go bump in the night, there is probably a reasonable explanation for it. Scratching in the attic is most likely mice, a terrifying scream is most likely a fox in your yard, and a door slamming shut is most likely a draft from an open window. But you never know ...Happy Halloween!
The Scott Loper Team includes Scott & Lisa Loper, Keller Williams Real Estate, 601 Bethlehem Pike, Bldg. B, Ste. 100, Montgomeryville, PA 18936, (215) 631-1900, www.ScottLoperTeam.com.