7 Paranormal Sightings in the White House
America’s house is home to more than just presidents and their families.
Sure it’s been the site of intense diplomatic meetings, grand parties, and important declarations, but the White House is notoriously haunted by some very famous ghosts.
The Demon in the White House
Two grieving first ladies—Abigail Adams and Mary Todd Lincoln—held seances in the White House, hoping to speak with the spirits of their dead children. Opening that door to speak with the dead apparently allowed a sinister presence to take up residence in the presidential estate. Something has been tormenting presidents, their families, and their staff for more than 100 years. Watch Demon in the White House on discovery+ beginning November 26.
Abigail Adams, the wife of the second president, John Adams, did her own laundry when she lived in the White House, and there’s apparently still plenty of washing to be done. White House staffers have seen her ghost floating around the East Room with her arms holding an invisible load of laundry. Sometimes, they smell wet clothes or even the scene of lavender in the area.
The ghost of Honest Abe just can’t seem to move on following his 1865 assassination. There are numerous stories of Lincoln’s bearded ghost appearing to White House residents, staff, and visitors. A nude Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, once emerged from the bathroom to see Lincoln sitting in his room during a visit in the 1940s.
Lincoln is said to lurk around the Yellow Oval Room and the Lincoln bedroom. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt spent a lot of time working in the Lincoln bedroom, and she apparently saw him often. Calvin Coolidge’s wife, Grace, reportedly caught Lincoln looking out of a window in the Lincoln Bedroom. One night, Lady Bird Johnson was watching a documentary about Lincoln’s death when she said she felt his spirit nearby.
Ronald Reagan’s dog, Rex, is believed to have seen Lincoln’s ghost as well. Apparently the dog would regularly stand at the door to the Lincoln bedroom and bark, and the president believed Rex could see Lincoln.
The nation’s seventh president apparently still spends time in his old bedroom where he can be heard laughing. Mary Todd Lincoln often said she heard Jackson stomping and swearing. Perhaps his ghost is reliving the raucous 1829 inauguration party in which the White House was effectively trashed by thousands of celebrants exploring the estate.
Harry Truman once joked, “My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.” Was it Truman’s piano that the Bush twins, Barbara and Jenna, heard in their room after their father, George W. Bush, took office?
William Henry Harrison
Harrison, the ninth president, holds the record for holding the office of president for the least amount of time—just 31 days—but his ghost has been there way longer than that. Apparently, William Henry Harrison left something in the attic, and he’s still walking around up there and looking for it to this day.
The wife of President James Madison is reportedly very protective over the Rose Garden. When Woodrow Wilson was president, an effort to move the garden was abandoned when people began seeing Dolley Madison’s ghost, according to the Washington Post.