It’s been made no secret that Michelle Obama is part of a long legacy of White House residents to have sensed paranormal happenings and ghost sightings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For as much guff as Rosalynn Carter got over her New Age beliefs, no less than half a dozen other First Ladies have reported far more bizarre paranormal activity. Marry Todd Lincoln even held seances there. One can only imagine the kind of cutting edge ghost hunting equipment that would be gracing the White House today if Marry Todd were still the First Lady.
Michelle Obama recounts one night in which her and the President awoke simultaneously in the dead of the night to unexplained noises and voices in the hallway. And, strangely, multiple members of the Obama family have reported the sensation of waking up to something chewing on their feet.
Ghost of Lincoln
The most common paranormal claim coming from the White House involves the ghost of Abraham Lincoln himself. Eerily, Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, may have actually foreseen his own assassination. The same month he was killed Lincoln dreamt that the White House was filled with sobbing and crying sounds. There was a coffin in this dream, he recounted to friends, as well as a “throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers, ‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream.”
It is also well known that his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, believed in the occult and actually held two séances in the White House to try and communicate with her dead sons.
Everyone from the wife of Calvin Coolidge to Lady Bird Johnson has reported feeling the presence of Lincoln in the hallways and chambers of the White House and even hearing his voice. Winston Churchill famously reported returning from a bath naked to find Lincoln sitting in his room beside the fireplace. Churchill refused to ever sleep in that bedroom again.
Other White House Haunts
No less than 10 locations in the White House are said to be haunted, including the Lincoln Bedroom, the attic, the basement, and the Rose Room.
Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president, once wrote of the infamously haunted Rose Room, also known as the Andrew Jackson chamber: “I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches–all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in here in the study.”
There is also the creepy legend of the “Demon Cat,” a phantom feline skulking the White House basement that first appears as a tiny kitten and then transforms into a demonic beast as the observer draws closer. Supposedly a harbinger of national disasters, Demon Cat was spotted before the stock market crash of the 1920s and before the Kennedy assassination.
What do you think? Is the White House really haunted, or are those late night voices just partisan bickering?