But she never liked to be crossed, as the legend of her ghost bears out. When the second Mrs. They never turned a spade. Dolley Madison had planned and built the garden! Her ghost arrived in all her nineteenth century to upbraid the workmen for what they were about to do. The men fled. The Rose Room is believed to be one of the most haunted spots in the White House. And well he might. In Jackson ran for president against John Quincy Adams and two other candidates, garnering the most popular and electoral votes, but not a clear majority; the election was decided by the House of Representatives , which chose Adams.
In Jackson finally won the presidency, but he never forgot nor forgave his enemies. Bitterly resentful over his earlier defeat, he removed two thousand former office-holders, replacing them with his own appointments. Still settling old scores? Pennsylvania Avenue was unpaved, and frequent rains turned it into a quagmire.
Although the White House itself was only half finished, Mrs. Adams cheerfully tolerated the noise and confusion of workmen coming and going. She was as fond of pomp and ceremony as Martha Washington had been, and, in spite of the inconveniences, held memorable receptions and dinner parties. Indeed, her invitations were highly coveted. But one immediate problem presented itself-where to hang the family wash.
The White House was inadequately heated, and a number of rooms were cold and damp. The first lady has never forgotten.
The ghost of Abigail Adams is seen hurrying toward the East Room, with arms out stretched at if carrying a load of laundry. She can be recognized by the cap and lace shawl she favored in life. The home of the American chief executive has been the site of so much intense life it seems only appropriate that from within its walls come stories and legends of presidents and first ladies who linger…after life.
Copyright by Deborah Downer. Available for direct purchase from August House Publishers. Contact ororder augusthouse. Abraham Lincoln , the sixteenth President of the United States , is remembered for his vital role as the leader in preserving the Union during the Civil War and beginning the process that led to the end of slavery in the United States. On April 9, , Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces to Ulysses S.
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Grant at Appomattox Court House , Virginia. Although the last Rebel troops would not surrender until May, the Civil War was effectively over. The Union had held. But, a weary President Abraham Lincoln would not live to see the triumphant march of the Army of the Potomac through the streets of Washington. He died the next day. Psychics believe that President Lincoln has never left the White House, that his spirit remains to complete the business of his abbreviated second term and to be available in times of crisis.
For seventy years, presidents, first ladies, guests, and members of the White House staff have claimed to have either seen Lincoln or felt his presence. The lanky president had paid fanatical attention to even the most minute details concerning the Civil War and felt personally responsible for its outcome. His background was Southern, leading some critics to accuse him of traitorous acts. Mary Todd Lincoln had brothers who fought for the Southern cause. By the time of his reelection, deep lines etched his face and heavy black circles underlined his eyes. During his five years as commander in chief, he had slept little and taken no vacations.
There may have been more to his sadness than even he would admit.
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Lincoln dreamed of his own death. There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. I went from room to room. No living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed alone…I was puzzled and alarmed. Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments.
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Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face covered, others weeping pitifully. She prophesied that the sharper image indicated that he would serve out his first term. The faint, ghostlike image was a sign, she said, that he would be renominated for a second term, but would not live to complete it. He summoned the Cabinet to the Council Chamber. I am in a boat, alone on an ocean.
I have no oars, no rudder. I am in helpless. He scanned the questioning faces before him, then stood up and shambled out of the room.
It was possibly the strangest Cabinet meeting ever called by a president of the United States. He died at the next morning, April 15, That solemn procession has given rise to another president legend surrounding Lincoln. Each year, on the anniversary of that journey, so the story goes, two ghost trains slowly travel the rails between Washington and Illinois. Aboard the first train a military band plays a funeral dirge. Before the smoke of the locomotive clears, a second steam engine follows silently behind, pulling a coach bearing a coffin containing the body of President Lincoln. The ghost trains never reach Springfield.
The shock felt by the nation upon the death of its sixteenth president took years to wear off. Most were true. Others contained more fable than fact. It is true that tragedy had stalked Lincoln long before his first presidential term. His beloved mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died when her son was nine. In , at the age of thirty-three, Lincoln married Mary Todd, but the union was not a particularly happy one. Mary had a mercurial temperament and a strong belief in the supernatural. The Lincolns had three sons, but only Robert Todd lived to adulthood.
He would sit for hours, weeping copiously. At Mrs. During the administration of Ulysses S.
Grant, however, a member of the household staff claimed to have seen Willie and to have conversed with his spirit. In the Lyndon B. Johnson presidency , Lynda Johnson Robb occupied the room where Willie had died, and later, where the autopsy on Abraham Lincoln had been performed. Mrs Johnson admitted feeling a strange coldness and a decided sense of unease.
This disquieting apprehension has been felt by others. Grace Coolidge , wife of Calvin Coolidge , the thirtieth president, was the first person to report having actually seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. She said he stood at a window of the Oval Office, hands clasped behind his back, gazing out over the Potomac, perhaps still seeing the bloody battlefields beyond. The ghost of Lincoln was seen frequently during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt , when the country went through a devastating depression then a world war.
When Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was a guest at the White House during that period she was awakened one night by a knock on her bedroom door. Thinking it might be an important message, she got up and opened the door. The top-hatted figure of President Lincoln stood in the hallway. The queen fainted. When she came to she was lying on the floor. The apparition had vanished. She thought he was standing behind her, peering over her shoulder. On one occasion, Mrs.
He was pulling on his boots, as if in a hurry to go somewhere. The startled young woman screamed and ran from the second floor. Seamstress Lillian Rogers Parks detailed in her autobiography a mystifying experience that she had one summer day in that same northwest room. It had just been freshly painted and she was putting it back in order. The White House was almost empty because the Roosevelts had gone to Hyde Park, taking most of the maids with them.
As Mrs. Parks worked, she kept hearing someone coming to the door, but she never saw anyone. In fact, the second floor was deserted. After an hour of listening to the tromping, Mrs. Parks went searching for the source. On the third floor she found a houseman. She asked him why he kept pacing the second floor. He shrugged his shoulders. I just came on duty. Britain's numerous castles are hotspots for ghost stories. The year-old Tower of London is said to contain numerous ghosts, and the Queen's House is considered by tower officials to be one of the most haunted locations.
Arabella made the mistake of marrying against the king's wishes and was sent to the tower as punishment. According to the ghost story, she is still serving her time. In another spooky tale, a phantom bear is said to haunt one section of the Tower of London, called the Martin Tower. A guard who saw the phantom bear is said to have dropped dead from the shock.
The Tower of London served as a menagerie for part of its history and held a variety of animals, including bears. At Aokigahara Woods, located at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan , the corpses of dozens of suicide victims have been found over the past two decades, and the forest has become a popular place for troubled Japanese citizens to end their lives. Today, there are signs in the forest, urging people not to end their lives and asking them to seek help. Given the number of suicides that have occurred in the forest, ghost stories abound, including several alleged encounters with the apparitions of those who have died there, which can be seen on You Tube.
In , a boy from Cottage City, Maryland, who was referred to as "Roland Doe" not his real name , underwent an exorcism performed by a group of Roman Catholic priests, accounts suggest. There are conflicting reports as to Roland's alleged powers: Some stories claim that Roland had supernatural strength, could speak in ancient languages that the boy had no knowledge of and could apparently move or levitate the mattress he was lying on.
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Since , investigators have called into question many of these claims, providing evidence to suggest that Roland was a psychologically troubled boy who hated to attend school and that his abilities were far from supernatural. In any event, the exorcism took place. The events inspired a novel called "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty, which, in turn, inspired the famous movie. In , a photographer taking pictures of the year-old Raynham Hall in Norfolk, U. It's one of the most famous ghost photos ever taken, although some experts believe it was caused by double exposure.
The manor, covering an area of 7, acres 2, hectares , has a long history of being haunted, and the BBC notes that the ghost may be of Lady Dorothy Townshend, the wife of the second viscount of the estate. She died in , supposedly of smallpox, after having an affair, which her husband Lord Townshend had learned about before her death. She is said to still wander the manor dressed in brown. Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, England, has a photogenic ghost of its own.
In , a CCTV camera caught an image of a skeletal figure, clad in centuries-old clothes, closing a sturdy fire door that had flung open.
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The ghost, nicknamed "skeletor," attracted a great deal of media attention. A visitor wrote in the palace's visitor book on the [day that skeletor appeared on camera] that she too thought she had seen a ghost in that area," officials wrote on the Hampton Court Palace website. Skeletor is not the only ghostly inhabitant of Hampton Court Palace. Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII's wives, was imprisoned there and was supposedly dragged to her room, screaming all the way.
The area that she haunts is called the "screaming gallery. The Amityville haunting is perhaps the most famous ghost story in America. Ronald Defeo Jr. Reports indicate that the gun Ronald used didn't have a silencer, and there was no sign of a struggle inside the house — facts that left investigators puzzled.
In , a new family, the Lutzes, moved into the Amityville home, having bought it at a discounted price. They lived there for less than a month.