Eight Presidents Believed The White House Was Haunted, Here’s What They Saw

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We all know many famous haunted houses from stories and movies. The House of Frankenstein, Dracula’s Castle, and Hill House are fictional buildings that are home to horrifying made-up monsters. While these make-belief locations are scary enough to send chills down our spine, they’re not as scary as living inside a real ghost-inhabited home.

Many famous politicians have lived and died inside the White House, leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue cursed with the spirits of its old and powerful inhabitants …

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Jared Broach And The Nightly Spirits

Jared Broach and his company, “The Nightly Spirits,” lead tours across America’s most creepy and haunted sights. When the company first started, the White House was his main touring spot. Broach is a firm believer in the existence of ghosts, and the report of ghost-sightings from eight different presidents makes the case for the White House undeniable.

The front of the White House on a cloudy day.
Edoardo Cuoghi / Unsplash
Edoardo Cuoghi / Unsplash

He once said: “The White House has the best ghost stories, and I’d call them the most verified … we could do a 10-hour tour if we really wanted to.” Here are some of those stories:

Letters From President Harry S. Truman

In a letter from 1946 which to this day still physically exists in his presidential archives, President Harry Truman documented his encounter with a ghost. Alone at night in the large interior of the White House, a knock at his bedroom door appeared with no one around to have done it.

President Harry S. Truman riding in the back of a convertible with the roof off, smiling.
Bettmann / Getty Images
Bettmann / Getty Images

Truman wrote to his wife and daughter in a panicked state, searching around the entire building to explain the noises, “The damned place is haunted sure as shootin’.” While his family members weren’t as convinced, this President was certain that he was sharing a home with chilling spirits.

The Haunting Of Abraham Lincoln

The ghost of 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and the spirits of his family seem to be the most popular sighting in the White House. In 1862, this President’s son died at the age of 11 on the grounds of the property.

A close-up of a white statue of Abraham Lincoln
Eleven Photographs / Unsplash
Eleven Photographs / Unsplash

The spirit of Willie, the 11-year-old deceased, began visiting his parents at their bedside after dark. Three years following the child’s tragic death, the President was assassinated, and his soul carried on the legacy of the paranormal Lincoln lineage.

Winston Churchill’s Scare

The year 1940 was a frightening one for President Winston Churchill, and his terror had nothing to do with his presidency. This politician claimed to have seen first-hand the spirit of Abraham Lincoln standing near his bath.

President Winston Churchill looking out a car window, wearing a grey suit.
John Waterman / Getty Images
John Waterman / Getty Images

Caught naked with nothing to cover him but a cigarette, Churchill would surely never forget the sight of his former American leader risen from the dead in the White House. “They say Lincoln always comes back whenever he feels the country is in need or in peril” claims tour guide Jared Broach.

The Revenge Of Annie Surratt

On April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Mary Surratt was sentenced to death for taking part in this murder, leaving her 22 year-old daughter, Annie, behind. The young woman was distraught at the hanging of her mother, which explains why her spirit sought revenge on the White House.

A blurred image of the White House with a focus on caution tape that reads
Jacob Morch / Unsplash
Jacob Morch / Unsplash

Multiple people have claimed that the ghost of Annie has knocked on the front doors of the building for years and years. They say when a soul has unfinished business on earth, it won’t leave. Could the spirit of this girl remain forever trying to save her mother?

The First Ladies

Deceased presidents and spirits of common people seeking revenge are not the only ghosts that have been spotted inside this historical landmark. The ghosts of two First Ladies seem to be too in love with the gorgeous home to part ways with its interior.

A dark image of a rose bush filled with blossoming red roses.
Irina Iriser / Pexels
Irina Iriser / Pexels

Abigail Adams, the first presidential wife to live within the White House, is said to still remain in it today as a ghost. Records say her spirit roams the house with her arms resembling the act of cleaning. Similarly, First Lady Dolley Madison has been spotted near the Rose Garden, where she loved to spend her days gardening when she lived.

Scaring Eleanor Roosevelt And Her Staff

Even after renovations and various attempts to rid of the spirits that lived in the White House, the ghost of Abraham Lincoln was too persistent to be cleansed. In the mid-1930s, during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the family and workers continued to spot uninvited company.

Eleanor Roosevelt sitting, wearing a blue blouse and holding reading glasses.
MPI / Getty Images
MPI / Getty Images

One of the White House staff was believed to have seen Lincoln sitting on a bed, putting on shoes. Shortly after, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt herself began to feel the presence of the spirits, “I get a distinct feeling that there is somebody in the room.”

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Not everyone believes that our spirits remain roaming around planet earth once we have passed on. But, it’s hard to deny the reality of ghosts in a location where various people have come across them.

A full moon shining behind a tree with bare branches. A crow sitting on the tree.
Shakhawat Shaon / Pexels
Shakhawat Shaon / Pexels

If you’ve never seen one, it may be difficult to be open-minded to the possibility of these entities. But, spending the night at the White House would surely change your mind. Would you take the risk?

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nicolemior is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives