When it comes to haunted houses, it seems the older they are, the better. One haunted place that is more than 200 years old is also perhaps the best-known house in the country, if not the world: the White House.
Haunted house fans in Salt Lake City might not think of the White House as a particularly scary place. But when it comes to haunted attractions, the White House would be at the top of the list.
Visitors, residents, and staff have colorful tales of ghosts meandering the halls of this mansion. Here are five of the more commonly seen sprits at the White House.
Abigail Adams – The First First Lady
The Executive Mansion, as the White House was originally known, was first inhabited by John and Abigail Adams at the dawn of the 19th century. Back then, the presidential staff was limited, and Mrs. Adams often supervised the cleaning of the household’s laundry herself. According to legend, her ghost has been seen in the East Room, carrying clothes around.
Dolley Madison – The Rose Garden Spirit
There are plenty of haunted places on the White House grounds—not all of them indoors. Dolley Madison, the fourth president’s wife, was passionate about the flowers in bloom at the White House. When workers arrived to dig in order to plant the now-famous Rose Garden, they were scared off by Madison’s apparition, displeased at her beloved estate being disturbed.
British Soldier – The Arsonist
Madison’s best-known story is of her saving a famous portrait of George Washington when the White House was attacked and burned by British troops during the War of 1812. One of the soldiers who helped light the flames was killed in the scuffle shortly thereafter. His ghost is said to appear on occasion to finish the job. Once it was seen trying to set fire to a White House bed in the 1950’s.
Andrew Jackson – Old Hickory
Salt Lake City residents may recognize Andrew Jackson from his portrait on the $20 bill. Jackson was a bit rough around the edges for a president. He gained fame as the first “western” president—the American West at the time being Tennessee (Utah folks can laugh about that). Jackson’s ghost has been heard cursing up a storm from time to time in the White House. Mary Todd Lincoln was said to have heard him when she lived there.
Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter?
Honest Abe has been depicted in recent years as an action hero, battling the undead in a zombie movie. But his spirit is said to inhabit the White House this day, particularly the bedroom named for him. An authority no less than Winston Churchill was said to have encountered The Great Emancipator in the Lincoln Bedroom. In Churchill’s case, it was after he had emerged nude from a bath. It’s at least a possibility that the ghost was more scared than the British prime minister.
The White House may be across the country, but Salt Lake City has a haunted house overrunning with fear. Visit the freaks and other terrifying characters at the Strangling Brothers Haunted House in Draper.
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