Let’s reacquaint ourselves with the centuries-old legend of ghostly sightings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, most recently by the former First Lady Michelle Obama just before leaving office, sensing the spiritual presence of perhaps the most sighted president within the White House, Abraham Lincoln.
The story goes that the former first lady, along with President Obama awoke simultaneously in the dead of the night to the sounds of sobbing and muffled voices coming from the hallway directly outside their door, however, when the President went to check, there was no one outside.
Other family members residing within the private residence reported the sensation of waking up to something chewing on their feet.
Historians along with experts within the paranormal community believe the 16th president may have possessed “extrasensory perception,” commonly known as a 6th sense.
In that Lincoln foresaw his assassination, a month before through a dream sequence. Moreover describing in vivid detail to his wife and several of his closest aides, seeing himself lying in a coffin, surrounded by a “throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.
Lincoln then recalls one of the soldiers within the honor guard around the coffin asking ‘Who is dead in the White House?’
The answer coming back from another responds, “The President, he was killed by an assassin. Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream.”
The Obama’s, of course, aren’t the only occupants of the White House to experience the ghostly presence of Lincoln.
One such notable encounter involved our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman who often worked late at night, in the infamously famous, however, “haunted” Rose Room, also known as the Andrew Jackson chamber.
Truman in his memoirs recounts many incidents working late at night “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.”
However, legend has it that “Rose Room” is only one of 9 other locations within the White House, said to be haunted, the most reported paranormal experiences and actual sightings of the assassinated president is within the Lincoln Bedroom itself.
A month before the assassination of JFK, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy claimed to have also seen the ghostly figure of “honest Abe” lurking in the Lincoln bedroom, perhaps attempting to warn her of the impending horror that would soon render a nation into unbridled mourning and sorrow, once again.
Another visual encounter was reported by President Reagan’s eldest daughter Maureen. Numerous sightings of Lincoln’s ghostly appearance in hallways or standing at the window in the Oval Office (which is the location of where many photos have been taking) of a translucent figure suddenly appearing and seconds later disappearing, while others have heard footsteps walking towards the Lincoln bedroom, stopping just outside the room, as if about to enter.
Perhaps the most notable encounter took place during the 1940s at the height of WWII. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a frequent guest at the White House, during one of his visits the Prime Minister had just finished taking a leisurely bath and was walking back into the main bedroom completely nude (something that Churchill was accustomed to doing) when before him stood the full figure of 6ft 4inch President Lincoln standing by a roaring fireplace.
Without missing a beat Churchill quipped “Good evening Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage.”
Though he handled the encounter well, the Prime Minister requested a different room when he visited the White House again.
Other notable figures who also had a memorial encounter was Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in 1942. The Queen was staying at the White House during a state visit when she heard a knock at the door around midnight. When she opened the door President Lincoln (top hat and all), was standing there, the Queen promptly fainted.
Though the years some pretty important people have claimed to have seen the figure of Lincoln, some have claimed he appeared ghostly, while others say he appeared as a solid figure.
As of 2016 over a dozen notables have gone on record claiming they’ve seen the 16th President of the United States, here are just a few, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The only time President Truman allowed himself to publicly acknowledge his ghostly close encounter with President Lincoln to his wife Bess, was within a letter he wrote to her in 1945, he wrote, “the floors pop and the drapes move back and forth—I can just imagine old Andy and Teddy arguing over Franklin.”