Haunted Journeys

5 of the Most Haunted in Washington DC USA: Phantoms of the Nation’s Capital!
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The phantoms of five of the most haunted places in Washington DC are eager to tell their spooky stories. Here are our spine-chilling picks from the Nation’s Capital!

Hay-Adams Hotel

Washington, District of Columbia

Haunted Hay-Adams Hotel

In 1884, Henry Hobson Richardson designed elegant Romanesque homes at the corner of the 16th. and H Street. The impressive design provided joint-homes for (best friends) John Hay (Abraham Lincoln's private secretary and later a Secretary of State) and Henry Adams (the author, and descendant of John Quincy) built their homes on the plot of land where the hotel now sits. They were centered in downtown Washington, D.C., in Lafayette Square across from the White House. In 1885, Adams' wife, Marian ("Clover") Hooper Adams, committed suicide in her bedroom.  In 1927, nine years after Adams' death, a Washington, DC developer bought and razed both homes. He replaced them with the Hay-Adams House, an Italian Renaissance-style, 138-room apartment styled hotel.

It is widely believed that the spirit of Mrs. Marian "Clover" Hooper Adams, who committed suicide in 1885, haunted this majestic hotel. It is reported that the fourth floor is her eternal home, where Clover has been seen engaging with hotel guests and employees alike as she so often did during her life as a socialite. Many guests have heard her crying softly in a room or stairwell. Her spectral voice has been heard asking, "What do you want?"  Housekeepers also have reported hearing their names called by her.  Other unexplained occurrences include the mysterious opening and closing of locked doors and clock radios turning on and off.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.              

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Old Stone House

Georgetown, District of Columbia

Haunted Old Stone House

Built in the year 1765 by Christopher and Rachel Layman, the Old Stone House has been classified as the oldest structure in D.C. that remains on its original foundation.

With such a dense historical presence, in such a politically vibrant community, there is no wonder that an exceptionally large number of spirits inhabit this small house. One of the spectral beings is a woman that has appeared wearing a brown dress standing near the fireplace. There is also a man that sports long blond hair and wears a blue jacket. There is also the spirit of a heavyset woman that favors standing on the staircase and also in the kitchen.    One of its residing phantoms is so threatening, they have called him George. Unfortunately, he is a bit malevolent, reportedly having choked and pushed unsuspecting visitors. He will also mark his presence with an unexplainable cold spot, leaving many with an intense feeling of dread. The hauntings at the Old Stone House are so famous that they have been mentioned in a short crime story called The Blonde in Black, found in “Chesapeake Crimes II”, written by Sandi Wilson.  (See Below.)    

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Omni Shoreham Hotel

Washington, District of Columbia

Haunted Omni Shoreham Hotel

Constructed in 1930, Henry Doherty became a minority shareholder in the company that built this exquisite hotel during the great depression. With this, he and his wife took a suite of rooms to live in. But tragedy followed. Their live-in housekeeper, Juliette, died mysteriously and suddenly. So did their adopted daughter, Helen. The Dohertys continued living in the suite, from 1933 until 1973. By the time they left, the original hotel had fallen into deep disrepair. In 1997, the hotel decided to renovate the suite. During renovations, a worker fell to his death from the suite’s balcony, according to a maid’s report who cleaned the suite for almost five years.    

If you wish to embellish in the best supernatural experience possible at this incredible hotel, ask to book Suite 870.  After the Dohertys moved out in 1973, guests would start experiencing strange occurrences. Folks have also reported hearing mysterious noises, doors slamming shut, furniture moving on its own and televisions and lights turning on and off with unseen hands at 4:00 am. Curiously, it has been noted that this is the time of Juliette's death. Housekeepers would find that their carts had been moved and people reported feeling a breeze, as someone had just run by them. Noise complaints consistently come in from other guests on adjacent and proximal rooms on the eighth floor. Once a particularly strange complaint involving loud piano playing on the floor. The only problem, there is no piano to found near this floor. Some of the reports may be also linked to the accidental fatality of the worker in 1997. Some of the staff members refuse to go up to the suite alone. 

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The Octagon House

Washington, District of Columbia

Haunted Octagon House

The Octagon House was built in 1801 by Colonel John Tayloe III, part of a greatly distinguished family from Virginia.  John Tayloe III was a close friend of George Washington's, and Washington convinced Tayloe to build a winter home in the new city of Washington. There is some evidence that the walled back yard of The Octagon itself may have served as a slave market, and it is well-established that the rear of the building housed the Tayloe family's slaves.  

The primary hauntings are remnants of the phantoms that still lurk this building. Two of the most prominent are the actual daughters of Colonel Tayloe, who ironically both lost their lives in an accident on the steps of the home. Although they were in different years and sections of the step, they all were a result of an argument with their father about the partners they had chosen as husbands to be. Witness has seen one of the ghosts, crumpled at the bottom of the steps or on the stairs near the second-floor landing. Sometimes you will only see the light of a candle moving up the staircase. Another spectral image has been seen between the second and third floors where the second daughter fell to her death. A slave girl in the house was allegedly thrown from the third-floor landing to the first floor below and killed by a British soldier during the War of 1812, and eyewitnesses have reported hearing her scream. The specter of a British soldier in War of 1812 dress was seen by caretaker James Cypress in the 1950s, and museum superintendent Alric H. Clay claimed that in the 1960s spirits would often turn on the lights and open The Octagon's doors late at night.

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The White House

Washington, District of Columbia


This is probably one of the most haunted documented properties in the country. Its history of hosting the legendary presidents of the United States and their families is only the partial lure to the supernatural activity that has been encapsulated here.  Our first president, George Washington, selected the site for the White House in 1791. The cornerstone was laid in 1792 and a competition design submitted by Irish-born architect James Hoban was chosen. After eight years of construction, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the unfinished house in 1800. In 1812, the Brits set the property on fire. Fortunately, it was salvaged and return to its glory.

There have been several stories about the ghosts of former Presidents of the United States revisiting the White House, with perhaps the most common and popular one being that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's Ghost, otherwise known as The White House Ghost, is said to have haunted the White House since his death in 1865. It has been reported that the former president's footsteps are said to be heard in the hall outside the Lincoln Bedroom. In addition, many notable claims have surfaced of seeing Lincoln's apparition. His presence has been felt by multitudes as well. We have curated many of these stories into our extended LISTING written for The White House as a haunted property. Abraham Lincoln is not the only Lincoln ghost witnesses claim to have seen in the White House. Willie Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's 11-year-old son, died in the White House of typhoid on February 20, 1862. Willie Lincoln's ghost was first reported to have been seen in the White House by staff members of the Grant administration in the 1870s, but reports have been made as recently as the 1960s. President Lyndon B. Johnson's college-age daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, claims to have seen the ghost and talked to him. Mary Todd Lincoln, who was a strong believer of the Occult, said she witnessed Andrew Jackson stomping and swearing through the halls of the presidential residence. The Rose Room, Jackson’s bedroom while he was president, is believed by some to be one of the most haunted rooms in the White House. In addition, Dolley Madison is supposedly a regular apparition seen 170 years after her death.

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.      

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More reads about the haunts of Washington DC's Spirits...


Haunted Washington, DC: Federal Phantoms, Government Ghosts, and Beltway Banshees Paperback – July 1, 2016 by Tom Ogden  (Author)     Washington's Haunted Past:: Capital Ghosts of America (Haunted America) Paperback – October 18, 2006 by Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell (Author)     Washington, D.C.: Ghosts, Legends, and Lore Paperback – April 10, 2008 by E. Ashley Rooney  (Author)


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