The 9 Most Haunted Places in Washington, DC

Washington, DC has some of the most frightening and eerie places on the East Coast. The ghosts of past Presidents roam the halls of the White House. Murdered specters come back to tell the stories of their death. Are you brave enough to handle these haunted places of DC?

The Octagon House

The Octagon House was built in the 1800’s. Colonel John Tayloe owned the 3-story home until his death in 1899. Visitors to the house say they have heard footsteps on the stairs. When they look, there isn’t anyone there. Doors open that were once locked, lights turn on by themselves. Some people have said they have seen ghost-like footprints on the 3rd floor.

Rumor has it that John Tayloe was very strict about the men his two daughters would marry. Both girls became so upset at his dislike for the men they loved that they jumped from the 2nd story to their death. It is said that the ghosts that haunt the Octagon House are those of John Tayloe and his two daughters.

Old Stone House

The Old Stone House is one of the oldest in Washington DC. Built in 1765, it has been a host to decades of paranormal activity. There are at least 4 different spirits that haunt the house today. Guests at the Old Stone House say they’ve seen a woman in Victorian attire roaming through the house. Furniture has been rearranged in some of the rooms and voices can be heard when the house is empty.

The 3rd-floor dressing room is a favorite spot for one apparition to spend her time. Not all spirits in this house are pleasant. One in particular, “George,” likes to push and choke visitors to the Old Stone House. The house closes at dark because of this unpleasant visitor.

The White House

With so much history, it’s no wonder the White House is home to ghosts. In 1946, Harry S. Truman was lying in bed when he heard a knock on his door. He rushed to open it and saw no one. It unnerved him so much that he sent a letter to his wife and children to come back to the White House.

Many of the spirits that frequent the White House are those of past Presidents and their families. Grace Coolidge swore that she saw the ghost of Abraham Lincoln looking out the window in his old office. First Lady, Dollie Madison’s spirit has been seen tending to the White House garden. Groundskeepers tell of seeing Abigail Adams walking the halls.

The Capitol Building

Another haunted building with a past is the Capitol Building. Employees working at the Capital have witnessed a demon cat lurking around the old Supreme Court Chamber. You will even find a set of paw prints on the floor in the very spot the cat has been seen.

In 1862, the Capitol Building was converted into a hospital for soldiers that were wounded in the Civil War. Apparitions that resemble these men have been seen walking in the Capitol. One of the spookiest occurrences is that of John Quincy Adams. His voice has been heard shouting “no” in the Speaker’s Lobby room. It was in this room he fell into a coma, two days before his death.

Hay-Adams Hotel

The specter that haunts the Hay-Adams Hotel is that of “Clover” Adams. The hotel opened in 1928. Clover was a photographer before she died a mysterious death. Some say she committed suicide by drinking a solution used to develop photos. Others say she was murdered.

The first two weeks in December, the anniversary of her death, she is the most active at the Hay-Adams Hotel. Doors open and close by themselves, radios turn on when no one is around. Some guests say they can hear a woman crying from rooms that are empty.


Lafayette Square

If you’re in Lafayette Square at night, don’t be surprised if you run into a specter or two. Francis Scott Key’s son, Philip, was killed here by his best friend. People walking through the square say they have seen his spirit walking around at night. There are also claims that Andrew Jackson likes to take nightly strolls as well.

Old Post Chapel

The Old Post Chapel at Arlington Cemetery has been in use since 1930. Soldiers standing guard tell stories of locked doors suddenly opening. They hear footsteps and voices in the cemetery when no one else is there. Some say they have seen an apparition in the bridal room which was once the mourning room at the Chapel.

Decatur House

The home of Stephen Decatur and his wife, the Decatur House was built in 1818. During a duel in 1820, Mr. Decatur suffered from wounds that he could not recover from. His wife couldn’t bear the thought of living in the house after the death of her husband. Shortly after his death, the ghost of Mr. Decatur was seen peering out of the 2nd story window. Some neighbors of the home have also seen his ghost walking out of the back door with what looks like a black box.


M Street Bridge

If you’re crossing the M Street Bridge at night, don’t go it alone! Two different spirits haunt the bridge. One is a young drummer boy who fell over and drowned in the water below. People have heard the faint sound of drums and felt the presence of someone following them on the bridge. The second specter to haunt the bridge is of a stagecoach driver. Witnesses have seen the stagecoach riding across the bridge.


Which of these haunted places have you visited? Have you been a witness to the ghosts that haunt DC?

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