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Rubenstein Center Scholarship

The President's House: A Notorious Haunt for Ghosts

A skull and candles decorate the Blue Room of the White House for a Halloween reception in 2009. The portrait of President John Tyler in the background, whose spirit reputedly haunts the room, adds to the holiday fun.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Americans love ghost stories, and the White House, a large and imposing mansion where things go bump in the night, has been considered a prime spot for the paranormal for many years. The ghosts of William Henry Harrison (the first president to die in the White House), Abigail Adams hanging her laundry in the East Room, and Dolley Madison overlooking the Rose Garden all add to the White House legend. Of course, Abraham Lincoln’s ghost is the most famous of them all and the subject of many Halloween pranks over the years.