The White House in Washington D.C. is one of the most secure locations on planet Earth. A tight radar net covers the skies and since the 9/11 attacks, jet fighters have been on high alert to defend the already restricted airspace above the city. After decades of troubles, security on most of the important federal buildings in Washington D.C. is tight enough that not even the most radical fanatics of any cause are willing to try and take a shot at the city.
But like all cities, sometimes no amount of security can keep sightings of specters from infiltrating the buildings and the White House is no exception.
The most famous spectral resident of the White House is Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States and unquestionably the most important figure in the first and thus far only true American Civil War. The story begins even before Lincoln’s death in fact.
It has long been known that Abraham Lincoln spoke of a strange dream he had shortly before his assassination. In this dream, he recounts that he saw a cloth covered corpse and when he pulled it off, he revealed his own corpse, causing him to awaken with a start. One particularly haunting tale of Lincoln’s melancholic state was that his bodyguard, a young man named Crook, was told not to guard the president.
Whereas typically the president would tell his bodyguard “Goodnight, Crook” before leaving Ford’s Theater, Lincoln told him “Goodbye, Crook.”
Already, the elements of a classic ghost story are emerging. After Lincoln’s assassination by a Confederate sympathizer, people began seeing strange things in the Lincoln bedroom where his original bed still stands. The most high profile witness to such such strangeness was none other than President Harry S. Truman, who was awakened by a knock at his bedroom door at 3 in the morning, but found nobody there. Truman went on record as saying the knock was from Lincoln.
Other sightings have been more explicit. Some people have even seen the specter of Lincoln himself, striding up and down the same second floor hallway of the White House, sometimes rapping at doors, sometimes gazing out the windows. Mysterious footsteps have been reported as well. A popular legend holds that the ghost of the deceased president tends to return to the White House when the security of the United States itself is at risk, and most consider the specter’s appearance to be worrisome on multiple levels.