Who you gonna call?
Washington D.C. is best known for being the center of politics in the United States but it’s definitely contender for one of the most haunted places in the world. Tales of haunted houses and hotels, even a demon cat, are as plentiful as special interest lobbyists.
But are these ghostly stories true? Well, that's for you to decide.
But with Halloween approaching, what better way to celebrate than with a tour of the 10 scariest places in the DMV, whether you believe the legends or not? But beware -- these haunted locations aren't for the faint of heart.
721 Madison St NW
The ghost of former First Lady Dolley Madison supposedly haunts this historic house. It was where she spent the last few years of her life and she's reportedly often seen rocking in a chair in the space where the porch used to be, smiling at passersby.
748 Jackson Pl NW
This historic house museum near the White House is said to be the haunt of the ghost of naval officer Stephen Decatur. Decatur died in the house after losing in a duel.
3600 Prospect Street
The Exorcist house where Regan (Linda Blair) and Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) lived is a real-life house in Georgetown. Fair warning: The real house looks very different from the one in the movie. You won’t be able to find Regan’s window, a fake wing was built on the eastern side of the house and a fake roof were built for the shoot. The house was never used for interior shots though— those were all done on a New York City soundstage.
36 and Prospect Streets
Not far the Exorcist house are the iconic stairs that Father Karras tumbled down during an attempt to try and rid the little girl of her evil spirits. Apparently, the stuntman who did the scene tumbled down the stairs twice! Georgetown University students charged people around $5 each to watch the stunt from the rooftops. The stairs officially became a "DC landmark and official tourist attraction" on Halloween 2015. According to local lore, every time someone attempts to count the number of steps, they'll have a different answer!
3400 Prospect Street NW
The stately former home of America’s first Secretary of the Navy is a contender for the “most haunted house in DC.” It’s third owner, Albert Clemens believed that continually expanding onto his lavish property would somehow help him escape death. Clemens made a series of bizarre changes to the home, including constructing staircases to nowhere, secret trap doors and building rooms sooo tiny that could only fit a single table and chair. Of course, his frenzied building didn’t keep him from dying. The house is said to be haunted by its first owner, who is frequently sighted on the property, along with a number of other figures, including the building-mad Clemens, the spirits of a group of runaway slaves that perished in the building’s basement after escaping from the South, and a mysterious unknown woman who can sometimes be seen through an upstairs window.
Independence Avenue SW
The spirits of slaves are said to haunt the sites of two of the city's notorious former slave markets along a certain part of Independence Ave SW. The Yellow House or Williams Slave Pen (at about 800 Independence Avenue SW where the FDA Building is now), was the most notorious slave pen in the capital: A modest, well-maintained, two-story yellow house concealed a very large basement in which slaves were chained to walls in windowless rooms, while a high brick wall provided space for the training and selling of slaves. On dark nights, witnesses say they have heard the clinking of chains and screams at the corner of 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue SW where the Robey slave pens used to operate.
Lafayette Square Park
1601 Pennsylvania Ave NW
“Star-Spangled Banner” author Francis Scott Key's son Philip Barton Key II was killed in this park by his friend, who was angry that the younger Key was sleeping with the friend’s wife. He’s not the only specter in the park: It’s said that former President Andrew Jackson also creeps around here.
Mary Surratt House
604 H Street NW
The one-time boarding house of Mary Surratt, a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, is located in Chinatown. Surratt, who was hanged for conspiracy, allegedly haunts the place.
First St SE
The ghosts of several congressional representatives who died either within the Capitol's walls or during their time in the legislature haunt the famed complex—John Quincy Adams, most prominently. Apparently, there's also a demon black cat on the grounds. Witnesses have described seeing the cat as a small black kitten, but as they get closer it grows larger and becomes an angry cat with red glowing eyes. The creature is said to make an appearance just before national tragedies and before changes in Presidential administration.
2020 Massachusetts Ave NW
Currently housing the Indonesian Embassy, this is one of Dupont Circle's most haunted properties. The ghost-in-residence: eponymous former owner Evalyn Walsh McLean, who was one of the last owners of the Hope Diamond. “My precious!”
Curious? There's more!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it