Updated: Nov 17, 2021
To celebrate the beautiful and spooky month of October, here are the most haunted locations in Washington, D.C.
The Exorcist Steps
By Dmitry K - The Exorcist Stairs!, CC BY 2.0
Okay, this first one isn't technically "haunted" but it is an iconic location for the horror film genre. The Exorcist steps are a set of stone steps in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. famous for being featured in the 1973 film The Exorcist. Let's move on to some ACTUAL haunted places.
The Octagon House
By AgnosticPreachersKid - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Octagon House is considered to be not only one of the most haunted locations in the United States.
Apparitions and the presence of otherworldly forces have reportedly been seen and felt in many places at The Octagon, including on the spiral staircase, the second-floor landing, the third-floor landing, the third-floor bedroom, and the garden area in the rear.
The Hay-Adams Hotel
By Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA - Hay Adams, CC BY 2.0
A woman by the name of Clover Adams is said to be the Hay-Adams Hotel’s eternal guest. Clover is the nickname of Marion Hooper Adams, once a hotel guest who was married to Henry Adams. Clover Adams was an artistic photographer who took her own life by ingesting one of the chemicals used for developing photographs. However, some people say that she was murdered. No one knows for sure how she died. It is reported that the clover was suffering from depression and her beloved father, a doctor, recently died shortly before she committed suicide.
I know what you're thinking... Capitol Hill? Haunted? No Way!
Here are 5 myths/legends told by employees regarding just how haunted this place ACTUALLY is!
Demon cat terrorizes Capitol employees in the building at night. A ghost cat that supposedly haunts the Capitol Building, appears before historic or tragic national events and has even left a set of paw prints outside of the Old Supreme Court Chamber. While the paw prints are indeed in the floor near the entrance of the chamber, they are more likely from cats once used to kill vermin at the Capitol rather than a demon.
Wounded Civil War soldier wanders through Statuary Hall. In 1862, the military briefly converted the U.S. Capitol into a hospital for wounded Union soldiers. More than 1,000 cots were placed in Statuary Hall before patients were removed later that year. According to legend, at least one soldier never left the building. Over the years, staffers have claimed they have seen the shadow of a soldier among the statues.
John Lenthall, clerk to architect Benjamin Latrobe, cursed the building with his dying breath. Lenthall was working on what is today referred to as the Old Supreme Court when he mistakenly removed wooden supports during construction of the space. An arch in the room collapsed and killed him. Folklore proclaims that as Lenthall lay dying he cursed the building before ultimately expiring.
The voice of John Quincy Adams can be heard shouting "No!" near the Speakers Lobby. During a debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, Adams loudly voted "no" on a resolution then promptly collapsed at his desk. He was moved to the Speakers' Lobby where he fell into a coma and died two days later. Some Capitol employees claim to hear someone shouting "no" late at night.
A moaning William Preston Taulbee, who was shot by a reporter for The Louisville Times, is occasionally heard mumbling in a Capitol stairwell. In 1887, Taulbee's career ended after a correspondent for The Louisville Times wrote an article alleging an affair. Over the next two years the former member, who now worked as a lobbyist, and the reporter bumped into each other. Often, Taulbee would tease the reporter, a much smaller man. By 1890, the reporter had enough of the harassment and shot Taulbee on the stairs. He died 11 days later. A stain on the stairs in the Capitol building is often attributed to the former congressman's blood.
Hopefully, you were able to make it to the end of the post without feeling creeped out!
We couldn't end the post without plugging ourselves in... if you want your permits to not end up in a horror story, then you know that City Permit is the BEST option for all of your permit expediting needs in Washington, D.C.
Have a great day!