Best Haunted Places In Washington DC

October 7, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Hays Adams Hotel

Washington D.C. holds and displays centuries of history, and some say the history never left. There have been sightings of 19th century heiresses on embassy row, soldiers in cemeteries and Civil War nurses in hospitals. Even ambassadors and dignitaries have claimed to have seen a ghost or two. Whether you believe these sightings or not, here are the places that keep D.C. haunted.

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The United States Capitol
East Capitol St. & First St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 226-8000

The United States Capitol might be the most haunted location in the area. There have been reports of ghosts as far back as the 1800s, before the building was finished. Between workers dying during the construction, representatives and congressmen being killed and a “demon black cat,” it is hard not to believe the place is haunted. The sightings have been mostly of deceased congress members conducting business as usual, so it seems that there is a feeling of unfinished work. The work of the government is never done, even after death.

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The Hay-Adams Hotel
800 16th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 638-6600

Horror movies have shown us that building on top of any type of burial ground or place of tragedy leads to haunting. Marian Hooper Adams, the wife of Henry Adams, grandson of John Quincy Adams, committed suicide after being severely depressed over her father’s death. The Hay-Adams Hotel was completed after her death, and has been said to be haunted by her ever since. A whole floor of doors were reported to have opened at the same time, one door refuses to lock, her signature scent is said to linger on the eighth floor at night and, of course, she has been seen roaming the halls. Marian Adams didn’t get to see the completion of her hotel in life, but in death she seems to love it.

Woodrow Wilson House
2340 S. St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 387-4062

President Woodrow Wilson had already left the office win he died, but his death might have still surprised the nation who didn’t know the severity of his failing health. After suffering a stroke his health never quite rebounded and he eventual died on the third floor of his Dupont Circle home a few years later. Having spent his last few years in his home, it’s not surprising that guests and staff have reported seeing and hearing the president after his death. For those of you who admired Wilson, you might get a chance to meet him.

Related: Best Haunted Tours In The DC Area

Walsh Mansion
2020 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-5200

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Walsh Mansion’s history screams haunted. Evalyn Walsh McLean, the last of the Walsh family to own the mansion, was also the last private owner to own the reportedly unlucky Hope Diamond. The diamond seemed to be unlucky for her, as she died with a large amount of debt, causing the mansion to be sold to the U.S. government. Today the mansion is home to the Embassy of Indonesia, with ambassadors claiming that Mrs. Evalyn Walsh never vacated the mansion; that she has been known to walk the beautiful ornate steps. Stop by and say hello to Evalyn.

Ford’s Theatre
511 10th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4833

Ford’s Theatre will always be famous for being the location of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth. So it was only inevitable that the theatre would become one of D.C’s notoriously haunted places. From rangers claiming they have seen a female ghost walking down corridors after feeling a sudden chill, to guests claiming they’ve seen the assassinated president himself in the never-used booth, the haunts abound. Visit Ford’s Theatre and don’t forget to ask a ranger about the ghosts.

Related: DC’s Most Haunted Places

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on

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