It was on November 1, 1800, that President John Adams became the first leader of the country to occupy the White House. One year later President Thomas Jefferson moved into the mansion, often remarking that it was far too large for just one person to live in. Despite these remarks, the dandy helped to lay out a design for the East and West Colonnades as a way to separate the laundry, stable, and storage from the home.
Now these Colonnades serve as corridors between the East and West wings of the mansion. During the War of 1812, there was a battle called the Burning of Washington in which the British set fire to much of the country’s capital, including the White House. There are only two items remaining from the White House after the home was ransacked and burned down almost completely by British soldiers.
In 1815 a couple of architects began redesigning the new White House which has become a combination of French architecture and Italian design. By the time American history reached the Civil War it was time to expand the mansion, and since then countless Presidents have left their mark on the iconic building. As far as what goes on inside, very few people really know; but these urban legends give us a somewhat believable idea.
15 The Disembodied Voice of David Burnes
David Burnes was the former owner of the land that the White House and the federal park that surrounds it. In the time that he was alive Burnes was a disagreeable man who was disliked by many. It has been said that David Burnes was able to rile the feathers of stoic George Washington in a meeting, it was such a negative interaction that President Washington refused to meet with the man again. Burnes’ land wasn’t signed over to the state until after his death, and often times his voice is heard in a couple of locations in the White House. Only security guards in the White House have reported seeing or hearing this ghost, one of which heard the deceased man whisper “I’m Mr. Burnes.” This happened while the man was standing in the Yellow Oval Room. Later, a White House guard said that he heard a voice call out from the attic above the Oval Office “I AM MR. BURNES” multiple times.
14 Melania and Baron Trump Won’t Live in the White House
After one of the strangest elections that the United States of America has ever seen, we are left with President Elect Donald Trump. As the owner of multiple hotels including Trump Tower in New York City, it has been said that Donald Trump won’t spend his full time in Washington D.C. during his time in office. Reports have already been confirmed that Melania Trump and her son Barron will reside in their New York City Trump Tower Penthouse so that Barron can stay at his own school. The problem with this is that taxpayer money will be spent on Secret Service and security for the huge hotel. It has been said, however, that after the school year Barron and Melania will join the President Elect in the White House. Either way, this is the first time that a child and first lady of the President did not relocate with him to the White House.
13 The Disappearance of Chandra Levy
It was 2001 when Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy was first reported missing. Police investigations concluded that Levy was having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit who was serving his fifth term representing California’s 18th congressional district and served as a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The police never named him as a suspect and he was eventually cleared from all involvement in the matter, but the story of her disappearance captivated the media for years. A year after she was reported missing the skeletal remains of Chandra Levy were found in Rock Creek Park, that same year Condit lost his bid for re-election. It was in 2009 that police obtained a warrant to arrest an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who had been convicted of assaulting two other women in Rock Creek Park in 2001. Instead of pressing charges police pushed ot have Ingmar Guandique deported.
12 The Suicide of Vince Foster
Many conspiracy theories surround the 1993 death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster despite police ruling the strange event a suicide. Following the discovery of Foster’s body in Fort Macy Park off of the George Washington Parkway in Virginia United States Park, police conducted investigations and made all relevant inquiries before determining that Foster had indeed killed himself.
After his death, there were many theories that popped up due to Foster’s Swiss bank account like that he was involved in worldwide espionage, but none of these panned out as true. One of the more popular theories is that the Clintons were somehow involved in the murder because the man had semen in his underpants and blonde hair on his jacket.
Many believed that Foster was actually shot and then laid out to look like a suicide. These claims are fueled by the lack of an exit wound in the event, a fact that wouldn’t exist if someone shot themselves.
11 Lee Harvey Oswald Didn’t Kill JFK
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy is one of the most upsetting for Americans during that time period. A poll was taken amongst Americans just days after the tragic shooting which revealed that 52% of Americans blamed a force much larger than Lee Harvey Oswald for the death of their beloved leader. Now, 50 years after the shooting, 61% of Americans still believe that there is a larger entity behind the assassination of JFK. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnston was presented with an 889 page report on the shooting which showed that Lee Harvey Oswald was, in fact, the lone shooter. It was 1979 when the House Select Committee on Assassinations reexamined evidence with a forensics panel and concluded that there was no basis to conclude that a conspiracy existed. Unfortunately, we can never Oswald's defense because two days after being released from police custody Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death.
10 The Poisoning of Zachary Taylor
On the Fourth of July in 1850 President Zachary Taylor returned home from the day’s festivities ravenously hungry. He sat down to eat cabbage, corn, cherries, and a jug of milk. In just one hour he began feeling nauseous and soon it was coming out of both ends. By the next day President Taylor developed a fever and four doctors began barraging him with cure-alls of the time. These doctors force fed the President of 17 months opium, a mercury-chloride solution called calomel, and a fever reducer called quinine. Despite all of the doctors’ best efforts the 65-year-old President of the United States passed away just after saying, “I regret nothing, but am sorry I am about to leave my friends”. Experts were astounded that Taylor’ symptoms were aligned with those of arsenic poisoning, but the death was still ruled gastroenteritis. Many still believe that Zachary Taylor was poisoned by pro-Slavery activists, but there is no proof of this.
9 The Ghost of Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was third cousins and the wife to second president John Adams, the pair were the first to live in the White House. The first lady died of Typhoid Fever at the age of 73 only two weeks before her next birthday. She was buried in a crypt with her husband in Massachusetts, quite a ways from where her spectre is often seen roaming. She was seen by the White House staff shortly after her death with arms outstretched as if holding laundry, walking to the East Room where soiled clothes waiting laundering were kept at the time. This is also where Abigail would hang clothing when there was inclement weather permitting her use of the outside clothesline. Since then, those who are visited by the ghost of Abigail Adams are often met with the smell of soap or damp clothing. The Taft administration has reported that they saw Abigail Adams walking through walls in the White House.
8 The Clintons and Jim McDougal
There was much scandal surrounding the life of Jim McDougal before his untimely death by heart attack. The Arkansas native was a political science major at Ouachita Baptist University and was a former aide to the late U.S. Senator James William Fulbright. He was a Democrat and in 1982 he, his wife at the time, Bill, and Hillary Clinton all went in on land together. The plan was to get land for vacation homes in the Ozarks, but the properties fell through and to save face Jim McDougal covered the lost cash with savings and loan funds. He was prosecuted for fraud in 1984 and his lawyer was Rose Law Firm where Hillary Clinton worked as partner. He was convicted of multiple felonies and had to serve time for the way that he robbed taxpayers of their money. The White House conspiracy surrounding his death is due to the fact that he was a key witness against Clinton in the Whitewater scandal of the ‘90s and happened to die before he could make his statement.
7 9/11 Was An Inside Job
September 11th was a horrific day when the Twin Towers fell in New York City. The day lives on in infamy and many still mourn their lost loved ones from that terrorist attack. Another camp of Americans believe that New York City the government either let or made the terrorist attack happen. Most prominently conspiracy theorists believe that the collapse of the Twin Towers was a controlled demolition. Some standing for this is that the beams at the top of the trade center twisted, an action not possible with an explosion caused by jet fuel. It is said that government officials carried out this horrific event so that they could justify an occupation in the Middle East. Both The National Institute of Standards and Technology and Popular Mechanics investigated and debunked all claims that 9/11 was an inside job. The 9/11 Commission chaired by governor Thomas Kean came to the same conclusion, but lots of people still believe these ridiculous theories.
6 The Unnamed British Soldier
There are many ghosts stuck on the property where the White House stands. One of those commonly seen spectres is that of a British soldier whose garments date back to around 1812. When he appears he is seen holding a torch and roaming around on the lawn. It was during the War of 1812 that the great Burning of Washington occurred, a British attack on Washington D.C. partially in retaliation for the destruction of Port Dover in Canada. In this attack many important buildings in the capital were burned down including the White House, then called the Presidential Mansion. The government had fled the city and the Brits were close to a victory until one day after the fires were set, an astronomical thunderstorm blew through, burning them all out. A tornado also moved through the space that killed both British soldiers and American civilians. This soldier could have lost his life in this inclement weather, still roaming the lawn looking to burn down the White House.
5 Government Poisoned Alcohol
On Christmas Eve in 1926 over 60 people showed up at the hospital with hallucinations after drinking bootlegged alcohol at a party. Eight of these people died. Over the next two days over 23 people would die from their celebrations. Since prohibition era hidden stills were often tainted with metals and impurities the hospital staff was used to seeing tainted alcohol, but these symptoms were different. It turns out that the government was so upset by the persistence of bootleggers that they purposefully poisoned the industrial alcohol often stolen to make illegal liquors. They were hoping to send a message that drinking was dangerous without too malicious of an intent, but in reality, they killed around 10,000 American citizens. This is actually a true story, and the government tried this tactic again in the 1970’s. They sprayed Mexican marijuana fields with herbicide Paraquat to destroy crops and deter marijuana smokers.
4 Roswell UFO Incident
In the middle of 1947 a UFO crashed on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico; the UFO was later identified as a crashed United States Air Force balloon. It was only after widespread public interest that the Air Force claimed that it was a weather balloon. Interest faded until the ‘70s when the conspiracies that the government was covering up extraterrestrial beings. Twenty years after ufologists first began spouting ‘Area 51’ and Roswell conspiracies and cover-ups the US military published their reports about the crash. The balloon that crashed was called Project Mogul and the inquiry filed in 1994 concluded that debris from the crash was in fact from Project Mogul. All of the reports from the Air Force include testimonials and witness accounts that varied far too much to be considered plausible. Despite all of this evidence that the crash in Roswell was not a UFO there are still tons of believers in this urban legend.
3 The Faked Moon Landing
These conspiracy theories are based on the idea that NASA and other government agencies staged the moon landing and other parts of the Apollo program. This idea was born when Bill Kaysing self-published the book We Never Went To The Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle which was released in 1976. The major claims made in the book are that there were such small chances of successfully landing on the moon that it would have been easier to fake the entire moon landing. It got deeper in 1980 when the Flat Earth Society accused NASA of staging the moon landing with Walt Disney and that it was directed by Stanley Kubrick. Most notable about this conspiracy is that it came out shortly after Watergate, and era where the general public trusted their government very little. It has also been said that the government faked the moon landing to keep the public happy despite the gruesome Vietnam war.
2 Andrew Jackson’s Swearing Ghost
Twenty years after his death Andrew Jackson’s ghost was said to have been seen at the White House for the first time. It was Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, that heard Jackson in the Rose Room. Mary Todd Lincoln reported that she heard President Jackson stomping around his old four post bed in the Rose Room and cursing up a storm. Later, in the 1950’s, a White House seamstress was sewing the hem of a bedspread and felt a presence watching over her shoulder. A coldness began overtaking her where the presence was felt, and she left the room as quickly as humanly possible. This seamstress, Lillian Rogers Parks took three years to even want to work on that sewing project again. Another White House maid, Katurah Brooks, heard “otherworldly” laughter coming from the Rose Room. This room is not only where Jackson spent his private time in the White House, it also contains his actual four post bed. The ghost of Andrew Jackson seems to appear either when he has an affinity for the current President or when the country is at war.
1 Lincoln’s Ghost
It is often said that President Abraham Lincoln visits the White House, so much so that the ghost is often called The White House Ghost. On the day of his assassination Lincoln told his bodyguard that he had had dreams of his assassination the three nights previous. This bodyguard, William H. Crook, pleaded with the President not to attend the theater or perhaps bring extra security but Lincoln persisted that it was fine. Many who have walked the halls of the White House since his death have felt the presence of Lincoln. Eleanor Roosevelt often felt a presence, although she never identified it. Oftentimes these visits from Lincoln’s ghost happen around the Lincoln bedroom, mostly people hear footsteps pacing outside the door. In her 1961 autobiography Lillian Rogers Parks admitted to hearing Lincoln’s footsteps outside of the Lincoln bedroom in the White House. President Harry S. Truman’s daughter Margaret claimed that she heard a ghost knocking on her door, the girl believed that this ghost was Lincoln himself.