Taking a small vacation from my series on corporate feudalism, I decided to report on an interesting rumor I have heard lately. For background, I used to be a very active Republican, as I have documented before. I did see the light (long story), and have repudiated that association. When I changed parties, I lost contact with those I knew who were Republican activists. But the other day, I ran in to one at the store, and she had something interesting to tell me. First, she told me how appalled she is at the Trump administration and the horrible things he is doing to our country. That wasn’t all that interesting. But then, she said, “and you won’t believe why he is spending so much taxpayer money on all these vacations.” “Oh?” I said. “Really,” she continued, “You won’t believe it. He is afraid of the White House Ghosts.”
“Afraid of the White House Ghosts?” “Yes! Apparently he thinks they visited him in his first night there, and now he hates to even walk into the place. At night, he is so terrified, he wanders around in his pajamas because he is afraid to go to sleep.”
I remember talk of the White House Ghosts. When I was working on campaigns, I heard whispering that the reason they let the story of Nancy Reagan’s astrologer get out to cover up for a more embarrassing tidbit. Nancy was claiming to talk to ghosts in the White House, that they were giving her advice, and that she was passing that advice on to her husband. I never heard whether Ronnie knew that the advice he was getting was coming from ghosts, or whether he ever acted on it. But the party was terrified that the public would find out about Nancy’s conversations and would go bonkers. The last thing they needed in the era of Iran Contra was the possibility that ghosts were advising the President using his wife as a medium. I also remember rumors that, especially toward the end, Richard Nixon was meandering through the White House conferring with the resident ghosts. (There is also a story circulating about other members of the Reagan family seeing ghosts, which is recounted here.)
There have been a number of articles about the White House ghosts, one example can be found here. Many claim to have seen them, and more claim to have heard them. It is not unusual that a building as iconic as the White House would be rumored to have ghosts roaming around. Moreover, in a structure as old as the White House, with all the electronic signals flying around, the weather around D.C., and other factors, it would be unusual if strange sounds weren’t reported. I don’t necessarily believe or disbelieve in ghosts.
So many people have asked who all died in the White House who could be haunting it today. My question is, why would the person have to have died there to haunt there? Isn’t it as likely that a spirit would return to the place that represented the most significant events of his life? The scene, as it were, of his greatest triumphs or most difficult situations? Or, where he felt he had left unfinished business? I guess if there are ghosts, any former president or any number of his advisors or associates might choose to haunt there. Maybe Lyndon Johnson? (Please, please, please)
I can’t say that I have ever seen a ghost myself, at least not that I was aware of, and until I do, I will remain a skeptic. However, I do live in a time where quantum remote displacement is a thing, where we discuss resting mass vs. unstable mass, and where Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is accepted. These things already stretch my brain. Ghosts in the White House are less of a stretch than these things are. Besides, I do get tickled at the idea of perhaps a spectral Lyndon Baines Johnson visiting Trump in the middle of the night and yelling at him as only President Johnson could do.