Monday, July 16, 2012

The Ghosts of Lafayette Park

I spent last week touring our capitol.  As usual, I made sure to take a tour of the haunted side of Washington DC while I was there.  There are several ghost walks in Washington DC, but I chose the one with the best brochure.   I chose Washington Ghost Tours (http://www.dcchosttours.com/).   I was careful and called early to book my tour.  The woman who I booked the tour with was very helpful and told me some interesting things.  DC Ghost Tours is run by National Ghost Tours which has ghost tours in Nashville and Chattanooga.   The ghost tour they sponsor in Chattanooga is run by the amazing Amy Petulla, the co-author of my book, Haunted Chattanooga.  It is a small world.  We talked about Amy and how wonderful her tour is a little before the woman told me about how her tour group requires each ghost story discussed on their tours to have 3 independent sources before it can be listed as a haunted place.  I was excited.  I love historically accurate ghost tours.

The ghost tour was a two hour walk around Lafayette Park. Lafayette Park is directly in front of the white house.  My ghost tour was lead by a woman named Rachel who described herself as our lady in blue.  She wore historical garb and carried a lantern.  Interestingly, this tour was different from many of the tours I have been on because the paranormal tended to be overshadowed.  Our tour was positively steeped in history and the history of  Lafayette Park and I felt like I had a much better grasp of our nation's history when I left the tour.  Tucked in the pockets of the amazing history of Lafayette Park, were tragic tales of woe and horror that evolved into wonderful ghost stories.  The shere volume of ghost stories around Lafayette Park is somewhat amazing.  The tour advertises the park as the most haunted square in the country and I could easily believe that.

One of my favorite stories was the story of St. John's Church.  Every president in the church's history has attended at least one service at this little church.  St. John's is most known for its beautiful bell.  Whenever a president dies, the bell rings twelve times to honor the fallen leader.  According to some,  when the bell tolls at midnight, if you walk into the church, you will see six, black hooded apparitions sitting in the pews.  She also told us stories of duels and shootings and demon cats and poltergeists.   I will write about a few of them on the blog, but I wouldn't want to ruin them for anyone who might want to take the tour so I'll be sure to leave most of them for the guide.

I have been on more than a few ghost tours at this point and they all have their own flavor.  Some I love and some I hate.  I loved this ghost tour.  It was made unique by its focus on history and its dedication to the facts.   This tour was definitely worth the price and it took us right to the steps of  the White House where we learned about the ghosts inside.  That alone is worth the walk.

3 comments:

Justine's Halloween said...

Cool! I like that she had three sources for each ghost story. I've been on a ghost tour in my city multiple times and it's fun. I doubt that there are three sources per story, though! Some of what I've heard on that tour is pretty goofy. :) This sounds like a good one to check out if I'm ever in the DC area!

Count Matt said...

I've never heard of ghost tours, so this was kind of interesting. I like historical ghost hunting better than the more modern sci-fy ghost hunting.

Little Gothic Horrors said...

Sounds like you got the best of both worlds with not only an informative historical tour but the paranormal component as well. I've never been on a ghost tour before. Now I'm thinking I should really find a local one to do.