Five of Washington, D.C. Most Haunted Residences

Local Spotlight Fleur Howgill October 31, 2023

Considering its long and storied history, including military battles, presidential assassinations, murders, duels, and a slew of other untimely deaths and tragedies, it is no surprise that Washington, D.C. is one of the spookiest, most haunted cities in the country.

To celebrate this all Hallow’s eve, we’ve rounded up some of the most ghostly and haunted addresses around the city.

Old Stone House – 3051 M Street NW

Located in Georgetown, the Old Stone House was built around 1766. It is the oldest structure on its original foundation in Washington, D.C.  After being a private residence and multiple businesses, the National Park Service purchased it in 1953. It is now open to the public as a museum.

As you might expect with a 250-year-old house, the Old Stone House is believed to be the forever home to many spirits, including one called “George,” who visitors say has attacked them when they try to enter his third-floor bedroom. In total, experts at say there are as many as 11 spirits stuck in the Old Stone House.

The Cutts-Madison House -- 1520 H Street NW

This beautiful, bright yellow Colonial-style home in Lafayette Square is best known as the final home of former First Lady Dolley Madison (wife of President James Madison), who lived there from November 1837 until her death in July 1849. It is rumored that the ghost of the former First Lady lingers around the home, with people reporting to have seen a woman in colonial dress sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch.

The Octagon House -- 1799 New York Avenue, Northwest 

Another house with a Dolley Madison connection, the Federal-style Octagon House in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood was built in 1799 for wealthy Virginia plantation owner, Colonel John Tayloe. After the British burned the White House and occupied Washington D.C. during the War of 1812, Tayloe lent his home to President Madison and his wife as the temporary presidential residence.

Today, it is owned by the American Institute of Architects Foundation and is open to the public. It is also purported to be one of the most haunted homes in the city and home to several ghosts and apparitions, including the original Tayloe owners, two of Colonel Tayloe’s daughters, the ghost of a soldier, the ghost of a gambler, and, of course, Dolley Madison.

The Hay-Adams Hotel -- 800 16th St NW

Also located on Lafayette Square and facing the White House, the Hay-Adams building was the joint home of the Hay and Adams families, which shared the same façade but included two independent living spaces.

Today, the luxury hotel is said to be haunted by the spirit of Clover Adams, the wife of one of the original owners, Henry Adams, who committed suicide in 1885. Staff at the hotel say they’ve experienced opening and closing of locked doors, clock radios that turn on and off mysteriously, and the sounds of a woman crying. Guests of the fourth floor of the hotel have also reported smelling the lingering, almond-y scent of potassium cyanide—the chemical Mrs. Adams fatally ingested—especially around the anniversary of her death in December.  

Walsh-McLean Mansion – 2020 Massachusetts Ave. NW

This gorgeous Gilded Age mansion in Dupont Circle (pictured at top) was completed in 1903 for $835,000, making it the most expensive residence in the city at the time. The original builder was gold mining magnate, Thomas J. Walsh, but it is best known as the home of his daughter, Evalyn Walsh, and her husband, publishing heir, Edward Beale “Ned” McLean.

Many say the bad luck for the Walsh-McLeans began when McLean bought the cursed Hope Diamond for Evalyn in 1910. Accidents, death, alcoholism, and financial ruin soon followed, with McLean dying in a mental institution in 1941 and Evalyn dying destitute in 1947. The 60-room mansion was sold to the Government of Indonesia for an embassy in 1952 for just $335,000. Still, Evalyn’s ghost is reportedly seen in the embassy floating down the grand staircase of her former mansion.

More of D.C.’s Most Haunted Addresses

There are so many more haunted places in the D.C. metro area, (including the White House, the Smithsonian Castle, basically all of Old Town, Alexandria, and the U.S. Capitol building, which is home to a demon black cat!), so be sure to check out this list from Thrillist or this one from Ghost City Tours.  

And if you are in the market for non-paranormal houses, be sure to check out our portfolio of current listings, including this spacious 1038 square foot one-bedroom condo with a garage parking space near American University in D.C. and this contemporary 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathroom home in Northern Virginia. Ghosts and apparitions are not included.

Contact Fleur or Veronique to see any of these beautiful properties in person. 

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