I hope y’all were able to survive Facebook and Instagram being down for most of the day yesterday. I was actually hoping it would stay down until I realized I hadn’t backed up my photos and I no longer had phone numbers for friends and family members. I’ve been wanting to take a social media break for a while, but as already mentioned, that is the primary way I talk to basically everyone. Plus, it’s the primary way that I share information about this blog. After having a break from Facebook and Instagram yesterday, I have decided that in November I will be taking a break from social media. I don’t know if it will be for just a week or for the entire month. I will let you know when I get things worked out so you don’t think I have ghosted all of you.
With that all being said, let’s get on to our spooky post for today. This week we are checking out places in Washington D.C.. Today’s post is about a really interesting house that has a ridiculous amount of paranormal activity.
The home I am talking about is called the Octagon House. It is located at the intersection of 18th Street and New York Avenue in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. It was originally designed as a winter home for the Tayloe family between 1798 and 1801. This home served as a temporary home for President James Madison and the First Lady Dolley Madison when the White House was under reconstruction after the fire in 1813. Dolley loved the house and loved entertaining there. Colonel John Tayloe III died in the house in 1828. His wife, Anne, would later die in the house as well in 1855. One (or possibly two) of the daughters also died in the house, but I could not find the date of her death. After her death, the house became a school for a few years. In 1898, the American Institute of Architects bought the house. In 1970, the house became a museum. The museum would restore the way it looked back in 1815. While there has always been paranormal activity at this location, returning it to the way it looked in 1815 has seemed to really bring back the spirits that once called this house home.
As mentioned, this house is home to a lot of activity. The spirits of both John and Anne have been seen in their former home. Visitors and staff have reported two different sets of footsteps throughout the house. The heavier set is thought to belong to John Tayloe III and the lighter steps are thought to be his daughter that died in the house.
There are conflicting stories about how many of his daughters died in the house and how they died. One version says that one of the daughters fell down the stairs and died at the foot of the stairs. The other version, says that one or both of them was in love with someone their father didn’t approve of them marrying, so one or both jumped to their death from the third-floor landing. There are various different types of haunting activity associated with these daughters’ deaths. The carpet at the foot of the staircase is often found curled back on itself. Screaming can be heard near the staircase. Footsteps and voices are heard on the stairs as people move up and down them. Candlelight has been seen moving up the stairs as if someone was carrying a candle upstairs. Also, the spirit of the daughter laying at the foot of the stairs has been seen often. People have also reported hearing the sound of silk dresses on the stairs. Reports of a woman moaning in pain have been reported near the stairs. Cold spots are felt on the stairs as well.
Those aren’t the only spirits seen in the house. Dolley Madison has been seen often by visitors and staff. Typically, she is seen standing by the fireplace in the drawing room. People who visit the home and staff have said they have heard conversations happening in the dining room. The kitchen has had reports of shadow people and white mist figures walking through while the scent of food cooking appears. Lights throughout the house will turn themselves on or off. Doors will open or slam shut by themselves. Footsteps can be heard in the basement. The chandeliers move of their own accord. A servant girl who is supposedly killed herself to avoid being raped by a British soldier has been seen and heard screaming on the third floor. She has also been seen and heard screaming in the garden. A man in dark clothing and tall hat has been seen ascending the stairs. The bells that once were rung to alert the staff that the family needed attending still ring despite the wires being cut many years ago.
Since the home has been returned to the way it looked over 200 years ago, perhaps most of the spirits feel the need to come back to their home to relive the way they lived and, in some cases, relive the way that they died. This is definitely a place I want to go investigate one day. If I was able to arrange that, would you like to join me? Maybe we would be able to find out what happened to John and Anne’s daughters and what is the true story of their deaths
Come back Thursday to read about another spooky house in Washington D.C. that has even more spirits than the Octagon House does.