Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Where to Get Scared: The Creepiest Places in D.C.

Jeepers creepers, it's Halloween!
Just felt like this was necessary.
Jules did an EXCELLENT job of laying out the Halloween party scene on Friday. But Halloween is traditionally the holiday for spooks and ghouls, not spritzers and gimlets, so if you'd rather be scared than soused, you're in luck: As old as the District is, we've generated quite a few ghost stories over the years, and there are some truly creepy places around here. The following is a list of my favorites:
THE ADAMS MEMORIAL, Rock Creek Cemetery
This stark, moving statue marks the memorial to Marion Hooper Adams, who committed suicide in 1885. Her husband, Henry Adams, commissioned this statue. The hooded figure's eyes are downcast, her face sculpted in distinct despondence. As such, this statue is more commonly known as the "Grief Statue."
Due to its shrouded placement deep in a cemetery, it has become somewhat folkloric since its creation. And, definitely a creepy spot to check out.
THE BLACK AGGIE, the courtyard behind the Dolley Madison House in Lafayette Square

Look familiar? It should -- the "Black Aggie" is a copy of the Adams Memorial, made for the grave of Civil War General Felix Agnus and originally placed in Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore. But somewhere along the line, this reproduction of the original "Grief Statue" was moved to the already ghost-laden Lafayette Square, and tales of the spirit world abounded. Apparently, if you get in the way of her gaze at a certain hour of the night, you die.


Aptly named because of the awesome first lady who once lived there, the Dolley Madison House is reported to be haunted by Mrs. Madison herself. The legend I've always heard is that late at night, you can sometimes see her ghost through one of the windows in a rocking chair, smiling at passers-by.

THE OCTAGON HOUSE, 1799 New York Ave. NW

Built in 1801 by Col. John Tayloe III, the Octagon House is purportedly the most haunted house in D.C. Many people have reported seeing apparitions or feeling a "presence" in the house, and the mythology goes back and forth between the spirits being those of Tayloe and his family or the slaves the family kept. Either way, the house is in the shape of an Octagon, and I'm already creeped out by that. Seriously... no corners. What's that about.


Mentioned in this blog once before and not haunted, per se, but definitely creepy due to its film origin. If you're in Georgetown tonight, you're likely to see a bunch of drunk people loitering in this area. (I was one of them last year.)

So if you're ready to freak yourself out, go check out some of these places. And if you're unable to see them tonight, you're in luck -- they're haunted all year round.




  1. You forgot to mention where all those K Street Senators live, that's pretty scary! :)

    Sorry it's the political season as well so I had to inject some politics.

    Great post though! Can't wait for your Christmas in DC suggestions!

  2. Hahaha, someone suggested that I was remiss in not including McFadden's in this list... while I agree that there are some real creepers there, nooooooot quite the creepiness I was referring to ;)

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