Posted on October 3, 2019
The U.S. Capitol building is one of the many iconic landmarks that you can find in our nation’s capital of Washington D.C. This houses the legislative branch of the United States Government (the House of Representatives and the Senate). While most of the legislation pass through here en route to the White House for the President’s signatures as part of the process outlined in our Constitution, there may have been some spirits and some suspicious beings that might have done so as well. The U.S. Capitol is a place where much of America’s history was written. But the reports of paranormal activity and strange happenings date back well into the early years of America’s history. Not only will we be talking about the significant importance of the Capitol building, but we will also discuss some of the happenings that have occurred hear that lead to the stories of paranormal activity and chilling foretellings of some of America’s darkest times.
About The Building
The building sits in the Washington D.C. neighborhood with a fitting name: Capitol Hill. Specifically, the building sits on the eastern quadrant of the District of Columbia facing the eastern side of the National Mall. The building itself was completed in 1800, thus setting the stage as the place for the legislative branch of the United States Government to perform business. Prior to the U.S. Capitol construction, the United States Congress met in two cities: Philadelphia and New York City. When in Philadelphia, the Congress would meet in Independence Hall and Congress Hall. Upon the establishment of New York City as its capitol, Federal Hall served as the meeting place.
However, the United States Congress wasn’t officially established and officially named until the publishing of the U.S. Constitution. The first Congress convened in New York City on March 4th, 1789. On that same day, George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States. When Pierre L’Enfant was commissioned to design the capital city, he chose a site called Jenkins Hill as the place where the Capitol building would be built. At the outset, L’Enfant intended to name the building Congress House. However, then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson believed it was much fitting to name it the “Capitol”. The word is based on a Latin temple known as the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill. The temple was located in what is known as one of the “Seven Hills of Rome”.
When the nation’s capital was being designed, Jefferson managed to hold a contest for architects to submit their designs for both the Capitol building and the “President’s House” (which was later named “The White House). Despite more than ten designs being submitted, a late entry submitted by William Thornton was selected by Jefferson and then-President George Washington. Thornton’s design was based on the eastern side of the Louvre, the famous art gallery in Paris. Eventually, this landed Thornton in a place in history as he was named the first ever “Architect of the Capitol”. In 1793, the cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid by George Washington and construction would soon begin. Sadly, Washington would not live to see the completion of the building as he died in 1799, the year before the building was finished.
Over the years, the Capitol not only housed the chambers of Congress, but it also served as the site of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1865 to 1935, the court convened in the Old Senate Chamber until their own building was constructed just down the road from the Capitol building. In 1850, another expansion began which included one of the most iconic parts of the building that still stands today, the Capitol Dome. The dome was completed with the addition of the Statue of Freedom in 1863. Over the years, the building underwent many renovations and expansions.
Today, the U.S. Capitol building is frequently visited by many tourists from all over the world. Tours occur almost daily while those that take part will learn about the history of the building and get a basic understanding of how the legislative branch of the United States Government operates.
Notable Deaths At The U.S. Capitol and Paranormal Activity
As of today, there have been eleven people who have died on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. While their deaths may have been tragic, this set the stage for a host of many stories and recounts of paranormal activity. One of the first people to die in the building was John Quincy Adams. He was the son of John Adams, the country’s second president. The younger Adams would become president in his own right later on. Upon his departure from the White House, Adams remained in politics as a member of Congress. He suffered a stroke while on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. He was later moved to the Speaker’s Room where he later died on February 23, 1848.
There had been stories of the spirit of an unknown Civil War soldier roaming the halls of the capitol. During the war, the Capitol building served as a makeshift infirmary for the Union’s wounded. It was said that several soldiers would later die of their injuries. However, the spirit of one particular soldier was said to have never left and may be lurking in the Capitol’s “Hall Of Statutes” to this day.
Many members of Congress would die in the hallowed halls of Congress over the years. And one former member of Congress (who later became a lobbyist) was on the wrong end of a pistol shot by a journalist who exposed him in a torrid affair with a mistress. It has been said that the blood of former Kentucky Congressman William Preston Taulbee may have remained on the staircase where he was shot even long after his death.
It would come as no surprise as there may be many a specter lurking the halls of the Capitol and moving from one place to the next at rapid speed. These are the things that make stories about the unexplained eerie, uneasy feelings some people have got walking through the halls of the Capitol. However, eerie could not begin to describe a certain entity that has said to be walking the grounds, only to happen prior to events in American history that could only be described as our “darkest hours”.
The Mystery Of The “Demon Cat”
It was said that back in the 19th Century, a black cat was said to be walking the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. He would only show up occasionally, only for something bad to follow days or even weeks later. This legend is said to hold up quite well due to the amounts of physical evidence discovered (i.e.–paw prints). The first such occurrence was said to have happened in 1865 when a black cat was seen walking past the building. About two weeks later, then-President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre.
The “Demon Cat” may have also been spotted once again prior to some of America’s worst times. The cat was said to be sighted once again in 1929 just prior to the infamous Black Tuesday stock market crash that would eventually lead to the Great Depression. The last known discovery of the Demon Cat was said to be in 1963, just a mere two weeks before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Beyond that point, there had been no reporting sightings of “D.C.” himself.
The United States Capitol Building holds a lot of history and even a lot of stories that might only be told in the history books. Or if you have supernatural talents, you can probably listen to the stories of the specters that roam the halls. If you are a sucker for history and paranormal stories, the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. might be the place to go if you ever find yourself in the nation’s capital one of these days.