| Ford's Theater
By: Jason McCurry
A Shot rang out through this crowded theater on April 14, 1865. The shrill screams that followed, bouncing off the walls and piercing the very soul of a nation, can still be heard to this day. The lives of individuals in attendance at this rendition of Our American Cousin were forever stained, with the blood of our sixteenth president.
Ford's Theater is the historic location of one of the most tragic assassinations in American History. Its no wonder then, that this old theater in downtown Washington, D.C. is reported to house a vast array of ghosts.
The spectral appearances of Abraham Lincoln, among others, spark interest in history buffs and ghost hunters alike. The final moments of President Lincoln's life will forevermore be played out on the ghostly stage of this diminutive theater in the heart of our nations capital.
John Wilkes Booth, a well known actor at the theater, approached President Lincoln from behind and proceeded to shoot him in the back of the head near point blank range. The bullet entered the president about 3 inches behind the left ear and traveled about 7 1/2 inches into Lincoln's brain. Lincoln's muffled cry was cut off at the moment his head inclined toward his chest. Mrs. Lincoln screamed.
Ten days before his assignation, our sixteenth president had a prophetic dream of his own demise. He wrote about this dream in detail in his journal.
Since the assassination, it is believed that Ford's Theater is very much haunted. There have been reports of voices and laughter on numerous occasions. John Wilkes Booth's footsteps have been heard running up the back staircase towards the presidential box. The sound of a gun shot has also been reported, followed by someone screaming, "Murder."
The ghost of Mrs. Lincoln is said to lean out of the box, with ashy cheeks and lips. With a hysterical cry she points to the retreating figure of Booth shouting, "He has killed the President." Lights have been reported to turn off and on, and icy sensations and apparitions appear at center stage.
The fatal shots heard that fateful night in April 1865 silenced an already divided nation, as well as, effectively evoking fear in virtually every American citizen that supported the union. Lincoln's blood will forever stain this historical landmark.
(previously published in Encyclopedia of Haunted Places)