Friday, October 19, 2012


   Few buildings are as iconic as the White House, the residence and office of the President of the United States. Indeed, the White House has been the site of many historical events and has played host to a great deal of important historical figures. What few people may realize, though, is that the White House is perhaps one of the most haunted places in the United States. Numerous public officials and staff members have recounted stories of bizarre occurrences or eerie sightings. President Harry Truman once wrote to his wife that ‘[t]he damned place is haunted sure as shootin’.’ This list details the specific areas that supposedly see the greatest amount of ghostly activity at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Attic

   William Henry Harrison holds the dubious distinction of being the shortest-serving president and the first to die in office, succumbing to pneumonia a mere month after his inauguration. However, subsequent residents have believed that Harrison’s ghost still haunts the White House attic, rummaging around for something unknown. Several presidents have reportedly heard the unexplained noises coming from the attic above the Oval Office.
   Others report that Harrison is not alone. A Truman-era security guard once reported hearing ‘I am David Burns’ coming from the attic above the Oval Office. In 1790, David Burns was the man forced to surrender his land so that the White House could be built.

The Rose Garden

   The Rose Garden is one of the commonly used sites for presidential announcements. It is also the site of a particularly creepy haunting. The garden was originally planted by First Lady Dolley Madison in the early 1800s. A century later, when First Lady Ellen Wilson requested that the garden be dug up, garden workers reported that Madison’s ghost appeared and prevented them from destroying her garden. Since that time, other White House insiders have reported an occasional and inexplicable smell of roses in the White House. These instances are often credited to Madison’s ghost.

The Basement
White House Basement Recontruction 1950

   White House lore tells of something particularly dire lurking in the basement. Unlike other areas of the White House that are inhabited by spirits of figures from American history, the basement is said to be the home of a ‘demon cat.’ Those who have reportedly seen the cat claim that it first appears as a small kitten, but as you get closer it becomes a larger and larger phantom beast. According to the legend, many years will pass with no one encountering the demon cat, but, when it does appear, it serves as a warning of a great national disaster. The demon cat was supposedly sighted shortly before the great stock market crash of the 1920s and right before President Kennedy’s assassination.

The Second Floor Halls
Central Hall In 2001

   The second floor of the White House is the residence for the First Family, so many of the stories that emerge about this area come from presidents and their families. One of the most frequently reported White House ghosts is President Abraham Lincoln, and the second floor hallways are some of his favorite haunts. Lincoln has been seen or heard by many residents, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. President Truman once claimed to have heard Lincoln pacing the hallway and knocking on his bedroom door. It’s not just Lincoln in the halls – President William Howard Taft became the first person to report seeing the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams, who he saw floating through doors on the second floor.

The Second Floor Bedrooms

   Various bedrooms on the second floor are used for the president’s family and other guests. One husband and wife pair reported that the ghost of a British soldier tried to set fire to their bed. It is presumed that this soldier was the man who set fire to the White House during the War of 1812. In addition, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter Lynda once reported seeing the ghost of Lincoln’s son Willie, who had died in the very room in which she was staying. Other reported activity includes the ghostly screams of President Grover Cleveland’s wife, the first woman to give birth in the White House. Following renovations in 1952, activity in the bedrooms has decreased significantly.

The Yellow Oval Room

   During Lincoln’s administration, this room was his personal library and one of his favorite rooms in the White House. Numerous White House employees have reportedly seen Lincoln gazing out the windows of this room. First Lady Grace Coolidge also claimed to have seen him here. In addition to Lincoln, the disembodied voice of David Burns (from #10 on this list) has been heard from this room. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln also reported seeing the ghosts of both Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler here.

The North Portico

   The White House entrance has a number of notable ghost fixtures. A torch-wielding British soldier (likely the same from #6 on this list) is often seen standing outside the front door. People have also reported seeing long-deceased White House ushers and doormen still tending to their duties. Perhaps most bizarre is the ghost of Anne Surratt, whose mother Mary was hanged in 1865 for her role in the Lincoln assassination. Anne’s ghost has been spotted pounding on the White House doors begging for her mother’s release. She is also reported to sit on the front steps every July 7, the anniversary of her mother’s execution.

The East Room

   The East Room is the favorite haunt of Abigail Adams’ ghost. During her tenure in the White House, this was the room in which she would hang her laundry. She is often seen in or en route to the East Room with her arms outstretched, as though carrying a laundry basket. Sightings were particularly abundant during the Taft Administration, but as recently as 2002 a group of tourists reportedly saw Adams. In addition to her sightings, many people report the faint smell of laundry soap around this area. Lincoln has also been spotted here, the room in which his body lay in state.

The Rose Room

   The Rose Bedroom is frequented by its former occupant, President Andrew Jackson. Numerous White House employees have seen or heard Jackson in the room, often engaged in hearty laughter or swearing violently. According to White House lore, there is an inexplicable cold spot on the canopy bed in the room where Jackson slept. Among the most notable reports, Mary Todd Lincoln claimed to have heard Jackson swearing and White House seamstress Lilian Parks felt his presence over her, which she recounted in her memoirs about her time in the White House. Not to be outdone, Lincoln has also been spotted here. When Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands stayed in this bedroom, she answered a knock on the door one night and saw Lincoln’s ghost standing in the hallway.

The Lincoln Bedroom

   Given Lincoln’s frequent appearance at various places on this list, it is no wonder than his bedroom comes in at #1. Winston Churchill famously refused to sleep in the bedroom ever again after seeing the ghost beside the fireplace. (Churchill, it should be noted, had just emerged from a bath and was completely nude during the encounter.) Beyond those already listed as seeing Lincoln in other places, he has been spotted by: Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower; First Ladies Jacquie Kennedy and Ladybird Johnson; and presidential children Susan Ford and Maureen Reagan. Maureen and her husband both saw Lincoln standing beside the fireplace, just as Churchill has seen him. Other guests have reported that lights in the bedroom will turn themselves on and inexplicable cold spots will occur in the room.


   This diy comes from www.craftysisters-nc.blogspot.com .  Like I've said before and I'll say it again, it's never too early to start doing some new projects and getting ready for the holidays.  Before you know it, you won't have enough time to do  them and they'll be upon us again!  I think these are fantastic!  Enjoy and make a pair or two!

All About Witch Shoes

Just in case you missed our fun tutorial for The Monster Craft Bash
we'd thought we'd post it again.
We have a soft spot for anything Halloween,
and it's pretty obvious we have a fetish for Witch shoes too!
If you have wanted to try your hand at decoupaging
there are some great tips you want to take a peek at!

This project is pretty simple and unlimited for your imagination!

We knew we loved witch shoes...
but there's something about those socks that are so funny!

You will need some witch shoes cut from 3/4" MDF or pine,
a 22" section of 2x4" wood,
Mod Podge, scrapbook paper and embellishments.
We grabbed our paper from Hobby Lobby and used K&Company,
which by far has the cutest Halloween paper that we love!
First we drew up some styles we really liked
and sized them to fit together.
We don't have a clue how to do free printables-
but feel free to blow up these pictures on your computer screen
and trace away!:)

These shoes range from 6"-9" tall and about 6" wide.
Ideally you'll need a scroll saw to cut these babies out.
They aren't hard to cut out, I promise!

Second, you'll need to base coat them with a coat of paint.
We always do a 2/1 ratio of paint with water.
The water helps the paint go on smoother with no globs.

Third, trace your shoe shapes right side down with pencil
and cut out each shape. It's okay to leave a little overhang
which you'll next sand off.

For the sock we cut strips of colored paper and glued them onto white card stock
to create the perfect witch sock.
Another little tip~make sure to pre-cut your "sock" to the edge of the shoe.
That way you won't have a weird bump overhang that you glued over.

Using a very thin coat of Mod Podge, adhere your paper into place.
If you put it on too thick your paper will buckle.
Make sure to rub it all over and especially along the edges to ensure good contact!

Now it's time to sand the edges off!
This is what gives the shoes a painted on look!
You can pick up inexpensive files at your local hardware store for just a couple of bucks
and they are a must for these curly shoes!
You can also use a nail file to get in those tiny spaces.

We cut our lettering out with our Cricut
but you can write it on with a paint pen easily too!
We used Mod Podge to adhere the lettering to the board.

Now here's the fun part!
Tie on any and all embellishments to your heart's desire!
You seriously can't go wrong with these!
We even drilled some holes to lace up which was easy and fun.

Need some buckles?
We cut ours out of scrap cardboard and then glittered them
That stuff is gorgeous!
We even added some to the spider for pop.

Then just wood glue your shoes into place and
you've got a fabulous Witch Shoe centerpiece anyone would envy,
cuz ya know.....It's All About The Shoes!

Make sure to check out all the other great Halloween ideas
for the Monster Craft Bash!
They are to die for!
hee hee....Sorry, I couldn't resist!!


    It's unbelievable at the number of names witches are called from different countries and at different centuries in our history. Plus let me not forget the types of "witchcraft" each one may practice compared to another one. Good or bad witch, male or female and even what kind of heritage you come from. So here's a list of the different ones, all in alphabetical order.

  • Alexandrian- This tradition was begun in the 1960's by Alex Sanders. Alex Sanders lived in England. He used what are known to be slightly changed Gardnarian traditions and calls himself the "King of Witches." Covens involve both men and women.

  • British Traditional-This is, according to Silver RavenWolf a "mix of Celtic and Gardnarian beliefs." Covens involve both men and women. One can study a course and receive a degree in British Traditional Witchcraft.

  • Celtic Wicca-Celtic Wicca focuses mainly on Celtic and Druidic gods and goddesses (along with a few other Anglo-Saxon pantheon). The rituals are formed after Gardenerian traditions with a stronger emphasis on nature. Celtic Wicca also put much emphasis on working with elementals and nature spirits such as fairies and gnomes. Gods and Goddesses are usually called "The Ancient Ones."

  • Caledonil-This was once know as the Hecatina Tradition. Traditional Scottish Witchcraft.

  • Ceremonial Witchcraft- This tradition is very exacting in its ritual. All rituals are usually followed by the book, to the letter and with much ceremony. Little emphasis is put on nature. This tradition may incorporate some Egyptian magic. Quabbalistic magic is often used in ceremonial witchcraft

  • Dianic-Dianic can incorporate nearly any magical traditions, but emphasis is placed on the Goddess only with little or no mention of the God. Known as the "feminist" types of witchcraft .

  • Druidic- Neo-Druids are polytheistic worshipers of Mother Earth. Very little is known today about ancient Druidism and there are many gaps in the writings that have been found. Modern Druids practice their religion in areas where nature has been preserved-usually wooded areas. Druidic rituals often employ sacrifices to the Mother Goddess. These sacrifices often include grain, sometimes meat. These ritual sacrifices are often accompanied by a verse not unlike the following. "Earth Mother, giver of life we return to you a measure of the bounty you have provided, may you be enriched and your wild things be preserved."

  • Eclectic-An eclectic witch mixes many different traditions together to suit their tastes and will not follow any one particular tradition. Whatever seems to work best for them is what is used, regardless of which magical practice it comes from. This one of the most popular types of witches found today.

  • Gardnerian- Gardnerian witchcraft was begun in England and is Wiccan in nature. It was formed by Gerald Gardner in the 1950's. Gerald Gardner was the first to publicize witchcraft in an effort to preserve the "old ways."

  • Hereditary Witch-A heraditary witch is a witch who is born into a witch family and brought up learning about witchcraft. Many witches claim to be hereditary witches when in fact, they are not. You must be brought up in a family of witches to be a hereditary witch.

  • Kitchen Witch-A kitchen witch is one who practices magic having to deal with the home and practical life. Kitchen witches use many spells involving cooking, herbs, and creating magic through crafts. A kitchen witch is very much like a hedge witch.

  • Pictish-Pictish witchcraft is nature-based with little emphasis on religion, Gods, or Goddesses. It is much like Celtic witchcraft, only the traditions are Scottish. Pictish witches perform solitary and rarely, if ever work in groups or covens.

  • Pow-Wow-This is a rare term when referring to witchcraft. This tradition is based on old German magic. Today, it is considered a system of faith healing and can be applied to most any religion.

  • Seax-Wicca-This tradition was begun in 1973 by Raymond Buckland. Buckland and works on Saxon principles of religion and magic.

  • Shaman-It is arguable as to whether shamanism is or is not witchcraft. It is included because shamanism is a form of Paganism. Shamanism puts no emphasis on religion or on pantheon. Shamans work completely with nature: rocks, trees, animals, rivers, etc. Shamans know the Earth and their bodies and minds well and train many long years to become adept at astral travel and healing.

  • Solitary-Solitary witches can be practitioners of nearly any magical system. A solitary works alone and does not join a group or coven. Often, solitaries choose to mix different systems, much like an eclectic witch. Solitaries can also form their own religious beliefs as they are not bound by the rules of a coven.

  • Strega-This type of witchcraft is said to have been started by a woman named Aradia in Italy in 1353. Aradia is known in some traditions as the "Goddess of Witches."

  • Teutonic-A Nordic tradition of witchcraft that includes beliefs and practices from many cultures including Swedish, Dutch, and Icelandic.

  • Wicca-Probably the most popular form of witchcraft. Wicca is highly religious in nature and has a good balance between religion/ceremonial magic and nature. Wiccans believe in a God and Goddess who are equal in all things, although some may lean more toward the Dianic form of Wicca, worshipping only the Goddess or lowering the God to an "assistant" status. Wiccans commonly form covens and rarely work alone.


   This recipe comes from http://www.diamondsfordessert.com .  These are really wonderful cookies.  Good luck!

Jack-o'-Lantern Cookies

Halloween is tomorrow! Which of course, means some Halloween baking. Since I always make something with pumpkin around this time of year, I decided to make some pumpkin cookies this year.

Every year, I always think about carving a Jack-o'-Lantern, but I never do. It's always either realizing I have nowhere to put it or being too lazy to clean up the mess that comes along with it. Well, this year, I came up with a solution to this desire to carve something: Jack-o'-Lantern cookies, carving cookies not pumpkins. It's entertaining and not too difficult to do. Plus pumpkin and chocolate just seem to go very well together. Overall, a fun and delicious fall activity.

Jack-o-Lantern Cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, soft at room temp
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
semisweet chocolate (for decorating)

Mix dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside for now. In another bowl, cream sugar and butter together. Mix in the egg, followed by the vanilla extract. Add in the pumpkin and mix. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place dollops (of about 2 tbsp) of the sticky dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, there should be about 30 of them all together. Wet your fingers and smooth out the dollops of dough to form flat ovals (they will puff up while baking). Place the sheets in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until firm. Let cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Shaping Jack-o'-Lanterns
Use a knife to cut out faces on your cooled pumpkin cookies. Poke out the cutout portions and brush off any crumbs. At the top of each cookie, cut a small triangular wedge for the stem.

Melt some semisweet chocolate. Spread ovals of chocolate about the size of the cookies on a piece of parchment paper. Place a cookie on each chocolate oval. Use a spoon and place a dollop of chocolate at the top of each cookie where the wedge was cut out to form the stem. If the stem isn't tall enough at first, wait for the first layer of chocolate to dry and then add another layer on top. Let all the chocolate dry. Then carefully peel the cookies off the parchment paper.

Finally, take a spatula, or another utensil with a thicker edge, like the blunt edge of a butter knife, and use it to press out/score vertical lines on the cookies to make them more pumpkin-like.

Makes 28-32 cookies.