FORD’S THEATRE 511 10TH STREET NORTHWEST WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006 TEL: 1 (202) 347-4833 WEBSITE: www.fordstheatre.org 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 the United States’s 16th president. Ford’s Theatre is the historic location of one of the most tragic assassinations in American history. It’s no wonder, then, that this old theatre in downtown Washington, D.C., is known 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 the nation’s 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 his brain. Lincoln’s muffled cry was cut off at the moment his head declined toward his chest. Mrs. Lincoln screamed. Ten days before his assassination, Lincoln had a prophetic dream of his own FORD’S THEATRE Photo by Tom Iacuzio 74 Encyclopedia of Haunted Places demise. He wrote about this dream in detail in his journal. Since the assassination, it is believed that Ford’s Theatre has become very 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 toward the presidential box, and the sound of a gunshot followed by someone screaming, “Murder!” has also been reported. The ghost of Mrs. Lincoln is said to lean out of the box with ashy cheeks and lips, and 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, icy sensations have been felt in certain spots, and apparitions appear at center stage. The fatal shot heard that fateful night in 1865 silenced the nation. Lincoln’s blood will forever stain this historical landmark. —Jason McCurry Founder, Haunted Lives Paranormal Society
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