- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Pull up a chair
The ghost of Abraham Lincoln is no doubt nervously floating about the White House as U.S. troops and all of America press on in our war against terrorism.
Professor Hans Holzer, author of more than 100 books on the paranormal, explains in his book "In Quest of Ghosts" that the spirit of Lincoln is especially troubled and restless during national calamities.
You say you don't believe in ghosts?
Neither did Mary Evan, servant to Eleanor Roosevelt, until she saw Lincoln's disembodied spirit sitting on the edge of a bed pulling on his boots. Other White House servants have seen Honest Abe resting quietly in his bed, or gazing through the oval window above the main entrance to the mansion.
Once, the late Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, an overnight guest in the White House, heard someone knock at her door. "She got up, opened it, and saw the ghost of President Lincoln standing there looking at her. She fainted, and by the time she had come to he was gone," Mr. Holzer says.
The first persons to claim to see Lincoln's ghost were Calvin Coolidge's wife, Grace, and Army Chaplain E.C. Bowles, describing Lincoln's "sad look."
More recently, President Gerald Ford's daughter, Susan, was in the Lincoln Bedroom when she encountered Abe, while President Ronald Reagan's daughter Maureen saw Lincoln's translucent form next to the bedroom fireplace in 1987.
No wonder President Truman wrote to his wife: "I sit here in this old house, all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway. At 4 o'clock, I was awakened by three distinct knocks on my bedroom door. No one there. Damned place is haunted, sure as shootin'!"
In his book "Haunted Places: The National Directory," a 485-page guide to ghosts and other unexplainable things that go bump in the night, author Dennis William Hauck says the ghost of President William Henry Harrison, who caught cold the day he was inaugurated and died 30 days later, rummages through the White House attic still searching for that scarf, no doubt.
While in the airy East Room, White House staffers have seen the ghost of first lady Abigail Adams hanging laundry. Her apparition passes through closed doors with her arms outstretched, and sometimes the faint smells of damp clothes and soap are detected.
The ghost of President Andrew Jackson frequents the Rose Bedroom, where White House aides have heard "hearty laughter" coming from Jackson's otherwise empty canopy bed. First lady Mary Todd Lincoln swore she encountered Jackson's ghost in the bedroom in 1865, while almost 100 years later an aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson insisted he heard Jackson cussing and hollering in the room.
White House gardeners were petrified when the spirit of first lady Dolley Madison appeared in the Rose Garden while Woodrow Wilson was president just after Mrs. Wilson gave orders to have the garden dug up. Dolley, you see, had planted the garden a hundred years earlier.
We have no way of determining what effect the anthrax contamination has had on Capitol Hill's ghosts. We do know this: The basement of the U.S. Capitol was a favorite spot of Henry Wilson, vice president under Ulysses S. Grant, who spent almost as much time in the bathtubs there as he did in his office.
"He caught a chill that proved his ultimate undoing, but that did not stop his spirit from returning to his favorite pastime," Mr. Hauck says. "His lathered ghost and the sounds of wheezing and sneezing [pre-anthrax] have been reported in the corridor outside the vice president's [congressional] office."
The ghost of John Quincy Adams can be found in his old House floor seat, the same chair where on Feb. 23, 1848, during an impassioned speech on this nation's "unjust" war with Mexico, the former president-turned-congressman suffered a stroke. Although Adams died two days later, he often returns to finish his speech.
The spirits of two House speakers, Joseph Cannon and Champ Clark, also return late at night to continue their series of emotional debates begun in 1910. And the ghost of Rep. William Taulbee of Kentucky is never far away, haunting the stairs leading to the House gallery.
"The stains on the white marble steps are said to be Taulbee's blood, dating back to a winter day in 1890 when he was shot and killed by newspaper reporter Charles Kincaid," Mr. Hauck recalls.

Scary scams
No better day than Halloween to join author Steven J. Milloy at a Cato Institute luncheon featuring a smorgasbord of "toxic foods."
Some of the "dangerous" foods featured on today's menu:
Alar-covered apples
Cancer-causing hot dogs
Foods with artificial sweeteners
Pancreatic cancer-causing coffee
Bioengineered corn chips
Ben and Jerry's ice cream with dioxin
Not to worry, says Mr. Milloy, author of the book "Junk Science Judo: Self-Defense Against Health Scares and Scams."
"They're not toxic," he says, "just tasty."

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