Tricks and Treats of D.C.'s Architecture cont.d

National Theatre

On Pennsylvania Avenue, three blocks from The White House, is the National Theatre, "The Theatre of Presidents." Almost every great stage performer of the past century has appeared here.
Almost since it’s construction, the National has been haunted by the friendly ghost of actor John McCullough, supposedly shot and killed by a fellow performer. A rusty pistol, perhaps the murder weapon, was unearthed under the stage in 1982, near where McCullough's remains are rumored to lie.
  • On the opening night of a new show, the silent ghost can be seen in various parts of the theater, making sure that all is in order.
  • Some reports tell of McCullough dressed as Hamlet, or his most famous role, the ill-fated Roman centurion, Virginius.
  • One startled performer, who had known the deceased personally, said he saw McCullough seated calmly in front of the audience.
  • From time to time, doormen and others report their encounters with the ghost in backstage hallways, on staircases, in dressing rooms, and on the empty Washington stage which he performed on.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital

The campus of St. Elizabeth’s sits on bluffs overlooking of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. It opened in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane. During the Civil War it was converted temporarily into a hospital for wounded soldiers. In 1916, its name was officially changed to St. Elizabeth’s, the colonial-era name for the tract of land on which the hospital was built. Built in the Gothic style by Thomas U. Walter, who also designed the Capitol dome, the building itself has long drafty halls within its fortress like appearance. The campus and stories behind it manifest into it being known as a truly haunted asylum.
  • Assassins and would-be assassins were confined at St. Elizabeth's. The man who tried to shoot President Andrew Jackson, the man who did shoot President Theodore Roosevelt and, the man who wounded President Ronald Reagan all ended up there.
  • During renovations records, photos, and medical equipment have been discovered revealing experimentation, torture, and autopsies taking place in spaces that were condemned.
  • There were always stories of staffers hearing noises from parts of the building which had long been since abandoned. Moans and groans, along with footsteps and numerous cold spots forced some to avoid that building at all cost.

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