The ghost cat or ‘Demon Cat’ is a popular story. This creature haunts the basement of the Capitol building at night, usually spotted around the hall between the Crypt of the Capitol and the Old Supreme Court Chamber. Tourists can even see little paw prints on the floors of this hallway if they look close enough. The story goes that Capitol Hill, then Jenkins Hill, was once the home of a den of black cats, but once construction of the Capitol began (in 1794) the cat’s den was destroyed along with the family of cats. The mother cat now roams the halls of the basement of the Capitol building where presumably the den was located, searching for her young. Even though there are no unattended pets allowed in the Capitol, late night staffers and visitors have noticed an animal making quick dashes around this area of the building. The cat’s paw-prints beneath the Samuel Morse memorial can bee seen in the second picture.
Sightings of the creature have mysteriously been followed by tragic occurrences throughout the United States. One such account tells of a Capitol Police officer who noticed a quick black dash across the floor. As he moved closer to catch a glimpse of the animal, its shadow grew bigger and more menacing. Then, quickly, it disappeared. The next day, 1 November 1918, a story in the newspaper described the worst rapid transit system accident in New York City with over 90 deaths.
Abraham Lincoln Delivering His Second Inaugural Address As President Of the United States, Washington, D.C.
The only known photograph of the event. Lincoln stands in the center, with papers in his hand.
John Wilkes Booth is visible in the photograph, in the top row right of center (White, The Eloquent President). The second photo highlights both Lincoln and Booth from the photo above.
It is known that Booth did attend the second inauguration as the guest of his fiancée, Lucy Hale (daughter of John P. Hale, former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire). Booth is known to have confided to his actor friend Samuel Knapp Chester..
“What an excellent chance I had to kill the president, if I had wished, on inauguration day!”**