D.C. August 08, 2017
The Sinister Story Behind This Popular Washington DC Park Will Give You Chills
If you live in DC or have ever visited it, there’s a good chance that you have walked through Lafayette Square. It’s a popular attraction right in the heart of many historical sights near the White House. However, the pretty park we see today is nothing what it used to be. There’s actually a sinister story behind this DC park.
Lafayette Square is a seven acre park directly north of the White House. It was originally part of the grounds surrounding the White House. The entire grounds were known as "President’s Park."
But in 1804, President Thomas Jefferson had Pennsylvania Avenue cut through the park and it separated The White House grounds from what is now known as Lafeyette Square.
But what appears to be a bright and cheery park across from the White House has actually been called Tragedy Square due to its dark history.
The square has gone through several transformations and has been a racetrack, a zoo, a military encampment, a graveyard and a slave market.
Some visitors say they can hear the history of the park when they head chains clanking and people screaming late at night.
However, the best known ghost story of Lafayette Park involves a coldblooded murder when a congressmen shot and killed the DC District Attorney.
Philip Barton Key II, the son of Francis Scott Key, was a well-liked attorney in DC who happened to be having an affair with his friend, Daniel E. Sickles’ wife, Teresa.
The story goes that Sickles learned about the affair through an anonymous letter and when Key went to make his secret call to Teresa, he met Daniel instead. Daniel shot Key twice in the middle of Lafayette Square. Afterwards, he placed his gun in his coat pocket and walked away.
Sickles was eventually found not guilty through reasons of temporary insanity. And they say that Key never left the Square. Instead, they say he roams around the park near the spot where he died looking for his lover.
And so that’s the story of how a pretty park just outside of one of DC’s most famous landmarks has a chilling history of death, despair and murder. The question is now… will you visit it after dark?
Lafayette Square is just one of the haunted places in DC! You can find more right here.