D.C. February 16, 2017
7 Washington DC Urban Legends You’ll Never Forget
Washington DC can be a bit of an odd place. It has its fair share of ghost stories, quirky places and mysteries. Among the famous myths and lore of DC, these seven urban legends stand out as the most memorable legends in the district.
1. The Curse of the Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond is rumored to be cursed. The legend goes that the diamond brings misfortune and tragedy to anyone who owns or wears it. There have been numerous "victims" of the curse including the finance Minister Nicholas Fouquet, the Turkish Sultan Abudl Hamid and French Princesse de Lamablle. Today you can see the diamond at its home at the Smithsonian.
2. The Demon Cat
Many members of Congress and their aides have reported sightings of the so-called Demon Cat that haunts the Capitol building. The story goes that cats were once brought into the basement tunnels of the Capitol buildings to kill rats and this one never left. The cat is reported to be seen before presidential elections and tragedies.
3. The Exorcism
No one did fall down the stairs in Georgetown as the movie The Exorcist suggests. However, the author of the screenplay and the novel was inspired by an actual case in DC during which a 14 year old boy was supposedly possessed by the devil. There was a front page story about the exorcism in the Washington Post in 1949.
4. The Three Sisters Curse
The Three Sisters are three rocky islands in the middle of the Potomac River. The legend is that the three Algonquian sisters tried to cross the river to win the release of their brothers who had been kidnapped. The sisters drowned during their swim and before they died, they cursed the spot so that no one could cross the Potomac there. It’s said that a strange moaning is heard from the Potomac River before the curse strikes.
5. Curse of Tippecanoe
This curse may have been broken but it’s still one of the most prominent in DC. The curse is that Presidents die or are killed in office if they are elected in years divisible by twenty. William Henry Harrison who was elected in 1840, John F. Kennedy, who was elected in 1960 are two victims of this curse. Additionally Ronald Reagan, who was elected in 1980 was wounded by gunshot while he was in office. The curse was broken by George W. Bush, who survived his time in office.
6. The Chamber Underneath the Ellipse
The Ellipse Park is a circular park behind the White House, is said to be the "center" of Washington DC. The park was marked as the "Meridian" in 1890 by a small plaque. The story is that there is a secret chamber built beneath the Ellipse that holds jewels and treasures.
7. The Demonic Street Designs of DC
This infamous conspiracy theory suggests that Pierre L’Enfant was in fact a member of the Illuminati and incorporated demonic symbols in the street design, including an inverted pentagram that points toward the White House. Conspiracy theorists suspect the design is meant to point the devil towards the White House.
Which urban legends of Washington DC do you believe?