Washington, DC is a city full of rich history. Named in honor of United States founding father George Washington, the city was founded in 1791. The city is most famous for serving as the national capital and housing all three branches of the federal government. Tourists come from all over the world to see the White House, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, museums, galleries, presidential memorials, the United States Capitol, war memorials, cathedrals, theaters, gardens, and the many parks and zoos.
One thing the rich culture of Washington DC and all the unique attractions have in common is one furry guest. Popular stories speak of the ghost of a cat which is purported to haunt the government buildings of Washington, DC. The stories date back to the days of cats being brought in to the basement tunnels of the Capitol Building to kill the rats that were running rampant. It appears one of the cats loved his home and job so much that he decided not to leave.
The nation’s capital has long been stalked by a single ghostly black cat. He is commonly spotted in the basement crypt of the Capitol Building. This was the intended burial chamber of the town’s namesake George Washington. Fully black, the cat is the size of a normal house cat. Some reports have indicated that he swells to the size of a tiger, sometimes up to ten feet when alerted.
In the 1890s, some of the first stories became something of an interest to the public. Those years were the first of the cat’s history to be openly shared. The cat allegedly vanished after capital guards shot at it. They said the men involved with the shooting had vivid nightmares of the cat for weeks after the incident. Some swore they saw the cat, seeming to follow them around their own homes. One guard was claimed to have died from a heart attack after seeing the cat.
The 1940s were part of the last official reporting sightings. This came at a time when people at the capital were hiring unqualified relatives and friends as favors. It itself that might not have been an issue, but unfortunately, many were taking the easy road and shirking at their duties. Some even went as far to carry out their patrols while heavily intoxicated. One guard was especially drunk and lying on the ground. He felt sandpaper aggressively ripping at his face before he realized it was the cat, in all his giant glory. The guard panicked, running right into traffic.
Some of the stories say that the cat almost explodes around its victim, disappearing before managing to catch the victim. Others say they have been pounced on and attacked. More curious reports say that you can see the cat’s footprints along the floor near the old entrance to the Senate Hall. The weirdest thing about his appearances however, is not the way he looks, but the circumstances around the times he chooses to show himself around the government buildings.
The cat has always been reported to pop up on the eve of elections or national tragedies. His appearances are said to have predicted the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. He has also been reported to have appeared on the eves of the Pearl Harbor attacks, the death of Theodore Roosevelt, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, and on the night of the infamous September 11th terrorist attacks.