The Haunted Hay-Adams Hotel
Centered in downtown Washington, D.C., in Lafayette Square across from the White House, The Hay-Adams is one of the city's most revered landmarks. Named for the distinguished residents who once made a home on the same site, John Hay and Henry Adams, our historic hotel is now a popular destination among visitors and Washingtonians who come here to experience luxury in the nation's capital.
John Hay served as a personal secretary to President Abraham Lincoln, and later as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, as well as Secretary of State under both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Henry Adams was a historian and Harvard professor, and the descendant of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Both men were accomplished writers.
In 1884, the architect Henry Hobson Richardson designed elaborate, Romanesque homes at the corner of 16th and H Streets for Hay and Adams. The site soon became a bustling scene of intellectual activity. Together with their wives, Clara Hay and Marian Adams, as well as noted geologist Clarence King, Hay and Adams formed a close friendship. The group dubbed themselves "Five of Hearts," and even had custom china and a letterhead made to feature the moniker. For years, the homes served as Washington's leading salons, alive with stimulating discussions about literature, art, science and politics. Famous guests such as Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Henry James and the sculptor August Saint-Gaudens stopped in from near and far.
Hay died in 1905 and, after Clara died in 1914, ownership of the home was passed to their daughter Alice Wadsworth and her husband, Senator James Wadsworth. After Adams died in 1918, the Wadsworths purchased the property and leased it to the Brazilian Embassy.
The Hay-Adams Hotel is located in the cosmopolitan city of Washington DC.- home to many a politician. But it is not the ghost of a murdered politician that haunts the Hay-Adams. Surprised? No, this hotel’s resident ghost seems to be the spirit of Clover Adams, the wife of original owner Henry Adams. It is has been reported that the spirit of Mrs. Adams, who committed suicide in 1885, wanders the fourth floor of the hotel. Although she was occasionally depressed and had just lost her father, people whispered that it may have been a murder.
She seems a rather sad ghost, and not threatening. Sounds of a woman crying softly in a room or stairwell have been heard, as well as the voice of a woman asking, "what do you want?" in a room when no one else was around. Some housekeepers even report that when alone, they have been called by their name and received a hug while cleaning the rooms!Other unexplained occurrences include the mysterious opening and closing of locked doors and clock radios turning on and off. These incidents happen most frequently during the first two weeks of December - around the anniversary of Clover Adam’s death.
800 16th Street
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