The Old Stone House

The Old Stone House 1890


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Built in 1765, The Old Stone House is the oldest standing structure in Washington D.C., and has been a part of our American history since the very beginning. It was built by Christopher Layman, and was constructed of stones from the surrounding region, local quarried rocks, as well ballast stones off of English sailing vessels that sailed up the Potomac. With approximately 85% of it is the original construction still remaining, the stone house, still on its original foundation, is known to be the last Pre-Revolutionary building remaining in Washington, D.C.

Local legend claimed Pierre L’Enfant, the architect of D.C., stayed in the house while he was designing our nation’s capital, and although the story proved to be false, it seemed to leave a mark with the building, and is part of the reason the house was preserved through the years.

The house, now museum, is said to be haunted by 11 ghosts (which would make it awfully crowded given the size of the house). If you are looking for ghosts, this haunted spot will surely be a good bet for sightings given the ghost per square foot ratio.

As one of the oldest structures in Washington, D.C., this building has a long history. Built by Christopher Layman for his wife and children in 1765. He did not get to enjoy it long, as he died later that year. His widow then traded the house to Cassandra Chew, companion of the new tobacco port’s first mayor, Robert Peters, in 1767 for a lot across the street and 100 lbs of tobacco. What a widow needs with 100 lbs of tobacco is beyond me…What anyone needs with 100 lbs of tobacco is beyond me. Anyway, the house was lived in until around the 1840’s then it was used over the years as a paint shop, clock store, and a haberdashery (go ahead look that word up, I did), it was even a used car lot at one point.

In the 1950’s the house was bought by the National Park Service and restored to its 1800’s glory, fully equipped with cast iron ovens, candle molds, old furniture, and a man in period clothing chopping wood and making biscuits (and even though they smell good, no you may not have one, it is just for show). But none of this sweet history explains why there are 11 ghosts wandering about the house just waiting to scare you.

Haunting History

There is said to be a woman hating ghost named “George” taking up residence in a third flood bedroom, that is known to shove, strangle, knife, or even violate women who venture into his room. So women be warned, I would be wary about checking out the third floor alone.

There is also a 1700’s styled woman in brown often seen chilling by the fireplace, and a young woman with hair in ringlets seen running up and down the stairs (that sounds like my hell, an afterlife filled with cardio).

If those ghosts are a no show, there is another woman and man who are said to haunt the kitchen, and a man with long blond hair in the front room. If you loved the movie The Shining, and ghost children are your thing (I actually find them the most frightening of all), there is said to be a young boy named “Joey” running in the third floor hallway (and why the ghosts on the third floor are the only ones with names…who knows). There are reports of a German carpenter, although how they know he is German is beyond me. Maybe he moans in German or is wearing lederhosen. Because he is thought to be German it is assumed he is the ghost of Christopher Layman haunting the residency. There are also numerous other reports of various other Colonial men available to give you a spook if you have no luck with the others.

First Hand Accounts

If you are looking for a firsthand account, don’t take someone else’s word for it, grab a friend to hide behind and rush on over to D.C. to get the bejeebers scared out of you. You can buy tickets to accompany “The Center for Paranormal Study and Investigation” for a night of ghost hunting in the Old Stone House. You will be taught ghost hunting skills and taught to use real equipment used in paranormal investigating. And for only a few bucks you will be transformed from a normal everyday person obsessed by hauntings to an official ghost hunter (feel free to use that on your business cards or as an opening line at bars).

Contact The Old Stone House

3051 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 1 (202) 895-6070
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