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Did Abraham Lincoln Haunt a House in Upstate New York? – CNY Paranormal

Lincoln's Murder
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was traumatic for a nation just starting to heal from the Civil War.  But perhaps the most tramatuized that night at Ford’s Theatre was the Upstate New York couple who where seated with the President and Mrs. Lincoln on that fateful night.  From the NY Shadowchasers, find out if President Lincoln’s spirit ever visited a house near Albany.

On April 14, 1865, an event occurred that not only affected those immediately present, but also affected the entire world. On this evening, then-president Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. What is not commonly known is that the events of that night had consequences for Central New York, and have led to some pretty interesting ghostly sightings.

On the evening Lincoln died, he was watching a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre. Planning on an evening out with friends, as the Civil War drew to a close, Lincoln and his wife found those plans thwarted when they could find no one willing to attend the play with them. Finally, Clara Harris, daughter of a prominent senator Ira Harris, and her fiancé Henry Reed Rathbone accepted the invitation.

Clara and Henry were seating next to the Lincolns when the assassination occurred. After firing the fatal shot, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, leapt to the stage. Henry Reed Rathbone made an attempt to subdue the assassin, but was injured in the process. A traumatized Clara ended up covered in her fiancé’s blood.

After that night, Clara and Henry returned to the summer cottage her father owned, which was located in Loudonville, NY, just outside of Albany. Clara found herself unable to destroy or throw away the dress she wore on the night Lincoln was assassinated, so, still bloodstained, she placed it in a closet in her bedroom, and had the wall bricked up.

On the one year anniversary of Lincoln’s death, Clara was awoken by the sound of laughter, and the rocking chair in her bedroom creaking. When she looked, she saw the apparition of President Lincoln sitting in her rocking chair, acting like he was watching an unseen play, looking in the direction of the walled off closet. At midnight, Lincoln disappeared.

Since that initial sighting, Abraham Lincoln’s spirit has been frequently reported, only adding to the tragic history of the house. Neither Clara nor Henry ever recovered from the trauma they experienced that day. Decades later Henry murdered Clara, and was institutionalized. After Clara’s death her children broke down the wall to her closet and burned the physical reminder of the night when a president lost his life.

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Contributed by the NYShadowchasers

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