The Hotel Monaco, Washington, D.C.
700 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
My husband and I recently stayed at the Hotel Monaco. I chose this hotel because it is historic and because it is in walking distance to the Verizon Center where we were attending the Fleetwood Mac concert. The Hotel Monaco is a beautiful, marble building designated as a National Historic Landmark. The hotel has high ceilings, gracious circular staircases, domed alcoves and decorative molding all which lends to its romance and opulence. We checked into room 327. Upon entering I said to my husband “this hotel feels haunted.” Prior to checking in, I had no knowledge that the hotel had a reputation for being haunted.
That night we attended the concert and return to our elegant and comfortable room. After enjoying room service we went to bed. During the night I was awaken by a female wailing sound coming from down the hallway. I lay in bed listening. It continued and had an airy, hollow sound to it. It sounded like a very upset adult female. For a moment I thought that maybe it was the winter wind but then I realized there were no windows in the hallway. I rolled over to glance at the clock which read 4:00 a.m. My husband was asleep. I was too tired to explore and instead went back to sleep.
In the morning, I told my husband about my experience. We started researching the history of the hotel on the Internet.
I learned that the hotel was built in 1839, and originally was the General Post Office building. During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital for the wounded. Additionally, the Union army stored guns and ammunition in the basement. Many cite the hotel as haunted. One account states that during the Civil War a woman came to the General Post Office to collect her mail and received notice that her husband had been killed in battle. Upon reading this news, she lets out a loud wail. This woman is said to haunt the hotel by wailing through the hallways.
The website for Historic Hotels gives the following account of the hauntings experienced in the hotel:
“In a former life, the grandiose building now home to the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C., was once the nation's first General Post Office. An extensive rehabilitation of the historic building was undertaken in 2001 to transform it into a luxury hotel. One afternoon a construction worker was startled by the sight of a beautiful woman standing in the courtyard's entrance-an area off limits to the public. He was perplexed by her attire - she was dressed head to toe in clothing of the Civil War era. She stared longingly out towards the street, as if she were waiting for something or someone to arrive, and then disappeared into thin air.”
“Confused by what he saw, the construction worker sought an explanation. Why was she there, and what was she waiting for? He later found out that in the Civil War era, home delivery of mail did not exist, so it was common to see women pacing the courtyard of the General Post Office eagerly awaiting the delivery of the day's mail for news of loved ones. Paranormal experts believe the construction worker witnessed a ghost, awaiting a letter from her husband who was off at battle. Her anxious expression was likely due to her hopes that she would be receiving a love letter, rather than a letter informing her of his death in the line of duty.”
“The sighting has made the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco a popular part of the Civil War Capital bus tour, but the courtyard isn't the only part of the hotel that is thought to be haunted. Legend has it that Hotel Monaco's Paris Ballroom was used as a surgical room during the Civil War. Guests and employees of the hotel have reported hearing whispering in the ballroom thought to be the murmurings of doctors in surgery, and many have claimed to see the ghosts of doctors and nurses hurriedly walking the hotel's long corridors.”
To see more of haunted Washington, D.C. please visit www.hauntedtraveler.com