037 William Henry Harrison – 31 Days in Office

Daguerreotype of an oil painting depicting William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States

Does William Henry Harrison Still Haunt this Earth?

Does William Henry Harrison still haunt this Earth? In Ghostly’s thirty-seventh episode, Pat and Rebecca tell the story of President William Henry Harrison in honor of President’s Day. Harrison was the first president to die in office after only 31 days. Does the United States’ 9th President haunt the attic of the White House?

Questions Explored in this Episode

Who was William Henry Harrison? What was his childhood like? How did he get into politics? Was he partly responsible for the War of 1812? Did he really die because he didn’t wear a coat to his inauguration or was it because of something else? Where is his ghost seen in the White House, and how do witnesses describe what they see? Who else is said to haunt the attic? Does his Vice President, John Tyler, also haunt the White House? Does William Henry Harrison?

Listener Mail and Questions

Listener mail from our new Facebook Group, Ghostly Society. Listen to one of the sweetest ghost stories you’ll ever hear, and then join the group to join the discussion.

Have a story or question of your own (or someone you know)? Send your story or question to info@ghostlypodcast.com and we might read it on the podcast. You can also email us individually at pat@ghostlypodcast.com or rebecca@ghostlypodcast.com. You could be on a future episode of Ghostly!

Ghost Story

Listen to Rebecca tell a story based on the sightings of William Henry Harrison and then imagine what it would be like to see his ghost.

History of William Henry Harrison

Listen to Pat give the fascinating history of President Harrison. He grew up wanting to be a doctor, but ended up following many of his ancestors into politics. Harrison served in many posts, but one of his most famous was as Governor of the Northwest Territories and the Indiana Territory. While in this role, he negotiated with Native American tribes. One of these turned sour and helped lead to the War of 1812. A former military officer, Harrison left politics to join the war. This combination of military service and politics led him to the White House, but unfortunately, his presidency only lasted 31 days.  

Death of William Henry Harrison
Death of William Henry Harrison

Time for the Debate

After President Harrison’s untimely death, witnesses have claimed to hear him in the attic at the White House. Some have also claimed to see him as a figure with a blue glow, while others have claimed to see David Burns, the farmer whose land was taken to build the White House, in the attic. William Henry Harrison’s Vice President John Tyler was the first VP to take over for a president and has also been sighted in the White House as a ghost. Listen to Pat and Rebecca debate these sightings and give their believability ratings.

Vote on the Episode

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Poll Results

Find out what listeners said for the Bonnie and Clyde episode – do they haunt this world or not? Still need to listen to our previous episode? Check it out here.

Done Listening to the Episode?

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Sources for this Week’s Episode

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Henry_Harrison
The Whitehouse.gov: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/william-henry-harrison/
Theresa’s Haunted House: http://theresashauntedhistoryofthetri-state.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-attic-ghosts-of-white-house.html
Mysterious Universe: https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/09/the-ghosts-that-may-still-be-haunting-the-oval-office/
Fair Weather Lewis: https://fairweatherlewis.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/whos-that-rummaging-in-the-attic-ghosts-of-the-white-house/
Listverse: https://listverse.com/2012/08/22/top-10-haunted-areas-of-the-whitehouse/
History Channel: https://www.history.com/news/john-tylers-passionate-white-house-romance

Music for this episode was performed by Michael Rivers
Intro: “III. Allegro moderato from Gargoyles” by Lowell Liebermann
Outro: “Dream Images (Love-Death Music)” by George Crumb
Bumper: “Ghost Waltz” by Lowell Liebermann