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Local Legends: The Lincoln conspirator

WTOP's Jason Fraley explores the Lincoln Conspirator of D.C.

Jason Fraley

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NOTE: This is the second in a three day series of scary urban legends in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Unlike our typical journalistic pieces of hard news and fact-based evidence, this is an intentionally tongue-in-cheek presentation based on lore, rumor and innuendo. Enjoy.

WASHINGTON — Reader beware: what you are about to read might give you nightmares.

Just in time for Halloween, we present the D.C. legend of the Lincoln conspirator.

The legend goes like this.

At 2 a.m. on April 15, 1865, authorities knocked at the boarding house of one Mary Surratt.

She was arrested for aiding and abetting John Wilkes Booth, who allegedly planned the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at her boarding house at 604 H St. Northwest.


Read other spooky local legends:


After a military tribunal, Suratt and three other conspirators dropped to their deaths in the most famous hanging in American history on July 7, 1865.

Since then, the hanging location – Fort McNair along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers — has seen sightings of a black-clad figure, bound hand-and-foot with a hood over her head.

Meanwhile, a nearby home has a window thatView Post fogs up mysteriously at night, possibly the breath of Suratt’s daughter watching her mother drop to her death through that very window.

As for her boarding house, it’s since been turned into the China Wok restaurant and karaoke bar in Chinatown where you can still hear strange sounds, whispers, muffled cries and shuffling feet.

Should you trick or treat there?

Forget it, it’s Chinatown.


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