February 2017

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Now Offering Tours Led By the Undead

Attempted photo of the ghosts in the Great Hall. Photo by Museum Staff, who may or may not have been running away screaming during this photo shoot.
Attempted photo of the ghosts in the Great Hall. Photo by Museum Staff, who may or may not have been running away screaming during this photo shoot.

—The National Building Museum, America’s leading cultural institution devoted to the history and impact of the built environment, is haunted by ghosts. Multiple witnesses have confirmed at least four and as many as six separate spiritual beings living in the Museum, although specific identities of the undead have yet to be confirmed.

The Museum is staffed 24 hours a day by security. The overnight shift is typically peaceful, but over the past several weeks, officers have noticed some peculiar phenomena.

“It started with strange noises and mysteriously misplaced objects,” said Captain LaTanya Bullock, First Coast Security. “Then I started getting calls in the middle of the night from frightened officers, saying they’d seen ‘a lady in white’ floating around the Great Hall. I thought they were losing their marbles until I saw the banshee myself.”

Constructed between 1882 and 1887, the Museum’s historic home was formerly the Pension Building and was frequently visited by war veterans. As it is today, the structure was also host to the area’s biggest social occasions, including Inaugural Balls dating back to Grover Cleveland’s administration. Containing over 100 years of history, the identity of these ghosts is difficult to pin down.

“There are countless scary stories about the building that have passed around for some time,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director. “I never really believed any of them until recently— when I saw an actual ghost floating past my office!”

Due to strong interest in communing with the spirits, the Museum is hosting several Ghost Tours this fall. These will take place at night when the specters are most likely to appear, on the following dates:

September 29, 9 pm
October 13, 9:15 pm
October 20, 8 pm and 9:15 pm
October 31, 8 pm and 9:15 pm

All tours are $15 for Museum members, $18 for non-members. Due to the potentially frightening nature of meeting ghosts, tours are suitable for ages 10 and up.

“As a Museum, we’ll take any opportunity to educate the public about the built environment,” said Kristen Sheldon, volunteer manager. “Who better to teach us about the history of this landmark building than its past inhabitants—even if they are long dead?”

The Museum’s ghosts were unavailable for comment at press time, but the marketing department has purchased a Ouija board with hopes of offering interviews in the coming weeks.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading haunted cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, publications, and spookiness, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas, information about the world we build for ourselves, and an ideal home for spirits. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org.

Connect with us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum, Facebook: facebook.com/NationalBuildingMuseum, and by séance.