Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Other Tragedy at Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. has a long and storied history. Originally built as the home to the First Baptist Church of Washington in 1833, it was converted to the theater, Ford's Athenaeum in 1861 after being purchased by John T. Ford. After a fire necessitated a rebuild, it reopened as the infamous Ford's Theatre. It served in this capacity when its place in history would be forever cemented with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 as he attended a play inside the theater.

While most people know Ford's Theatre as the site of Lincoln's assassination, few know of another tragedy that struck the building years later. After serving as the site of various government-related offices over the years, Ford's Theatre had become the clerk's office for the War Department by 1893. On June 9th of that year, tragedy would once again rear its head at Ford's Theatre. On that day, the front of the building collapsed and 22 people lost their lives, while another 68 were gravely injured. Given the amount of lives that were lost, including the high profile assassination of Abraham Lincoln, gossip began to circulate that the theater was forever cursed and the superstitions necessitated its transformation into a government warehouse.

Ford's Theater has avoided any further tragedies to this date and has since been re-opened as a theater and museum to the life (and death) of Lincoln. While the talks of a curse seem to have subsided, there are still rumors of ghosts and paranormal activity haunting the facility to this day. In fact, stories persist that Lincoln's assassination still plays out in paranormal form from time to time inside the historic building.

Read more stories of the historic Ford's Theatre.

-Casey H.


Anonymous said...

how fascinating! i'd love to visit one day. do they have tours?

Dark Destinations said...

Sorry for the delay in reply. The theater had been closed for renovations for some time, but re-opened earlier this year. It is open to the general public for free tours and the occasional special event.