Paranormal Travels, from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 7th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

Witness one of the most famous supernatural events in American history. Known to most as "Lincoln's Phantom Train", the hauntingly eerie and intriguing event begins in Washington D.C. and slowly travels through 180 cities that includes Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana and ends in Springfield, Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Phantom Ghost Train Sightings

What could be more gravely disturbing than seeing a ghost train pacing down a set of railroad tracks in slow motion? How about witnessing one carrying Abraham Lincoln on what has been dubbed as one of the most famous supernatural events in American history. Known to most as "Lincoln's Phantom Train", the hauntingly eerie and intriguing event begins in Washington D.C. and slowly travels through 180 cities that includes Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana and ends in Springfield, Illinois. The event is harrowing to witness at best when you consider the very nature of its existence to begin with, and the historical train ride has been witnessed by hundreds of spectators on the anniversary of the significant day who thought they were watching a real train in motion, but were actually viewing the funeral train from 1865 carrying the president's body along with his deceased son Willie.

According to the official reports following the death of President Abraham Lincoln after his brutal assassination, his body was transported from the capitol to his birthplace of Springfield, Illinois accompanied by dignitaries along with his oldest son Robert. The president's sudden death could possibly be the principle reason behind the haunted train or a magnitude of deeper dimensions could be generated from the fact that this train was carrying one of the most important people of all time to his final resting place and the people of the United States was in mourning over the loss of such a great and powerful man. Another eerie avenue to consider is that the sixteenth president of the United States had once experienced seeing a double image of himself in a mirror that deeply disturbed him for some time. It plagued his thoughts so much so that he discussed the matter with his wife Mary, who was actively involved in spiritualism, held regular séances in an effort to communicate with her deceased son Willie and was a believer in omens.

Mary Todd Lincoln informed Abraham that he would in fact be elected to a second term, but would not see it through. Soon after this discussion the president had a disturbing dream foretelling of his own assassination and funeral in the lower level of the White House. Sadly just two weeks later his nightmare came true and his wife, family and the rest of the nation were left stricken with grief. The funeral train carrying the president included nine cars with one elaborate car made exclusively for the President and his men. On the day of his funeral travels the train with the coffins carrying father and son were draped in mourning.

Not long after the historical event people began to witness the form of a phantom train traveling along the exact route of the funeral train on the anniversary day of the very first journey that carried honest Abe, the man who was described as being taller then average, funny and liked by all. His open door policy allowed for anyone to walk through the doors of the unguarded White House and speak to the man himself. That is just how friendly Abe was, and sadly this trusting behavior is what eventually got him killed. Assassin John Wilkes Booth was acutely aware of Abe's friendly mannerisms, allowing for ease of public access to the president. On a planned evening with his fellow conspirators in tow he ruthlessly murdered the 56-year old President as he sat next to his beloved wife Mary while enjoying "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre on April 14, Good Friday that was anything but good.

Described as the greatest funeral in the history of the United States, Abraham Lincoln was finally laid to rest on May 4, 1865 after several public viewings allowed the citizens in several states to say their proper goodbyes to the man who had freed the slaves and led the nation through many political lessons during the Civil War. Just three weeks later the coffin carrying his son Willie was placed in the receiving vault that held Lincoln's remains. Disturbances to his coffin where he lay at a place of rest consisted of seventeen moves. These commotions included the opening of his coffin on six different occasions which would make any corpse a bit agitated over a lack of peace.

For the last 147 years, during the mid-month of April, people claim that watches and clocks stop when the ghost train passes through at an eerie pace that is distinctive by sight, sound and feel. Many of these witnesses claim that a coffin covered by an American flag drapes over the president's body and is surrounded by the spirits of Union dressed soldiers. A blinding light coming from the unmanned train engine dubbed "Nashville" helps to guide the haunted steam engine through the thick black fog while the air becomes noticeably heavier and colder to all standing there experiencing the most extreme supernatural event to ever take place. The phantom train boasts dark-garlanded cars that can be seen while on a repeated 1,654 mile funeral procession that has been reported as never making it to the final planned destination of Springfield, despite the obvious signs of never departing from the intended set of tracks eventually leading into Illinois.

Sadly in 1911, a fire near Minneapolis, Minnesota, destroyed the funeral train car that carried Abraham Lincoln's body to its final resting place. Luckily, a 150-year celebration is planned to take place in 2015 with a fully recreated event commemorating the day. The Lincoln Funeral Train will follow the exact same dates from start to finish from Washington, D.C. on April 21, 2015 and ending in Springfield, IL on May 2, 2015. According to William Werst, executive director of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition, the reenactment will give the public a hands-on experience as opposed to just viewing something in a museum.

Ghost Train Locations: From Brentwood, Maryland and New Freedom, Pennsylvania to Trenton Junction, New Jersey through Willow Springs, Illinois, each year the ghost train passes through 444 communities, and for those people who enjoy paranormal events that involve ghosts and the unexplained, this is the event of the year. Without fail, each year the residents in Urbana, Ohio await the arrival of the ghost train and the local citizens find it hard to deny the chilly atmosphere that encompasses the Rensselaer train station in Albany, New York. To see if your city is on the list for the Phantom Train to pass through it go to:

Location of Lincoln's receiving Vault: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Lincoln Tomb & War Memorials, 1500 Monument Avenue, Springfield, Illinois 62702. Phone: 217/782-2717

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author avatar Margaret Michel
9th Aug 2014 (#)

Wouldn't it be fun to ride on the Lincoln Funeral Train in 2015!

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author avatar lilvix08
9th Aug 2014 (#)

Ahh, a fellow-writer after my own heart. I believe in the paranormal and love your slant on the concept. Continued success!

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
23rd Nov 2014 (#)

This surely is one of the most fascinating pieces I read in Wikinut. I'd love to see the train and if possible to take a ride. Anyway, thanks for sharing this piece of history and information about the train and its journey. Bravo.

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