Is Kamala Harris' official residence haunted? Truth behind Number One Observatory Circle's scary history
Former Vice President Walter Mondale's daughter, Eleanor Monde, 'complained about a phantom that appeared in her bedroom one night'
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States respectively on January 20, 2021. As both Biden and Harris carry on with their first duties in their new roles, at the end of the day, they will both head to their new official residences -- Biden to the White House and Harris to Biden's once-home, the Number One Observatory Circle. While much is known about the White House, the Number One Observatory Circle is not as famous -- except that Biden loved the pool and even said so to the former Vice President Mike Pence.
However, one detail that is not talked about is the slightly haunted history of Kamala Harris' new residence -- that the Number One Observatory Circle may or may not be haunted.
The history of the Number One Observatory Circle
The Vice President of the United States did not always have an official residence. The building was originally the residence of the superintendent of the US Naval Observatory and the site was once the grounds of the observatory, which is why the residence is called so. However, following President John F Kennedy's assassination in 1963, a law was passed by Congress that established "an official residence for the vice president of the United States in the District of Columbia."
In 1974, the building was officially authorized to become the residence of the Vice President and the Congress handled the costs of the restoration and furnishing. In 1977, Gerald Ford became the first Vice President to move into the home. When Ford became President on Richard Nixon's resignation, Nelson Rockefeller appointed as Vice President moved in.
Since then, seven Vice Presidents have lived at Number One Observatory Circle -- Walter Mondale, George HW Bush, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, current President Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. Kamala Harris will not only be the first woman to move in as Vice President but also the first Black person and first person of South Asian descent to take on the role.
In 1991, Dan Quayle had a pool installed in 1991, along with a hot tub and a pool house with the help of private donations. The pool has since become an important part of the residence, with the former Vice President, Mike Pence hosting annual pool parties for veterans.
Is Number One Observatory Circle haunted?
One fascinating tidbit of the history of the Vice President's residence is the rumor that it may be haunted. Joel Martin and William J Birnes wrote in their book, 'The Haunting of the Presidents', that Vice President Walter Mondale's daughter, Eleanor Monde, "complained about a phantom that appeared in her bedroom one night when she was sleeping over in the mansion."
Monde wrote of her experience in Swing magazine that she saw the apparition in the moonlight shadow near the window. She fainted and after becoming conscious, she called the Secret Service. Minutes later, after two agents -- armed and guns drawn -- came into the room and found no intruder, they told her never to do it again.