National Theatre

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Opened in 1835 originally, the theater was demolished and rebuilt in 1923. Deceased actor John McCullough’s spirit has appeared here in the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. According to local stories, the actor was murdered here in the 1880s by another actor. The ghost has been seen as far back as 1896 by Frederic Bond, a friend of McCullough’s.

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Geographic Information

1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC
United States

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38.896452, -77.03085399999998
Nearest Towns:
Washington, D. C., DC (0.3 mi.)
Arlington, VA (4.1 mi.)
Mount Rainier, MD (4.7 mi.)
Chillum, MD (5.1 mi.)
Brentwood, MD (5.1 mi.)
Queenstown, MD (5.2 mi.)
Colmar Manor, MD (5.2 mi.)
Cottage City, MD (5.3 mi.)
Claremont, VA (5.4 mi.)
North Brentwood, MD (5.4 mi.)


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  1. I have experienced strange terrifying ghostly at this theater many years ago. My father was the night time security officer at the theater, and I would go with him to work at times on the weekends. My dad’s routine patrol at the theater was to check all floors and areas. I was told by my father to go
    check the dressing rooms back in the back stage area of the theater. The dressing room rooms were on two floors . To access the dressing on the second floor, a spiral stair case had to be used, and before I ascended top go up to the second floor, both my dad and I heard a running water from a sink faucet,that was turned on from a bathroom area . And when I went up the spiral stair to investigate the sink was fully wet, and I walked away to descend down the stairs. Upon reaching the bottom step of the stairs a thick yellow page telephone book was thrown at me and landed at the bottom of the spiral stairs I descended . Also my dad mentioned of seeing a man wearing a tux with tails with a top hat in hand exiting from behind a curtain upon the second landing of stairs in the lobby area of theater.
    Several months later, my eldest brother went to work my dad at the theater one weekend night; and in the following morning dad had died in the theater from injuries he suffered from a head injury due to a robbery and mugging a week or some days earlier.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.