He murdered his wife a year later in Hanover — but that will be the subject of another post. I enjoy following the Lincoln and Rathbone sojourns in Germany because I live here, speak the language, and can research them. Hollenzollern castle on a 19th-century postcard. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, public domain. By February, Frankfurt had gotten too cold for her and she decided to travel to the Mediterranean. Along the way, she stopped at the spa town of Baden-Baden in the Rhine Valley. En route to Nice, I stopped for a day or two at Baden to see a lady from America, who resides most of the time in Europe.
And where was the castle the white lady haunted? The answer is elusive. One biography identifies the castle as the Hohenzollern castle in the Province of Hohenzollern. The royal family of Hohenzollern fits nicely to the white lady story. Later she sought repentance in Rome and entered a convent, where she died in According to legend, her ghost appeared throughout history to various members of the Hohenzollern family before they died, including the King of Prussia. Baden-Baden lies on the west side of the Black Forest. That was 44 miles as the crow flies, but at least 68 miles on the road, and three different countries.
The women would have had to have completed at least part of the trip by horse and carriage. The journey, then, would have been too long to fit in as a side trip during a one to two day visit to Baden-Baden. Baden-Baden was already a popular tourist destination for Americans in the 19th century. Baden-Baden Lichtentaler Allee. Napoleon, as far as I can determine, never signed a treaty at the Hohenzollern castle nor at any other castle in southwestern Germany.
Mary might have been confused on that point. It has a gray one. And her story would have been far more intriguing to Mary Todd Lincoln. The margravine who lived in the castle and became the gray lady after her death was a different kind of a mother than the white lady of the Hollenzollerns. By all accounts, she loved her baby son more than anything in the world. One evening, she wanted to show him his inheritance.
She took him up a high tower and held him out over the balustrade to show him all the villages, fields, and farms over which he would one day rule. But he slipped out of her hands and tumbled down the castle walls and cliffs. Panicked, the margravine rushed down all the castle steps to search the ground below the cliffs. The margravine died in grief. You can still hear the margravine wailing as the wind whips the crevices in the cliffs, and at midnight, her gray-clad apparition drifts from room to room, her long white hair waving about her face.
Mary, who herself had two sons slip through her fingers into eternity, would have related much more to the mourning gray lady than the murderous white one. Might her memories of Edward and Willie have prompted her questions to her tour guides? By , a poem about the gray lady of Hohenbaden appeared in a collection of Baden legends. Bewitched by darkness, she steals away To spew her fright and malice.
The poem underscores the fame of the gray lady by the time Mary visited Baden-Baden in The ghost could have easily become a subject of the castle tours by the time Mary visited in Did Mary Todd Lincoln walk these grounds? Hohenbaden castle by c Yakovlev Sergey, Shutterstock. Even the names of the castles are quite similar, Hohen zollern and Hohen baden. That might have confused her in any conversations or reading on the topic.
Knowledge, however, is a cumulative and cooperative effort, and perhaps a reader knows more about the topic than I do. Chronically short of cash, he was greedy and deceptive—in a word, trouble. The stage star was living in Washington at the time, plotting to abduct Lincoln as a hostage for the South, when not fantasizing about assassinating him.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s Castle Ghost in Germany
Later Booth grew strongly attached to the remarkable brothers Ira and William Davenport, magicians who posed as spiritual mediums. When they were tightly bound inside a sealed box with musical instruments, a person outside the box could hear tunes coming from within it. Yet, when the box was opened and the brothers were revealed to be still tied in their original positions, it seemed as if they had summoned a ghostly orchestra to perform.
Booth loved the Davenports and had private sittings with them whenever he could. Colchester visited him there often. Besides his ability to contact the dead, Colchester could also tell the future—a useful ability to Booth, who was beginning to think the unthinkable. The pair spent a considerable amount of time together, said George W. It was more than that.
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Lincoln Cathedral ghost encounter inspires woman to start own paranormal podcast
Booth befriended Ira and William Davenport, magicians from Buffalo who posed as mediums; their act was so popular it played overseas a poster from London, The Rev. Booth above and Colchester were both men about Washington; it was almost inevitable that they would meet. Like this article?