Lincoln’s Phantom Ghost Train
Is There a Ghost Train That Still Haunts the Tracks From DC to Illinois?
We often hear about haunted ships and houses, but what about trains? Trains have been around for a long time now, and many people have always found them to be fascinating. They are often associated with folklore, so it’s not surprising that some are believed to be ghost trains or haunted trains.
One of the most famous ghost trains of all time was Abe Lincoln’s burial train, which took him home for burial in April 1865. It’s also been referred to as “Lincoln’s Phantom Train”, and is one of the most intriguing supernatural events in American history. After his assassination, President Abraham Lincoln’s body was placed on a special funeral train to be taken to Springfield, Illinois for burial.
Going through New York state, it went the exact same route that Lincoln took from Illinois to DC years earlier as President-elect. It stopped a few times along the way, so that onlookers could pay their respects to Lincoln before arriving at the final destination in Springfield. Some say that all the clocks in an area stopped whenever the train stopped.
Every year following, in April, a phantom train can allegedly be seen traveling the same route. It leaves from Washington DC, travels through New York, and heads toward Springfield, traveling slowly and eerily. Some alleged witnesses over the years claim to see a team of skeletons manning the train. A flag-draped coffin could also be seen, surrounded by spirits of soldiers dressed in blue Union uniforms. It never arrives at its destination.
There have also been claims of a ghostly whistle and train smoke, but no train. This always seems to happen in April, on the anniversary of Lincoln’s final train ride. Many track-walkers, section hands, and other railroad workers have claimed to have see or head the Phantom Train for many, many years. They have described the air along the tracks becoming “keen”. If a real train goes by at the same time, the ghost train is replaced. A real train doesn’t seem to effect the ghost train any, or vice versa. Some even claim that watches and clocks still stop whenever it goes by.
Whether any of this is true or not, nobody knows, although there have been a lot of alleged witnesses over the past 144 years. Do the railroad tracks become haunted by Lincoln’s ghost train every April since the anniversary of his last route? Is there still a phantom train crew that can be seen accompanying his body halfway across the country, never reaching the destination?