The Many Haunted Houses and Ghost Stories of Sally Quinn

The full interview with Sally Quinn is featured in the season of Beautiful house haunted house podcast, Dark House. Listen to the episode here.

It’s not every day that a prominent Washington reporter identifies herself as a witch who sees ghosts – but perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised at the overlap, as said writer also confessed that we would be shocked by the number of well-known politicians in the capitol regularly consult astrologers. In a recent interview on Beautiful house podcast dark house, Sally Quinn has revealed that all the houses she has lived in have been haunted. Having grown up surrounded by active ghosts – as well as practitioners of voodoo, occultism, astrology and other psychic phenomena – it’s only natural that Quinn now leads “a life of spirits”, like her. says so. “I’m psychic. My mom was a bit, and my aunt was very psychic too, all MacDougals,” Quinn says. Ahead, hear about all the haunted properties she’s lived in over the years.

1800s Estate in Statesboro, Georgia

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Quinn’s memories of the haunted house date back to her early childhood, when she grew up spending her summers with her mother’s family in Savannah and the small town of Statesborough, Georgia. “It was haunted,” she says.

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Among family lore is this haunting tale: whenever a family member died, their ghost dragged chains down the hall all night. The other sound filling the house at midnight and witch hour was the sobs and moans of the mourners. “The next morning you would still see stripes,” Quinn says.

1740s mansion in St. Mary’s

Quinn also lived in a 1740s riverside mansion in St. Mary’s, a countryside location outside of Washington DC, which was not without its share of ghostly visitors. “I was sitting on the beach and suddenly I heard a [disembodied] woman was screaming and it sounded like a lot of women were running around her,” Quinn recalled. “She was screaming and panting, and then I realized she was in labor with all these women who ‘were helping and they kept saying, ‘it’s okay, Priscilla, it’s okay.'” She later learned about the history of the area, which helped make sense of the scene of the ghostly birth.” That Christmas my dad gave me a book about the history of St. Mary’s County and the house,” she explains. “It was built and owned by shippers who would leave for England, and the women were left alone for a long time, at least months. The wife of one of the loaders was called Priscilla.” Coincidence or clue to the afterlife?

Townhouse in Washington, DC

The third haunted house Quinn lived in was a Georgetown house built in 1793. She recalls, “I was standing in the lobby right after I bought it, so it was completely empty. The workers were gone for the day and I was exhausted, it was summer so I was really hot. And I kind of collapsed against the wall when all of a sudden I heard the horses crash and this guy came home on horseback and he got off the horse and came up the stairs and he was dressed in 1790s costume.”

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He dismounted and climbed the stairs right before her eyes. “He was freaked out. He was clearly distressed that he couldn’t locate his wife, saying something like, ‘I don’t know what happened to her. I love it. And I’m so overwhelmed'” Quinn tells us. She suspects he couldn’t see her, as she stood there in disbelief, watching the scene unfold. “He then left with a letter for help in finding her,” but just as this supposed spirit left, things got even weirder.

“I looked up at the back porch door and there was this woman in a 1790s costume. She glanced at me, turned and disappeared, and I was just amazed . I mean, I was shaking,” she continues. The explanations for each of the encounters were quite different – if you think the woman was his wife, think again.

“Later I learned that the previous owner was a Scottish shipowner named Dunlap and that one of his men’s wives was missing,” she said of the first appearance. But, days after seeing the woman, Quinn came downstairs and Washington’s oldest house is on M Street in Georgetown. It’s called the Old Stone House, and it runs a small museum,” she explains. And guess who she saw? “There was the woman in the doorway, dressed in a costume. “, she laughs.

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“And I said, oh my God…I had thought she was a ghost and it turned out she wasn’t. She said, you know, I’ve always wanted see that house. And I knew that was it no one lived there. So I climbed over the wall and up the back steps” before running away terrified that someone was there. But that still does not explain the appearance of man…

Gray Gardens in East Hampton

haunted estate of gray gardens

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Probably the most famous of Quinn’s haunted houses is Gray Gardens, where Quinn has encountered two ghosts over the years. One was the spirit of former occupant and gardener Anna Gillman Hill. “Once in a while, you could just feel her floating upstairs, floating down the hall. She was wearing a long skirt and a gardener’s blouse with a scarf around her neck…One night she came into our room and Ben sat up in bed and said, ‘What is that?’ “And I looked up and saw her standing there and she kind of stood in the doorway for a few minutes and then disappeared. My son has seen it several times and a housekeeper who came to stay with us left the next morning because she was so freaked out by the ghost.”

Another ghost was less easy to name, but Quinn’s money is on a secret lover of Little Edie whom she calls “The Sea Captain”. Quinn suspects that this mysterious man would visit her Rapunzel-style when facing a ladder so Big Edie wouldn’t find out about their date. His theory? “I think he fell off the ladder and was killed. I’m not sure, but you could hear [someone] clumping together at night in the yellow bedroom which was Little Edie’s old bedroom,” she divulged, adding, “I never told people the house was haunted and I never told them specifically that the yellow room was haunted because some people would be too scared. “One of those guests was none other than Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

“He was staying with us and my parents were there too, so I put him in the yellow guest room. The next morning I came downstairs and Barry was laying on the kitchen couch, and I said: ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘there’s a fucking ghost up there in that room and I won’t spend another night there.’ So I know I’m not the only one who’s seen ghosts.” If you’re a non-believer, she understands that. “What can I tell you?” All I can tell you is that I saw this, it was weird and it’s inexplicable.

Curious to know more about Gray Gardens? Listen to this episode of our haunted house podcast series, Dark House, for exclusive ghost stories and insight into the house’s captivating history.