Does The Ghost Of A Murdered Congressman Haunt The Capitol?

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Amid the politicians, lobbyists and diplomats that roam the halls of the Capitol building, legend has it that there’s also a mysterious, ghostly presence.

William Preston Taulbee, a U.S. Representative from Kentucky from 1885 to 1889, was murdered in 1890 in the Capitol. Some say he never left.

According to NPR, Taulbee’s political career passed just shortly before he did.

Charles Kincaid, the Washington correspondent for The Louisville Times, wrote a scathing expose about the former congressman’s affair — and the facts behind it are still being debated.

The infamous headline was “Kentucky’s Silver-Tongued Taulbee Caught in Flagrante, or Thereabouts, with Brown-Haired Miss Dodge.”

Taulbee and Kincaid predictably had a tense relationship. Each considered the other “a low-life, not a gentleman,” according to NPR.

Image Via Proquest Historical Newspaper Database

Kentucky state historian James Klotter told the news outlet that each would both verbally insult the other — and as they passed one another, the congressman would pull on the reporter’s ear or nose.

They faced off for the final time on Feb. 28, 1890, on a marble stairway. The journalist, who was barely five feet tall and weighed less than 100 pounds, reportedly shot the much larger politician in the eye.

According to Senate historian Donald Ritchie, Taulbee bled profusely on the stairs.

“A policeman came rushing up and said, ‘Who is responsible for this?’ Kincaid was still standing [on the steps] and said, ‘I did it,'” he told NPR.

Taulbee died 11 days later. Kincaid faced murder charges, but the jury called it self-defense and acquitted him.

To this day, a mysterious stain remains on the stairs in the Capitol building. Some people have reported hearing the congressman’s moan or seeing a ghostly figure, according to TODAY.

It could be anything, but storytellers choose to believe that the caustic and bloody end to the feud between the journalist and the politician still hangs in the air.

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