Hillary Clinton's Conversation With The Ghost Of Eleanor Roosevelt Explained

More people believe in ghosts than you might think. In fact, a recent research study found that 60% of those surveyed had actually seen one with 40% believing their pet experienced the spirit as well (via Groupon). Ghost sightings aren't something new. In a letter during the first century, Roman statesman Pliny the Younger complained about an elder, bearded man apparition, who flitted around his Athens home, according to History. The White House has its share of specters, too. The 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, only found an uneasy rest since so many individuals report seeing his visage, including first ladies and prime ministers. He appeared to Grace Coolidge in the Lincoln Bedroom, the room that Honest Abe once used as an office, according to the National First Ladies' Library blog, where she saw him gazing out the window toward Virginia and a one-time Civil War battlefield. 

He especially made his presence known during Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt also acknowledged feeling his energy as she worked late at night in a room that was a study in Lincoln's time. She wasn't alone; both Queen Wilhelmina from Holland and Winston Churchill, the British prime minister, reported seeing Lincoln's wandering spirit. Perhaps it's only fair then that years later, Eleanor Roosevelt provided a sighting of sorts for another former first lady, Hillary Clinton.

The truth behind the Eleanor Roosevelt ghost story

It all started with the Clintons meeting with some self-help authors in 1994, including Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, and author and spiritualist Jean Houston, according to the Los Angeles Times. Houston became a collaborator, and aided Hillary Clinton in her adjustment to the White House. She "helped me better understand that the role of first lady is deeply symbolic and that I had better figure out how to make the best of it," said Clinton in "Living History," her 2003 memoir, quoted in the newspaper. Houston also worked with Clinton to ready her first solo outing as first lady in 1995 and also aided her as she wrote her initial book, "It Takes a Village."

During that time, Houston recommended that Clinton find inspiration by imagining how Roosevelt might tackle the challenges the first lady currently faced, according to the National First Ladies' Library blog. Clinton also allegedly spoke with other leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, reported Marie Claire, looking for advice. The story made waves after it appeared in Bob Woodward's 1996 book, "The Choice: How Bill Clinton Won." Like any good yarn, the tale became larger until some media reported that Clinton was channeling Roosevelt on a regular basis, said the National First Ladies' Library. The first lady laughed off the comments, writing a letter to Robert McNamara, former defense secretary, that said, "I'll be sure to pass on your greetings the next time we talk!" as quoted by the blog.