Jenna Bush Hager believes the White House is haunted, and she stands by that conviction. The 40-year-old Today Show host has spoken a few times about her creepy experience living in the nation's capital as a teenager when her father was president of the United States. She mentioned the story again this week in a new interview with Us Magazine, leaving fans dying for more details.
"The White House is haunted; my sister and I heard a ghost playing classical piano, but she seemed friendly," Hager said nonchalantly in the new interview. Because of the rapid-fire nature of the conversation, Hager moved on to other topics, but those interested can dig up many more mentions of this ghostly encounter. The story first picked up national attention in October of 2020 when Hager was a virtual guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show. At the time, she described a single incident that convinced her the White House is haunted.
Hager set the scene by saying that she was exhausted from working at a school at the time. She said that she shared this experience with her twin sister, Barbara. She began: "So, Barbara and I were going to sleep, our rooms were right next to each other and it was in college when people would call late. So our phone rang and I woke up and all of a sudden we heard like 1920s piano music coming out of our fireplace."
"I was like, 'surely that's the cat or something,'" Hager recalled. "You know, we had to pretend, but it was the middle of the night, and you could feel the music out of the fireplace. We tried to talk ourselves out of it, too." Clarkson was horrified, saying that such a creepy experience would have sent her running from the premises altogether. Hager admitted that she and her sister were so frightened they got into the same bed together.
"I'm telling you, the hosts were musical, and they came with no harm. They weren't evil," Hager insisted, adding later: "but it was definitely terrifying." However, the plot thickened a few months later when Hager's mother was a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show. She patiently dismissed her daughter's story.
"I think Barbara and Jenna were the ones that felt like it was haunted and pretended like they heard voices," the former first lady said. "It's probably just the Secret Service talking down the hall in another room that they heard. We didn't think it was haunted, we loved living there, it's a magnificent house."
Hager was not prepared to let the story go there. The very next day, she and Hoda Kotb discussed this story once again on The Today Show. This time, Hager got a rebuttal against her mother, saying: "Shall we do some research into – can the Secret Service play 1920s piano music?!"
Hager added new details to the story at this point as well. She explained that there had been a real piano outside in the hall, so she and Barbara had tried to convince themselves that a cat was running across the keys. She also said that a long-time White House employee believed their story and corroborated it. She recalled: "I said 'Buddy, you wouldn't believe what Barbara and I heard last night,' and he goes: 'Oh, Jenna, you wouldn't believe what I've seen in these walls.'"
Hager is not the first to make strange claims about the White House, and it seems safe to assume she won't be the last. Fans can catch her every weekday morning on The Today Show.