Old State Capitol Building

More From North Carolina

Besides still puttering around, spirits also enjoy supervising the living.

A spirit of a murder victim is still reliving his or her demise.




Built in 1840, is described as being one of the smallest and best preserved of all our nation’s state capitol buildings.

It has Greek Revival architecture, three floors, and granite halls. It is furnished with period-type furnishings, and looks like it did when built 160 years ago.

Much can be heard throughout the building because of its superior acoustics.

The Senate chamber has the original mahogany desks and chairs in beautiful condition, that date back to 1839-40. All sits on antique red carpeting, decorated by red stars. Overhead hangs a 100 year old grand chandelier. The room “radiates warmth and dignity.”

The first floor houses the offices of the State Governor and the Secretary of State. The second and third floors, are kept as historic sites by the State Division of Archives and History.

Outside the building, huge elms and ancient oaks offer shade to statues of former presidents, such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk, and Andrew Johnson



Although the legislature and the state’s representatives conduct their business in the new government building, some entities, who were politicians when they were alive still putter around this old Capitol Building, keeping an eye on the living, as well as go about their business.

Also, in the late 1860s, a murder happened right outside the building, which might account for the screaming.

Noisy Ghosts & Elevator Fun

Mr. Jackson, a night watchman there for over 15 years, often heard these entities.

Screaming on occasion, making the slamming sound of an already locked door, making the dropping sound of books hitting the floor in the library, (none were ever found on the floor).

Has witnessed the manually operated elevator go up and down by itself to the first, second and third floor, perhaps delivering ghosts going about their perceived business.

Subtle Intimidation

One evening, Jackson heard the tinkling sound of a window breaking on the second floor. When he went up there to clean up the broken glass, he found nothing amiss.

Another evening, while Mr. Jackson sat at the reception desk on the first floor, he felt the pressure of a cold hand on his shoulder. He swung around in his chair to find no one there, who was living anyway.

“I knew it was a haint.”

-Mr. Jackson, the night watchman.

Another evening, a fierce wind seemed to roar with a vengeance throughout the building. Thinking that this wind came from outside he went out to check on the ancient trees, thinking that they may lose a branch or two.

However, there was no wind outside.

Going back inside, the wind had stopped suddenly, and what was described as a “strange calm,” had enveloped the place.

Spirit Going to Work

In 1976, while preparing the paperwork needed to reopen the newly renovated Capitol building, Townsend, while sitting in the governor’s suite by the South entrance, heard keys jingling in the North entrance door, the sound of the door opening and shutting, and foot steps coming across the stone floor.

Thinking that it was the then Secretary of State, Thad Eure, whose office was diagonally across from the governor’s suite, by the North door, Townsend came out to meet him.

Much to his surprise, no one was there in Eure’s office. Just then, Townsend heard keys rattling in the South door entrance. He found that all the doors, except the North door were locked down securely.

Time to Go Home, Mr. Beck!

Mr. Raymond Beck, who was the curator of the building and a history museum specialist, back in the Spring of 1981, decided one night to stay late, and work on a restoration project in the library, which was on the third floor.

With the lights on, and the radio softly playing, he worked at his desk. Sometime between 10:00 and 12:00, he got up to put some books away on the shelf.

He was stopped short, when he suddenly felt a presence silently looking over his shoulder.

When he turned around, no one was seen to be there, but he still felt an uncomfortable presence in the room with him. He closed up the library and left quickly.

Another Incident with Spectral Supervisor

Mr. Beck’s boss, Administrator Sam Townsend Sr., about 5 months later, shared with Beck that he too had felt a strong presence standing behind him, looking over his shoulder, while working in the library.

Spectral Senator Still Serving

Townsend’s permanent office was located on the second floor, in the northeast corner of the Senate chamber, in the Office of the Clerk. He worked in his office three nights a week, because he could avoid distractions that could plague him during the day.

He has heard unmistakable, distinct footsteps coming from the committee room, in the southwest corner of the Senate chamber, toward his little office. When he went to greet whoever it was, no one was ever there.

For several years, he has heard pacing in the committee room, until a copy machine was moved into the room temporarily.

When Townsend arrived one evening, and opened the door to the Senate chamber, he briefly saw an apparition standing in the doorway, which caused him to jump back. It dissolved quickly.


Appears to be.

No known psychic research has been done, and the presences are happy there, sharing the building with the living.



The old North Carolina State Capitol Building is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, two blocks away from the new state government building, where the seat of state government was moved to in 1961.


Historical photo from cr.nps.gov

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in North Carolina