The First Ladies Who Brought the Occult to the…

Over the years, several presidents’
wives—including Mary Todd Lincoln and Nancy Reagan—turned to spiritual practices
like seances and astrology.

Five First Ladies in particular—Jane Pierce, Mary Todd
Lincoln, Edith Wilson, Florence Harding, and Nancy Reagan—held moderate-to-strong
interests in the occult, according to Pat Krider, the executive director of the
National First Ladies’ Library. That list could also include Grace Coolidge,
Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Jackie Kennedy, all of whom claimed to
have seen Lincoln’s ghost or felt his presence during their years in the White
House, though they weren’t bringing in astrologers or using mediums like others
did. As to how these Ladies formed a fascination with the occult, Krider told
Broadly: “People who are desperate for help, for answers, sometimes go to
extreme measures.”

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