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The Demon Cat of Capitol Hill
By Al Tyas, Director, DCMAG

Washington DC has many ghost stories, but none are as intriguing as the infamous Demon Cat. If you’re unfamiliar with the legend, the phantom cat lurks in the shadows of the Capitol crypt ready to spring out on unsuspecting victims. The cat comes around the corner looking like a small black cat, but rapidly grows right in front of the victim’s eyes. The eyes glow yellow, and suddenly the cat springs on its hapless victim who passes out instantly. Then it’s simply gone. The cat appears right before a tragedy, or a change in office.

But how credible is this story? As a researcher on Capitol Hill who was done extensive research on this topic (probably more than anyone in this area) I can give only one account that may have been the cat. I work with a man who, outside some congressional buildings, claims to have seen a black cat that looked like a kitten then grew to an adult cat. The cat cried like it was hurt. He followed the cat to the back of a congressional building, and it ran off from sight. The next thing my co-worker knew he was grabbed by two Capitol policemen for getting too close to a congressional building while Congress was in session. He swore up and down he was looking for an injured cat. No one else saw it. That’s my first hand account of the Demon Cat.

I have interviewed several Capitol Police, and the Capitol Architect as well as many docents. They will tell you the same story: One time the Capitol had tons of cats they used as mousers, and one walked over wet cement. The cat prints are still there. The cats are long gone, and basically that’s the cat history. NO ONE else has seen this cat recently.

Think about it. We have a disastrous Presidential election, two policemen shot and killed, 911, and now a war. There’s no sign of this alleged cat. Either no one is talking, but, most likely it doesn’t exist. The employees at the Capitol aren’t talking, and security is tighter than ever. DCMAG respects the employees and congress and will not intervene with the security of this building nor “snoop around” either. Personally out of respect to Congress as well as my colleagues on Capitol Hill I feel it unnecessary.

Perhaps well hear of this cat when the war is over and we’re safe again. But for now, the cat will remain in the crypt. The Capitol staff really isn’t interested in dispelling myths at this point. If you want to hear about the REAL ghosts of the Capitol, check out dchauntings.com! I spoke with SEVERAL workers at the Capitol, and very much believe their stories….none of which have anything to do with a cat.


-Al Tyas

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