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The Train That Carried Lincoln's Coffin. The Train Itself Became a Ghost.

The Train That Carried Lincoln’s Coffin. The Train Itself Became a Ghost.

Every April The Train Ghosts Through Albany

Following Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 assassination, two coffins—one containing the president’s body and the other bearing the exhumed remains of his young son, Willie, who had died in the White House—were placed on a train pulled by a steam locomotive for transport back to the Lincolns’ home state of Illinois, where they would be buried. All along the route from Washington to Illinois, people lined the tracks to bid farewell to the president who had fought and won the Civil War.

The funeral train was made up of nine cars. The ninth car, which had been built to take the living president and his family on rail trips, was the one in which Lincoln and Willie were carried.

The train’s route passed through Albany, New York, and for a number of years afterward, around the anniversary of Lincoln’s final journey, Albany-area railroad men reported seeing a phantom version of the funeral train traveling on the rails. After a time, on the evening of each April 27, people began making their way to the railroad line in hopes of seeing the ghost train as it passed.

Some paranormal enthusiasts believe Lincoln’s ghost train still rolls through Albany—perhaps even making the entire journey from Washington to Illinois. An additional bit of folklore concerning the train is that as it goes by, it stops clocks and watches in the surrounding area.

Ghost trains in general are a paranormal phenomenon experienced in several other places, including in Europe and Canada. In some ways they are similar to tales of ghost ships on the high seas.

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