Abraham Lincoln’s incredible tale is related in the book Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847–1865 written by his close friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.
According to Lamon, Lincoln confided in him about a chilling experience he had the night he was elected 16th president of the United States.
Alone in his room, Lincoln glanced into a mirror and saw two versions of his own face, one “reflecting the full glow of health and hopeful life” and the other “showing a ghostly paleness.”
Reportedly, when he was renominated in 1864, Lincoln recalled this experience and concluded that the ghostly face he had seen that night meant “he would surely hear the fatal summons from the silent shore” before the end of his second term.
In Recollections, Lincoln’s inability to reproduce this phenomenon in another mirror was touted as mysterious.
Now, that inability is held up as proof that this event was simply the result of a flawed mirror.
Nevertheless, if one of Lincoln’s close friends is to be believed, the sight had a profound and haunting effect on Lincoln during the last years of his life.