Capitol Hill Gets Its Fright On

The best of Halloween from Roll Call’s archives

Roxy, a Doberman Pinscher, makes her way through Historic Congressional Cemetery in Southeast. Dog owners can become members of the cemetery and use it as place to walk their dogs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Roxy, a Doberman Pinscher, makes her way through Historic Congressional Cemetery in Southeast. Dog owners can become members of the cemetery and use it as place to walk their dogs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:46pm

What did we learn from trick-or-treating at the Capitol this year? Chuck Schumer might give you some Chobani.

There’s nothing particularly hair-raising about that. But it’s not all fruit-on-the-bottom bliss when Halloween rolls around in Washington. Roll Call has chronicled years of congressional frights and blood-chilling happenings on the Hill.

A demon cat supposedly roamed the halls. Goats descended on a cemetery. And pumpkin enthusiasts carved the faces of Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton into legions of defenseless gourds.

Here’s a look back at Halloweens past:

 

To All the Specters Who’ve Haunted Us Before

The Capitol may not haunted, but it’s teeming with ghost stories. It’s two centuries old, after all. What four-legged creature kept killing all the mice? What was that strange disturbance in Statuary Hall? Roll Call poked into the cobwebbed corners of the building’s history.

Loading the player...

 

Lawmakers Conjure Up Zombies on the Floor

D.C. may be dead this month as lawmakers enter the frantic homestretch of their midterm campaigns around the country. But last year, Halloween was a hot topic on the House floor, from zombies to hobgoblins to tax tricks.

Loading the player...

 

Dogs in Wigs on Parade

Who could forget that time Thom Tillis threw a canine costume party and some “Game of Thrones” dogs showed up? These photos speak for themselves.

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 31: Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., poses with the Game of Thrones dogs during his Halloween dog parade on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., poses with the Game of Thrones dogs during his Halloween dog parade on Oct. 31, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo) 

 

The Ghosts Who Stare at Goats

When the caretakers of eternal rest at Congressional Cemetery first let loose the goats back in 2013, Roll Call was there. Invasive plant species threatened the historic grounds, but the Eco-Goat herd chowed down on poison ivy and pokeweed in a landscaping method as old as the hills — or at least as old as some of the residents of Congressional Cemetery, which opened in 1807.

You may know that the cemetery is the final resting place of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and that lawmakers’ cenotaphs dot the grounds.

But did you know that it’s also home to a private dog-walking program and something called the Dead Man’s Run, in which runners huff and puff through the headstones?

UNITED STATES - August 7: 'Eco-Goat’s' are released on August 7, 2013 in Washington, DC at the historic Congressional Cemetery to start the process of clearing land that borders the cemetery. The goats are being used for the task so as to prevent toxic chemicals from being used with in the watershed of the nearby Anacostia River. About 20 goats will be used to clear a little over two-acre plot that is over grown with vines, poison ivy, and ground cover adjacent to the cemetery. If the vines are left to grow they will kill the trees and cause damage to the border fence. The historic cemetery holds the remains of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, photographer Mathew Brady, and former Vice President Elbridge Gerry to name a few. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
“Eco-Goat’s” are released on Aug. 7, 2013, at the historic Congressional Cemetery. About 20 goats cleared a two-acre plot overgrown with vines and ground cover. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

 

Lasso of Truth

Last year was a banner year for congressional kids in costume, as a few went trick-or-treating for the very first time. At least one adult got in the spirit too; Rep. Stephanie Murphy was Wonder Woman.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy and her husband, Sean, dressed up with the children this weekend. (Courtesy Murphy)

Erin Franczak contributed to this report.