A less scientific type of prognostication than the polls is also apparently predicting that George Bush will win the election Tuesday - call it the "demon cat" prophecy.

Florian Thayn, a one-time student at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah who is now a historian with the office of the architect of the U.S. Capitol, said a mysterious "demon cat" supposedly shows up before elections in which parties change power.He hasn't been reported so far this year, so maybe the demon cat is predicting that the Republicans will hold onto the White House.

Thayn said the "demon cat" has been the most persistent of all the stories about ghosts and specters in the Capitol through the years.

"It began 100 years ago in the days when the halls were lighted by old oil lamps, and the halls were really kind of dark and eerie no matter the time of day. The stories said someone would see a cat coming toward him. As it came closer, it would grow larger and larger until it appeared it would consume him.

"If a noise or something startled it, it would explode and vanish," she said. Thayn added, "It was said to appear only on the eve of a national disaster or when a new party was going to come to power - I'm not sure whether that's a disaster or not."

She said she hasn't heard anyone report seeing it yet this year. But over time, many more sightings of it have been reported than of the Capitol's other main ghosts - such as John Quincy Adams, who supposedly arises from the grave to finish the speech he was giving in the House of Representatives when he died, or reports of statues in Statuary Hall jumping off their pedestals and dancing.

Has Thayn in her 24 years of researching history at the Capitol ever seen the demon cat, J.Q. Adams or the dancing statues? "No, I don't stay here that late at night," she said.