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Villa Paula: The Haunted Jewel of Miami

The first Cuban Consulate in Miami is Still the Home of its First Resident

October 20, 2017

According to its official website, Villa Paula is reputed to be the most haunted house in South Florida. It was built in 1925 for the first Cuban Consulate in Miami – Senior Don Domingo Millord and his wife Paula, whose name graces this mansion.

Villa Paula was built with all-Cuban materials and labor, and executed in the elaborate style of a luxurious Cuban villa, with 18 foot high-ceilings, chandeliers, tall cedar windows, hand-painted floor tiles, and Tuscan columns. It has 10 rooms, 2 baths, and 2,552 Sq. Ft.

Six years after Cuban consul Domingo Milord moved into the newly constructed home, his wife Paula died from complications of a leg amputation, and believed to have been buried in the southeast corner of her own backyard.

The next resident was Muriel Reardon, who lived in it for over 30 years. After a variety of owners, the mansion became home to senior citizens, then bought by Cliff Ensor in 1974 and sold in 1987.

Cliff saw many aparitions in the house:

  • There was a steady knocking on the front door intermittently, with no plausible explanation.
    Some spirit personality really hated cats. Cliff’s three pet cats were all killed deliberately by a slamming iron gate. There was no wind to slam the gate on the cats, so some unseen presence would wait for the moment when a cat would go through the gate and then slam the gate on the cat, like a trap. (Former owner, Muriel, really hated cats; was it her?)
  • Cliff’s bedroom door would slam shut all by itself. (“Paula would shut the bedroom door, so she wouldn’t have a draft on her shoulders when she played her beloved piano”, an elderly neighbor told Cliff.)
    Cliff would often smell the strong aroma of Cuban coffee coming from the kitchen, as well as the fragrant smell of roses in the dining room, during the season when roses weren’t blooming.
  • Cliff indirectly and directly saw apparitions of two of his restless housemates. One day, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a shadowy form, which evaporated before he could get a full, direct view with both his eyes. Also, in the hallway, by the bedrooms, he did get a full, focused look of a Cuban woman, who had her black hair pulled back tightly in a bun, and was swishing down the hall happily in a full-length gown, with only one leg, before she melted into the air.
  • Cliff heard the clumping of high heels on the stone path in the Villa’s back yard.
  • After hearing a loud clatter in the kitchen, Cliff found that one of his ghost housemates had had a temper tantrum and had thrown dishes and silverware all over the kitchen area. Also, a front porch chandelier suddenly came loose from its socket and crashed with a bang on the ground below.

 

Rev. Emma Tandarich, a visiting psychic, claimed five spirits haunted the house:

  • Paula was too shy to say who she was, but she did say that she loved to grind Colombian coffee, adored playing music from “Carmen” on the piano, and putting roses around the mansion, as she liked the smell of them.
  • A thin man, who was wearing a top hat.
  • A rather heavy-set lady in a red dress.
  • A crying woman who was upset because she had lost a medal in the garden.
  • A very unhappy young woman who was looking for the burial place of her illegitimate baby.

The property was bought in 2016 by Villa Paula Restoration GRP LLC, which turned the property into a cultural venue, holding art exhibitions, music events, and more.

Villa Paula, located at 5811 North Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127, is open daily from 11:00am to 7:00pm. Click here to visit the official website of Villa Paula.

Sources:

http://www.villapaulamiami.com/
http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/fl/villa_paula_mansion.htm
http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/across-the-nationacross-the-world/2015/miami-social-diary-o
https://terencecantarella.com/2008/04/01/villa-paula-and-the-ghosts-of-little-haiti/
http://wikimapia.org/9458849/Villa-Paula-Mansion

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