I have always been obsessed with ghosts. Besides being a fan of ghost stories, I also love to read about “real” hauntings. So when one of my paranormal books named a historic site with a reputation for being haunted right in New York City, I was extremely excited to go there. George accompanied me on this trip. He and I have a strange connection with ghosts. He doesn’t generally see them on his own. However, when he’s with me for some reason, sometimes we both experience the same paranormal phenomena whether it is visual or auditory.
One weekend during a college break, we decided to go visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion. Built in 1765, it has the honor of being the “oldest remaining house in Manhattan.” According to the museum website, it was even a temporary headquarters for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The book that I read told stories about seeing ghosts of soldiers around the property and of Eliza Jumel, one of the house’s former mistresses, yelling at students to stop playing on the grounds.
I expected to see her walking along the top balcony, but I didn’t. I felt some cold spots, especially in the blue room where she supposedly died, but that could have just been the air conditioning. Like most historic houses, you’re not allowed inside the actual room so much as into a screened off area to view the room. My encounter happened in the room that was supposed to have belonged to a younger female family member.
Some of the best books that I have read about hauntings are by Hans Holzer, a renowned paranormal investigator. He suggested that you could talk aloud to ghosts or even mentally communicate with them, so I decided to give it a try. Walking up to the partition of the female’s room, I greeted the spirits in the house. I made sure not to be demanding, so much as to ask if any spirits would be willing to give us a sign of their presence.
“Hello. We have come here specifically to see you. If anyone can or would like to try to make contact with us, please feel free to let us know that you are here.”
After a few minutes of viewing the room, I was about to move on when George suddenly called my attention to something that we hadn’t noticed before. “Does the mirror look funny to you?”
The antique mirror was hanging on the wall in the room. It seemed either dusty or cloudy, but I swore that it had been clear moments before. As we continued to stare at it, the “dust” or whatever it was on the mirror started to form into a man’s face and eyes. There was no one else up there with us and I hadn’t told any of the staff that I was there to investigate ghosts. I didn’t think they would hide a trick mirror in what was supposed to be a historical house either. A mist started forming below the mirror as well. Fearing that the man might come out of the mirror, I started backing up toward the stairwell.
“Okay, great…Lovely house you have here…So, umm…We’re going to go now. Thanks for appearing. Bye!”
Then I grabbed George and ran out of the house. I didn’t sleep well that night. It took me almost a month to get over my new fear of mirrors.
Update: On viewing the virtual tour that the Morris-Jumel Mansion has on its website, the haunted mirror has appeared to have been removed. If interested, check out this link on the Morris-Jumel Mansion for more historical information.
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