But don't expect that building to be part of any renewed thaw as old hatchets are buried. That's because the old Cuban consulate — a lovely building known as Villa Paula — is perhaps the most haunted building in Miami, all thanks to the ghost of a one-legged Cuban woman.
Amidst all the news today about the U.S. and Cuba officially reopening
diplomatic ties, it's easy to forget how close the nations once were. In
fact, Miami itself was once a hotbed of diplomacy with Havana, thanks
to a Cuban consulate located right in town on North Miami Avenue.
is said that her ghost permeates the house: shelves shake, sometime in
the evenings a woman is seen in the hallway," Dr. Paul George of
HistoryMiami tells New Times.
The story of Villa Paula goes
back to the 1920s, when the Cuban government opened a consulate in
modern-day Little Haiti. It was built entirely from materials imported
from Cuba. The high ceilings, hand-painted tiles and columns designed by
Cuban architect C. Freira echo other contemporary structures in Havana.
1926, Cuban Consul Domingo Millord moved in with his wife, Paula, a
beautiful, young woman from Havana. The cause of her death is still
unknown, but it might be linked to complications from a leg amputation.
It was long rumored that she was buried in the backyard — though those
most of those rumors have been debunked, according to an excellent piece
on the residence in Biscayne Times from a few years back.
way, shortly after her death, the consulate closed. The building has
been bought and sold a number of times over the decades since, falling into disrepair amidst numerous restorations.
Ensor, who bought the house in 1974, was said to have invited psychics
to the home, one of whom supposedly pointed to five different ghosts in
the building (one belonging to a maid searching for her baby). A
Satanist was allegedly even brought into the house and started choking
in one of the rooms.