Monday, July 20, 2015

The Ghost of a One-Legged Woman Haunts Miami’s Cuban Consulate

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.

"It 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.

In 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.

Either 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.

Cliff 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.

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