Eliza Jumel, the Wrathful Wraith of Washington Heights
Eliza Jumel is a ghost in her own right at the Morris-Jumel Mansion at 65 Jumel Terrace in Washington Heights. Built in 1765 as a summer home for British colonel Roger Morris and his wife, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan. It served as George Washington’s headquarters in September and October 1776 during the American Revolutionary War.
Eliza Jumel, former mistress of the mansion, has been seen wandering the house in a purple dress, rapping on walls and windows. Eliza and Stephen Jumel took control of the house in 1810. Their marriage was quite tumultuous, as Eliza was supposedly having an affair with Aaron Burr. In 1832, Stephen met his death as he mysteriously fell on a pitchfork in the cellar.
Without wasting any time, Eliza married Aaron Burr. Eliza divorced Burr three years later for still playing around at age eighty! Burr died not long after. She continued to call herself “Mrs. Burr” because of his notoriety. Eventually, Eliza’s mental health deteriorated because of Alzheimer’s.
The hauntings began soon after her death at age 90 in 1865, as Eliza was allegedly seen wandering about the property in a white dress and producing spine-tingling noises. When a psychic went to the mansion and purportedly summoned the spirit of Stephen Jumel, the spirit said that he was murdered and buried alive. In 1964, Eliza, wearing a violet dress, supposedly appeared to some schoolchildren and yelled at them to “shut up!” They identified her when they viewed Alcide Ercole’s life-size portrait of her and grandchildren. Hans Holzer held two séances there in1965 but heard nothing from Eliza. Holzer claimed her first husband Stephen Jumel complained about her.
Since then, visitors claim to see the drunken soldier on the staircase, Eliza Jumel bumping forth in the night, and he two former husbands quarreling in the cellar!