The first residents of the neo-classical mansion named “Villa Paula” were the first Cuban Consulate of Miami, Domingo Milord, and his wife, Paula. The couple moved into the house in the mid-1920s and lived in the elegant ten-room abode for several years before Paula died.
The mansion was built in Little Haiti, Miami, Florida, with materials imported from Cuba. Tuscan columns, very high ceilings, and hand-painted tiles adorning the floor are just a few of the fascinating features incorporated into the home by the Havana architect C. Freira.
The situation regarding Paula’s death is vague, but she did die in one of the bedrooms after having a leg amputated.
Not long after Paula Milord’s death, the Miami mansion was sold to Mrs. Muriel Reardon. She lived there for three decades, until passing away in 1960.
For a short time, the mansion was a home for senior citizens. By 1974, the Villa Paula was in sad shape and empty. For a while, derelicts adopted the big mansion as their home.
A man by the name of Cliff Ensor bought the mansion in 1974, saving the house from being demolished by the city. He and friends began working on Villa Paula to restore the mansion to its once splendid state.
Cliff Ensor was the first resident of Villa Paula to report strange happenings. All of his senses were assaulted with ghostly stimuli. Ensor would often hear high heels walking on the back stone walkway. He also heard a piano playing. Many times knocking was heard at the front door, only to find no one there.
Cliff would sometimes smell the scent of roses in the dining room, and strong coffee brewing in the kitchen, dishware and cutlery were slammed to the floor one time, and a chandelier once fell off the ceiling. Ensor’s bedroom door would shut by itself. According to one source, Paula would play the piano in her bedroom and liked to have the door shut to avoid a draft “on her shoulders as she played.”
More startling than the smells and sounds, were the apparitions. Ensor saw shadows of human forms, and a woman with her hair worn in a bun, moving down the hallway in a long dress. It appeared to Ensor that she had only one leg.
The worst occurrences were the killing of Ensor’s three cats. The back gate inexplicably slammed shut on each one of them. Muriel Reardon was known to have despised cats.
According to information received at a séance held in 1975, there were five entities living in Villa Paula including Paula: “a thin man in a top hat, a heavy-set lady in a red dress, a crying woman looking for a lost medal in the back yard, and a sad young lady looking for the grave of her baby.”
The psychic performing the séance came back to the house many times, channeling a spirit who would play the piano beautifully through the psychic (who couldn’t play at all). Ensor tried to tape the music, but the tapes were always found to be blank when they would try to listen to them. Once a spirit told the group that she didn’t want cats in her house.
After the news of the séances came out to the public, local residents in the area shunned the mansion.
Ensor received a letter from Mrs. Reardon’s daughter telling him that they were not allowed into a certain room in the house because she was “terrified of that room.”
Cliff Ensor sold the mansion after it was renovated, and the beautiful house passed through several owners.
A clothing designer living in the home recently reported strange noises, and the disappearance of his cat. He stated a psychic friend told him upon entering a former maid’s quarters that the maid had been beaten.
Another recent resident reported “stuff moving around, and light bulbs flickering.”