By Brian Levinson
Think you have to travel to Disney World to visit a haunted mansion? Think again. There’s one in Washington Heights, just a few blocks from the C train.
Morris-Jumel Mansion is Manhattan’s oldest house. Built by a British colonel in 1765, it was once a 130-acre farm that stretched from the Hudson to the Harlem River. Today, the museum and National Historic Landmark is a relatively modest dwelling. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in history — much of it macabre.
It briefly served as George Washington’s headquarters during the American Revolution; hosted the first-ever presidential cabinet meeting; and was also the home of the notorious Aaron Burr.
But the mansion’s most fascinating resident was Madame Eliza Jumel, whose life was the stuff of legend. Among the wealthiest women in New York, she lived in the residence from 1810 to 1865. According to some, she never really left. Her ghost is said to haunt the place, occasionally appearing on the balcony. And there are rumors of another spirit that clomps around in heavy boots.