Built in 1785, the Mordecai House is currently the oldest residence in Raleigh remaining on its current foundation. It was constructed by city founder Joel Lane (1740-1795) for his son Henry, but was eventually named for local lawyer and judge Moses Mordecai (1785-1824) who married one of Lane's daughters. Before his death, Mordecai hired State Architect William Nichols to enlarge the house. In 1826, the Mordecai House was modified to its present Greek Revival style mansion.
Today, the residence is part of Mordecai Historic Park. Also at this location is the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson, moved here from downtown Raleigh along with a couple other cherished landmarks...part of the Raleigh Downtown Historic District called Mordecai Square. The Mordecai House is open for tours daily for an admission fee.
An investigation was conducted by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) at the Mordecai House as well as the U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington which were both aired in an episode of Ghost Hunters on August 17, 2005. The mansion is said to be haunted by a woman, Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, wearing a long back skirt, white blouse and tie. There has also been been reports of hauntings in and around the Andrew Johnson birthplace as well.
What a wonderfully historic home! Thank you so much for sharing all of the fabulous information along with the amazing photo. I enjoyed greatly learning all of this.
I grew up learning about the Mordecai House and the paranormal activity firsthand from my mother. Her family lived in a small house on Person street, across from what is presently Person Street Pharmacy. The property is located several city blocks from the Mordecai House. Person street was notoriously muddy, so planks were laid down in the tracks travelled by horses, wagons and carriages; consequently, the street, or road, was called the Plank Road. My mother's family were sitting on the porch of the little house situated close to the road and suddenly the loud sound of hoofbeats were heard coming up from the area of the Mordecai property. The "horse" was a carpenter's sawhorse; it galloped on up Plank Road until it was out of sight. My mother related stories of going down to the "Mordecai Place" on moonlit nights to watch "the lady" in filmy garb, dance back and forth over the style that spanned the fence there. My own experience is one I shall never forget. It was a sultringly hot night in early July, 1942. My fiance and I parked there on Mimosa Street, across of the Mordecai House. I did not realize where we were. As we sat discussing our wedding, which was a couple of weeks away, the wind began to blow- but ONLY in the small tree (one of a number that lined the street there) under which we sat. It became so that the boughs bent and swayed and scraped the top of the car. I began to cry and we were both terrified. When we arrived home, I related the incident to my mother, still in tears. "Where were you?", she asked. "On a little street named Mimosa,", I replied. "My God", mother exclaimed, 'You were at the Mordecai Place" I shall never forget that incident; do I believe in hauntings? Do I believe the Mordecai House is haunted? YES!! emphatically. Thank you for your informative and enjoyable website. Sincerely, L. Shinbara, Raleigh.
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Photo taken in Mordecai, Raleigh, NC 27604, USA
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