The Plaza New York – Would you stay Home Alone?


The Plaza, NYC (photo Ann McElroy)

On the corner of Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park, stands one of the most iconic hotels in New York history. A place Ann and Dominic chose to celebrate their NYC wedding along with fellow team members Eileen and Mike. What was not expected in the light of day, was paranormal activity to be joining in the celebrations!

It was designed by French Renaissance inspired architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, who also designed the nearby haunted Dakota building, site of the murder of John Lennon, who experienced the spirits of The Dakota first hand. Ironically, The Beatles spent six nights in The Plaza in 1964. The 1919 additions were added by the architects of the haunted Grand Central Terminal!

The whole area including Central Park, was full of bluffs and swampland, home to the Native American Tribe, The Lenape, until Dutch settlers took control. The first building on the site (after Irish pig farmers were removed) was the New York Skating Club. Just a few feet from The Plaza is The Pond, were the spirits of two sisters are seen skating.

So many famous and often, notorious guests have stayed here, that the reports of disembodied voices, doors opening and closing on their own and shadow figures being seen regularly come as no surprise!

Champagne Bar, The Plaza NYC (photo Ann McElroy)

This brings us to our wedding lunch in The Champagne Bar of the Plaza. It was quiet, being a Monday in January and we were seated, everything lovely and normal. A can of coke was brought to Mike and we watched, astonished, is it slid from one side of the table to the other and completely twisted around 360 degrees, before sliding across again! Straight away we went into debunk mode-paranormal investigators first, wedding party second! We checked the can for expansion, dents, condensation, nothing. We checked the level of the table, the floor, everything. Our waiter came over to check if everything was ok and we asked had he experienced any unusual activity. As he opened his mouth to answer, the can moved from one side of the table to the other again! Astounded, the waiter said no and gestured to his colleagues.

Eileen immediately reached out to see if it was family, but we did not get a definitive answer, just the can moving slowly one more time, as the energy dissipated, which we finally caught on video.



The Cursed Palace of Venice – Ca’Dario

Introducing Ca’ Dario, the cursed gothic palace of Venice! Anyone who has stayed here for more than 20 days or owned it, has befallen the curse.

Murder, suicide, bankruptcy and misery, it was named ‘the house that kills’ by local fishermen who will not cast their nets within the shadow of the building or the spirits who remain.

Wealthy nobleman Giovanni Dario founded the house in 1479 and after he died, his daughter Marietta inherited the unlucky residence. Her husband was soon stabbed and died and inconsolable, Marietta drowned herself in the Grand Canal. Soon after, their son was murdered in Greece.

In the mid-nineteenth century, an English scientist took up residence. After just a few years, his work and lifestyle led him to bankruptcy. After his secret gay affair was revealed, it became too much and he and his partner died in the palace by murder-suicide. A similar fate awaited an American who subsequently fled, only for his lover to kill himself.

Too scared to reside in it, locals stayed away from Ca’Dario and it remained empty for fifty years or so. In the sixties, opera singer Mario del Monaco was preparing to purchase the canal side property, only to be in car crash on the way to sign the deeds, so he wisely pulled out!

The seventies saw the property occupied by the Count of Turin, who was slain by his lover Raul! Kit Lambert, who managed The Who, became Baron Lambert of Palazzo Dario, before becoming embroiled in the court system to avoid drug charges. This led to his earnings being taken from him and Kit spiralled into drink and drugs despair, dying after falling down the stairs! In a strange twist of fate, John Entwistle of The Who died of a cocaine induced heart attack, just one week after renting the palace…

A local businessman purchased the cursed home in the eighties with his sister. In a short time frame he lost all his wealth and his sister died in a car collision. Italian mogul Raul Gardini took over residency, before he too saw his empire crash and he committed suicide in 1993.

Were their hauntings driving the occupants of the palazzo to their doom? Kit Lambert thought so and started to sleep in a local hotel to escape the ghosts he believed surrounded him.

The curse may have begun beneath the foundations, as Ca’ Dario was built over a Templar Cemetery. It now stands empty, a must visit for paranormal enthusiasts and purveyors of dark tourism, however locals stay away, fearful of seeing the shadowy figures and hearing the mumblings within.

If you are brave enough, you can purchase the haunted palace of Venice yourself – if you have €20,000,000 to spare and believe you can escape the curse of Ca’ Dario…




St. Albans Cathedral (photo Ann Massey)

As we explored St. Albans, the haunted Cathedral was very much on our visit list and we were not disappointed! Formerly a Norman abbey, it was a victim of Henry VIII and his dissolution decree, but obtained cathedral status in the late 1800s. It’s origins go back much further however, to a tale of persecution, execution and sainthood, leading to many sightings and reports of haunting right up to the present day.

It is a mix of original 8th century Norman foundations, with the addition of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with an intense atmosphere we have not encountered in any other places of worship we have visited.

So Who Was Saint Alban?

Centuries before the construction of the abbey, a young man called Alban lived in the Roman town of Verulamium that St. Albans grew from. He befriended a priest who was fleeing a mob and gave sanctuary to the Christian teacher.

Word reached the Roman officials who sent soldiers to arrest the priest. Alban put on the priest’s clothing and passed himself off as the fugitive. He was presented to the judge while the lawman was practicing pagan rites at the altar of his gods. Interestingly, in the writings of Saint Bede, these are described as worshipping the “devils.”

The furious judge screamed that Alban was to be punished for not respecting the gods and in response the brave Christian replied “I worship the one true God who created all things.” These words are still repeated in the Catherdral today.

Incensed, the judge ordered Alban to be tortured and when that failed, he ordered the man to be beheaded. The execution procession reached the river and they could not cross. The townsfolk blocked the bridge so Alban prayed and the river dried up. His would be executioner fell to his knees and refused to condemn the Holy man, at the cost of his own life.

Once they reached a meadow of beauty, in contrast the two men were beheaded and the eyes of the executioner fell from their sockets so he could not gloat over his heinous act. The eyes rolled with the head of the would be Saint and where it rested, water sprang from the ground. Saint Albans’s Cathedral is said to be the site of the execution and the spring is now Holywell Hill.

The Ghosts of the Cathedral

During the war, places of note like St. Albans Cathedral would have a firewatch, a rota of locals would take turns to ensure that those seeking refuge within and the important historical artefacts were not fire damaged.

One poor young fellow was alone making his rounds when he glanced into the Mezzanine, only to see two robed figures staring back at him, right at the feet of the statue of St. Alban. Despite his nerves, he followed his duty to the letter and climbed the stairs to the organ loft to investigate. Of course when he got up there, no one was around!

Shaken, he descended the stairs, only to be drawn back to the sound of the organ playing. When the poor chap arrived back up, there was a lighted candle upon the organ and sheet music open as the keys of the organ were being pressed by an invisible force!

Already terrorised, the poor youth was astounded to glance into the Nave and see a procession of chanting monks walking in the aisle before disappearing into nothing.

There have been many instances of ghostly organ play reported, as well as monk sightings and apparitions disappearing through walls.

A Canon returned from a late night meeting and heard the organ being played, however the score was unfamiliar to him. He quizzed the organist the following day, who said he hadn’t been anywhere near the Cathedral. A few weeks later, some music sheets from the 1400s were uncovered that had belonged to the Master of the King’s Music. When the organist played it, the hairs on the back of the Canon’s neck stood up – it was the same music he heard played by the phantom organist!

Ghostly Roman soldiers has been sighted on more than one occasion marching on the grounds and the spirit of St. Alban himself dressed in white has been seen serenely inspecting his domain.

Blessed and Cursed – The Ancient Cedar Tree

St. Albans Cathedral has grounds that are both lawned and containing graves. One of the trees within was planted by an ancestor of Princess Diana and it has a legend attached. The cedar tree is over 200 years old and carries a legend, that if you walk around it 12 times clockwise, you will encounter true love.

If you make the mistake and go around anticlockwise however, you will come face to face with the devil.

A fascinating location, we were glad to have the opportunity to visit and explore. Definitely something ethereal there that requires more investigation!

St. Albans Cathedral (Photo Ann Massey)


Photo by Ann Massey

In a field inundated with photographs, videos and recordings screaming out “supernatural,” it is important to remain focused and grounded to enable us to distinguish between pareidolia and a potentially paranormal anomaly.

So What Exactly Is Pareidolia?

It is a condition where the brain perceives patterns in imagery or sound where none exist. Visual pareidolia is where you would for example; see a face in a potato or a cloud, Jesus on a slice of toast or as supernatural images such as the Witch Stone at Blarney Castle.

Witch of Blarney (photo Blarney Castle)

Pareidolia has fascinated scientists for decades. Of course everyone is familiar with Hermann Rorscach’s inkblot test devised in the sixties, where a serious of random patterns were shown to a subject and they were asked to say the first thing that came in to their heads. The theory is that it would pull emotions from the subconscious and a psychiatrist could interpret the state of mind. Thankfully this theory is now widely disputed among academics.

Audio pareidolia is where a sound can be misconstrued, such as thinking messages can be heard in reversed musical recordings or mistaking a random sound as a voice, or white noise as a growl, as you would come across with EVP recordings.

How Does It Happen?

Essentially the frontal cortex of the brain sends signals to the posterior visual cortex. These signals literally augment any recognisable components reaching the brain and convert them into a familiar image such as a face.

It appears to be not a sign of an unbalanced mind, but a well wired brain, able to process random imagery rapidly.

Why Does It Happen And To Whom?

It used to be thought of as being unique to those with heightened religious beliefs or people like us, with an interest in the supernatural; however that is not really the case.

Studies have shown it occurs in those prone to being neurotic or with anxiety or negative personas. Again this is only a piece of a bigger jigsaw. The reason these demographics are more prone to pareidolia goes back to instinctive survival, fight or flight.

In these groups there is a more heightened sense of apprehension and expectancy, so the brain works faster to try and recognise a potential threat, pushing out images of danger that in reality are not there.

In The Paranormal Field

Because of the existence of this phenomenon, at Irish Paranormal Investigations we have a strict code of practice when it comes to evidence. With our own findings, we only use raw audio and image files when assessing data. There is nothing stand alone, evidence needs to be validated by location, time, environment and physical presence at some point in the location.

For the team to stand behind an EVP or photograph for example, there needs to be a general consensus and we would never ask a team member to stand by or speculate on a finding if they were not on site themselves as the margin for error is too great.

That said, opinions will always be forthcoming as we bounce theories around, This is how our research progresses and we will always welcome data for analysis. We cannot however, stand by and make a formal finding on third party evidence of any persuasion – that would be reckless.

Visual or audio pareidolia is most likely responsible for the vast majority of alleged paranormal ‘evidence.’ By ruling out as much pareidolia as we can with our code of practice, the small nuggets of unexplained findings are exciting and motivate us to research further into the paranormal field.



As well as our articles on locations and folklore, we will bring you ‘tech’ pieces to give a better understanding of the equipment and methods you see used. Let’s take a look at the mysterious sounding ‘EMF Meter.’

Anyone who has ever watched a Paranormal investigation on television or been on a investigation themselves has heard the term ‘EMF’ banded about. We use EMF meters and they look great and the K2 version will flash away but what does it all mean, and do they really work?

First, we need to understand what EMF actually means. It stands for ‘Electro-magnetic field.’ That’s basically energy created either magnetically or electronically. The Earth itself has its own field which is how compasses work and anything electronic has one also.

What makes up the field? Electrons are the simple answer. Their movement creates the field naturally and when it comes to electronics the drive of energy through a circuit and electrons via a conductor create a similar field.

EMF meters work by two basic methods, although in truth the actual measurements and readings are far more complex and scientific. EMFs are created by DC pulses radiating and in this instance the reader will work on density. They also work on AC currents which are measured over time and make up most man made electronic devices.

There is something vital any paranormal investigator needs to understand before undertaking any kind of paranormal investigation. Electro-magnetic fields and pulsating energy can physically and mentally cause the kind of damage that can appear as a paranormal experience.

Physical symptoms can be anything from fatigue, nausea, headaches and rashes to feeling like you’re having a seizure or chest tightness and pains. Mentally they can manifest from feelings of uneasiness to full blown hallucinations.

As you can imagine with the amount of electronic equipment we have in our homes and work places, it is very hard to distinguish between the effects of EMF and genuine paranormal experiences.

Our first job on an investigation is visual. To take in the amount of electronics around and relate that to where alleged paranormal occurrences take place. The other is to discuss with those affected any other ‘symptoms’ they may be experiencing, before any EMF measurements take place.

With regards to the type of meter that should be used, it should be noted that K2 meters are great for public investigations as they give a series of lights based on the strength of reading but they are, by and large, inaccurate. That is why for private investigations we use a trifield meter which gives a more accurate digital or analogue reading.

We can then take readings all over a location to establish a baseline for EMF and any fluctuations. Most households will have readings of less than 0.1 milliGauss and it is recommended not to be exposed to more than 2.5 mG. Astonishingly a simple thing like a microwave oven can expose you to up to 25 mG from a few feet away.

Only once we have baseline readings as a point of reference, can we consider using an EMF meter to register anomalies as part of an investigation. It is thought that any entity trying to manifest, whether visually, physically or audibly uses an immense amount of energy or EMF to be exact. It is therefore a possibility/theory that a high reading over any base readings once localised sources are discounted, are an indication of a potential paranormal event or anomaly.

Even so, any spike in readings is only an indication of potentially increased energy and a hint at the possibility of something paranormal. Therefore, an EMF reading on its own should NEVER be classed as independent proof of the paranormal. It is simply a question mark that requires further investigation.




Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

Ann was chatting on Tipp FM radio this morning about haunted dolls! We covered everything from the current Stormy Daniels court case in the US to Annabelle.

Did you know that Chucky was based on a doll called Robert who is kept in Florida? He causes such fear that past presidents have written to the doll and those who photograph him without permission end up regretting it! 

For those who don’t know the background to Annabelle, she is not as portrayed in the movies, but a Raggedy Ann doll, much less sinister looking, but looks can be deceiving.

Annabelle was bought for a nursing student called Donna by her mother. In 1970 while sharing an apartment, Donna and her roommate claim they were subjected to terror at the hands of the child’s plaything. Annabelle would move around, leave notes and be covered in blood, as well as a claim of attacking a boyfriend in the apartment.

A psychic told Donna the doll was possessed by the spirit of a dead child. She called in Ed and Lorraine Warren, who deemed Annabelle dangerous and locked her in a glass case in their museum with strict instructions not to open it. 

Does it all sound a bit far-fetched? Well it shouldn’t. For thousands of years dolls have been created as talismans of protection against evil by everyone from the Egyptians and Native Americans to the Dutch arriving in the New World in the 1600s and settling in Manhattan.

The New York Dutch used their dolls to ward off local ghosts and spirits of the New World in a bid to keep their own ways. It is possible those indigenous to the area took offence and thus the beginning of dolls being thought of as evil began. 

The Native Americans, along with many Asian cultures, have believed for centuries that the spirits of the deceased, particularly children, have had the power to possess a doll. Think about it – when we are children, we pour all our emotion and creative thought into those dolls and teddy bears we played with. Our hearts and souls.

Is it possible that some of that intense energy sometimes transfers, particularly on heirlooms and items of great personal value? 

This could potentially be true of any dolls made from natural materials, acting as conduits and methods of spiritual imprint in much the same way we view stone tape theory. It is probably why you don’t get many haunted Barbie dolls! Of course there is also the possibility of the doll being a trigger object. The familiarity of the toy drawing in a spirit reaction and being of a size more easy to manipulate. 

Of course we then move on to demon infestation. Is it likely or even possible? Well we know it has been thought that spirits can be “trapped” in objects, just look at the Dybbuk Box. In Jewish folklore, a Dybbuk is a disembodied spirit who has committed sins so heinous they are doomed to walk the earth, searching for a living host to contain their essence.

The Dybbuk box was used to imprison the evil spirit to prevent human possession. Could the same be said of dolls we wonder, either by a curse or indeed a demonic entity looking for a willing victim, hidden as a child’s plaything?

And speaking of curses, let’s not forget the power of the Voodoo Doll! Working much like an Irish Piseóg, the fear of the cursed object causes the receipient of the ill-will to do more damage to themselves that any real object power could do. 

In Togo in West Africa, they have the world’s largest voodoo market called the Akodessawa Fetish Market, which specialises in haunted dolls and Voodoo dolls which have been cursed and imbibed with magic by tribal sorcerers and warlocks.

Have you had any experiences with a haunted doll? We would love for you to tell us about it! 



Dundrum House, photo Dominic McElroy

It is said that the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, is the place where the veil between worlds is at the thinnest in all of Ireland. Just a few miles away is Dundrum House, with a bloodied and chequered past, that remains very much in the present – the veil lifted and the ghostly remains of curses, insanity and haunting stepping firmly through.

Dundrum House and the Maude Family History

The area around Dundrum was owned by the O’Dwyers of Kilnamanagh. During Cromwellian occupation, Phillip O’Dwyer captured Cashel with his followers in 1641 which led to more retaliation across Munster. After a number of battles Phillip O’Dwyer of Dundrum was sentenced to death. He cheated the gallows however, by dying before he could be executed. His lands were taken from his kin and given to the Maude family.

The first Maude to gain the…

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Photo Ann Massey-

When you are visiting a castle that is said to have its own Púca haunting the place, who better to have along than an actual Púca?!

Photo by Ann Massey – John Ambrose Martin of Púca Paranormal

John Ambrose Martin of Púca Paranormal was our knowledgeable guide, as IPI got to explore Lackeen Castle, hidden away in the rural splendour of County Tipperary. Situated on farmland, cows meander the green fields, oblivious to the historic monument beside them, rich in folklore and tales of haunting.

Photo by Ann Massey

Home to the O’Kennedy clan, as with many fortresses, there was most likely a 12th century tower in situ before the laying of foundations for a 16th century stronghold. It is that Castle of the 1500s that we stood within.

Photo by Ann Massey

It is eerily similar in structure and design to Redwood Castle, where we were going to be spending the night. While Redwood Castle is going through longstanding restoration, Lackeen has sadly succumbed to time and the harsh reality of nature.

Photo by Ann Massey

The imposing tower was still and silent once inside. Incredible when one realises that when stood outside the sounds of birds, tractors and a nearby road were clearly audible. The aura was one of watchfulness, perhaps a guardian ensuring the O’Kennedy stronghold was respected. Or was it something else?

Photo by Ann Massey – Dominic McElroy IPI

For legend has it that a Púca lies within the tower house, whether waiting patiently for revenge or feeling a tie to its former prison, no one can tell. 

Photo by Ann Massey – Katie Donegan IPI

A Púca is of the Unseelie court, fairy folk who have the potential to be malevolent. It has the ability to shape shift, often into a horse, hare or goat. They are extremely mischievous and can be a waking nightmare for those who encounter them.

Photo by Ann Massey

One of the O’Kennedy clan came upon a few hags who were grave robbing, needing corpse parts to complete their spells. Hags are more than meets the eye. Practitioners of Witchcraft, they often held positions of power and used it for evil purposes, the Devil their only master.

Photo by Ann Massey – Dominic McElroy and Michael Donegan IPI

Such was the darkness of their deeds, they were protected by a Púca. O’Kennedy was stronger however, and managed to capture the fairy creature, halting the hags and thwarting their heinous crime.

Photo by Ann Massey

The servants of O’Kennedy were terrified to have such a dark creature under their roof and begged their Master to release the unholy beast. He did so, but only after the Púca swore to bring no harm to the clan or servants of Lackeen Castle.

Photo by Ann Massey

In the castle you can clearly see the remains of a murder hole, an imposing fireplace and many other exciting remnants of the past. We even came across the name “Dom” scratched into the stone, which we assure you was not carried out by our own Dominic! Our many thanks to John Ambrose Martin for showing us around this incredible location!

Photo by Ann Massey


Knight’s Templar Tower

For centuries the Knights Templar have become immortalised in legend and mystery, entwined with Freemasonry and have always been a source of fascination for me. Imagine my delight at finding a Knight’s Templar Tower just a few miles up the road in Askeaton – home to historical graveyards, a medieval friary and churches, the Desmond castle and of course, the Limerick branch of the Hellfire Club.

St. Mary’s

Saint Mary’s Church dates back to 1827, however a much earlier construction dates back to the 13th century, where just the tower of the Knights Templar construction remains. The Knights Templar arrived in Ireland officially with Strongbow and the Normans and were here for around 150 years.

Much of their work and assets were clandestine and very little indeed was documented, however they did have a good bit of property in Munster. Their true strength lay not in military matters, but finance and banking. The Knights Templar had a world network of moneylending and holding and transferring the money of the rich, as well as handling taxes from Ireland to England and a network of small holdings generating income in Ireland. They were too successful however, and King Philip the Fair of France owed them ridiculous amounts of money. Not willing to pay, he joined forces with Pope Clement V to accuse the Knights of heresy and bring about their downfall.

Famine Grave

The coordinated arrests of the members of the Knights Templar across France took place on Friday 13th October 1307. And thus one of the main origins of the Friday 13th superstition began! The following year these arrests, accusations and land seizures spread across Ireland and the demise of the Knights Templar really took hold. In a few short years, they were erased from the Irish way of life, however their legacy very much remains.

Grave of Aubrey de Vere

The graves are much older than the 1827 church, with one headstone having the inscription 1641 and others so worn with the passage of time and the elements that they are blank markers of those sleeping beneath. The largest grave is the ‘Famine’ mass grave, an epitaph in memory of those who lost their lives in the Great Hunger. On the pathway nearest the church, lies the Irish poet and nationalist, Aubrey de Vere, who’s home was at Curraghchase, a favourite Limerick haunted location of ours!

All photos and content Ann Massey/IPI


Sometimes a private case has us so intrigued, we return again and again. This is one such case. What made it more unusual for a private case, was that the location was in the middle of a rural road!

An acquaintance who knew of our work reached out for help after one of the strangest experiences of his life. A solid individual, as he told his story he was still coming to terms with not only the event itself, but the way it had left him reeling. 

The gentleman in question was heading for a meeting, following a country lane, when he reached a bend in the road. At this point his car radio went static and as he looked into the road through his headlights, a solid mist began to take a humanoid form in front of him and began to direct his way. 

As he drove forward, the mist cut through the bonnet of the car and in through the interior and the driver himself, like “a punch to the gut.” His body turned to ice as the engine cut out. In his rear view mirror, he could see the mist begin to reform its shape as he turned the key over and over to start the car. As the mist began to move towards him once again, the car sprang to life and as he moved the mist stopped dead as the radio came to life.

When we first attended the location, you could see how nervous the individual was to revisit the spot. As there was a storm, equipment would be futile, so it was a walk around and inspection of the site and surrounding area.

To the left of the location by a couple of metres was a field containing a visible fairy fort and to the right, a house of a good age that would require investigation. There was also a running stream and an old wall that, on closer inspection, contained the remains of fossilised trees.

It was time for research. We were indeed correct that there was a fairy fort within the adjacent farmer’s field. The wall, as it turned out, was dating back over a thousand years. The house actually pre-dated the famine and was on lands that would have seen much suffering, illness and death.

Further research has shown that just a short distance away was a famine workhouse and the entire region has connections to Druids and the Knights Templar. 

Seasonal returns to the area have shown that regardless of the time of year and weather conditions, in a small area no more than two metres square, there are notable temperature drops. There is also uneasy silence and lack of birdsong for a place so rural and with trees and other suitable areas for nesting. 

We have found local stories of ghostly of funeral processions and of course the entire area was a part of various battles during the Desmond Rebellions and the invasion of Oliver Cromwell. 

The question remains, was the mist a malevolent being? That is certainly the impression left on our client, who remains shaken by the experience. Ann, being an empath, also felt a darker energy present, but more of a protective force connected to the location. Dominic noted the readings for the immediate area were inconsistent with the local baseline readings and that there were no power-lines or other man made influence within a close enough proximity to have interfered with readings, 

We conclude at this point that our client did have a paranormal experience and that the location has evidence of unusual activity to substantiate that conclusion. For now we are left with more questions than answers, but without better records for the immediate area, we cannot deduce further what or who that mist may have been.

Perhaps we shall return again and be lucky enough to experience the mist for ourselves first hand, but for now, case closed. 


Aaron Burr’s Chair

We have heard of objects being haunted, which is a phenomenon we are researching at the moment along with trigger objects. What happens if the two are combined? A spirit who remains in a property and who also has a great emotional attachment to a particular object or piece of furniture, as opposed to “haunting it.” An item that when touched or used by someone living, invokes paranormal activity? We came across one such occurrence when we were investigating Manhattan.

One of our most interesting and active investigations to date was the 18th century Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York. Home to Sir Roger Morris, war room to George Washington, a tavern and most notably, home to socialite Eliza Jumel. On our private investigation with Chris of Gotham Paranormal (part of the TAPS family) we had many experiences, however one of the most impressive was in relation to former Vice President Aaron Burr.

If you have seen the musical Hamilton, you will know Burr as the man who shot dead Founding Father Alexander Hamilton during a duel. He went on to marry Eliza Jumel following the death of her first husband Stephen after a mysterious accident that carried the label of murder, fingers pointed at Eliza.

Bust of Aaron Burr

Undeterred, the wealthy widow continued on her quest for business success and recognition among New York’s elite. Part of this plan seemed to be a marriage of convenience between Eliza and former Vice President Aaron Burr.

Aaron Burr was substantially older than Eliza and had the stain of the death of Hamilton on his reputation. He also had to endure a trial for treason for which he was acquitted, and had little in the way of personal wealth. Despite this, his previous standing as Vice President, his political connections and place in Manhattan society made Burr a viable match, bringing Eliza a step closer to the acceptance she seemed to crave.

Portrait of Eliza Jumel

Unfortunately this union was short-lived, as the new Mrs. Burr discovered her husband was frittering away her fortune on frivolous and unsuccessful property speculation as well as engaging in an apparent affair.

Outraged, Eliza threw Aaron Burr out of the house and he was forced to take up residence in a low class boarding house in Staten Island where he suffered a stroke. Burr fought tooth and nail for access to the mansion he believed should be his and he felt he had the right to die in the very bed Stephen Jumel had taken his own final breath in.

In a public demonstration of Eliza’s business acumen and evidence of her tough persona and clever wit, she hired none other than Alexander Hamilton Jnr. as her divorce attorney, son of the man Aaron Burr had shot to death.

In a further twist in favour of Eliza, her estranged husband died on the very day the divorce was to be granted, so Eliza retained the right to call herself widow of Vice President Aaron Burr and kept every cent and acre of the fortune she had built for herself.

We had already been feeling the power and animosity of Aaron Burr in other areas of the house, however the Master Bedroom was going to provide unparalleled activity of a much darker persuasion.

Centred, were the bed and an armchair belonging to Aaron Burr, with the mahogany furniture and dark colours setting the masculine scene within. A bust of Aaron Burr stares condescendingly at those who enter his personal space, situated at the most southerly point of the house.

Aaron Burr’s bed

After some other activity pertaining perhaps to Stephen Jumel, we began to address Aaron Burr directly and the K2s and sensors within the room all went to solid red and held. Deliberate tapping sounds were heard all around us and footsteps sounded on the landing just outside the bedroom door.

Dominic looking out after hearing phantom footsteps

Ann stood with her back to the chest of drawers and mirror and felt the distinct sensation of being watched. As she turned, we saw a solid shadow figure walk across the room, gain a more pronounced silhouette as it briefly looked out from the mirror before continuing out of the room and disappearing on the landing. The hairs on the back of our necks stood up as the bust of Aaron Burr glowed an ominous crimson with the light of the K2 reflecting beneath it.

Mirror and Chest of Drawers, Master Bedroom

She began a lone vigil sat in the two hundred year old chair belonging to the former Vice President of the United States. Instinctively Ann knew she wasn’t welcome, a female in a man’s domain and a fiery and independent woman at that! We wonder did he sense any similarities between Ann’s traits and those of the woman who was ultimately responsible for his downfall and total humiliation within Manhattan society.

Ann said her feelings became tangible and she physically began to shiver and get goosebumps as the temperature around her dropped rapidly, Chris and Dominic watching in from the landing feeling the sudden chill too. A smell of stale tobacco hovered in the air.

Not one to back away when challenged, it became a paranormal duel of wits, as the apparent ethereal Aaron Burr tried to suppress our fearless investigator and her questions. Clearly Ann sitting in the chair was a step too far for the former Vice President so he continued his intimidation until she finally stood up.

As soon as this happened, the atmosphere lightened and activity ceased. Was the chair the last connection Aaron Burr felt he had to the house that he could call his own? A reminder of a time when he was someone to be reckoned with?

To be sure we will just have to try the experiment again when we return to New York!

Morris-Jumel Mansion

All photos by Ann Massey/Irish Paranormal Investigations