The Mordecai House is the oldest house in Raleigh on its original foundation, and with that comes many spooky legends. For years, stories have been told of unexplainable happenings in the home, like a piano mysteriously playing without a musician at its keys and photos abruptly falling off of the walls if someone remarks negatively on the property.
The House even has its own team of paranormal researchers — The Ghost Guild.
Tracy Bailey, the Ghost Guild’s Historical Research Manager, said that tour groups have reported seeing a lady in a period costume while visiting the house.
These haunted happenings are a source of interest within the community, especially around Halloween time, but let’s shed a little light onto the background of the house itself.
What actually is The Mordecai House?
The Mordecai House was built in 1785 by prominent local figure Joel Lane and served as a major plantation in the area. By 1826, the house was expanded + transformed into a Greek Revival mansion by state architect William Nichols. Today, it sits on 3.2 acres of land in Downtown Raleigh.
Though Joel Lane built the house, the establishment was named after lawyer Moses Mordecai. Moses married twice into the Lane family — once in 1817 to Margaret, and after her passing, to her sister Anne in 1824. The sale of various Mordecai properties helped revitalize the city of Raleigh.
The family sold the house to the city in the 1960s, when it eventually became a public park. Schools can visit the house on various field trip programs, including one to learn about the different roles and tasks performed by enslaved people on the plantation.
Visitors can see the preserved furnishings + take a public tour of the Raleigh Historic Landmark. Tour tickets can be purchased on site at the Visitor Center.
Contributed by Megan Pociask