Mordecai Manor - HauntedHouses.com
Capitol Area Preservation Society
The Mordecai Manor can be found in a small historic park near the heart of old Raleigh, called Mordecai Square. In Mordecai Square Park, there is also a small chapel and a small building that was used for an early law office.
Mordecai Manor is described as a large, two story mansion, with a balcony on the second floor, that dominates Mordecai Square. Built in 1785 by a planter, Joel Lane, it sports a Greek -Revival double portico, a double-doored, grand entrance hall and five large rooms, located off the long hallway that runs down the center of the mansion. At the end of the hall, there is a big library. On the right side of the hall, there is a parlor, and on the left side of the hall there is a large dining room. The parlor door is right across from the dining room.
The mansion is furnished with the personal belongings of the early families who made Mordecai Manor their home. Besides furniture, their cherished portraits, pictures, books, china, mirrors, etc. can be seen by visitors, and kept in fine shape by various talented people.
One of the first Jews to settle in Raleigh, Moses Mordecai, married Joel Lane's daughter, Ellen. Moses was a well educated, wealthy man and well thought of. Ellen and Moses hired a well known Southern architect, William Nichols, to remodel the house, making it into an impressive mansion.
One afternoon, after Mordecai Manor was closed to the public, a housekeeper was cleaning the dining room. Just as she finished in the dining room, and had started to wipe down the woodwork by the doorway to the dining room, she saw what she thought was a guide coming out of the library, and then proceeded to walk down the hall towards her. The housekeeper was wondering what she was doing there, as the guides aren't there when she is cleaning Mordecai Manor. She describes this mysterious guide as a pretty, familiar-looking woman, dressed in a long, black pleated skirt, and a white "middy-type" blouse and a black tie.
When this guide walked past the housekeeper, she didn't acknowledge the housekeeper's presence, but walked by like she owned the place, with her head in the air, eyes looking forward, which was annoying to the housekeeper. This seemingly full of herself guide walked through the parlor door into the parlor. No further sound was heard, and when this guide didn't come out, the housekeeper looked into the parlor and found no one there. This snobby guide, if of this world, would've had to come out of the parlor right by the housekeeper.
The housekeeper then realized that this woman was no guide, but actually did own the place, in the 1800s! This fully formed, solid, life-like, walking apparition was Margaret Lane, as the housekeeper realized that this was the same woman she had seen in a portrait that hangs in Mordecai Manor.
Margaret Lane is keeping an eye on the living, making sure that the living are taking care of her beloved Mordecai Manor, and her cherished possessions, as she walks about the place, reigning as mistress of the mansion.