The Haunted Millermore Mansion
Situated in the secluded Old City Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, the Millermore Mansion is the archetypal horror movie house: antiquated, enormous, and extremely haunted. The manor was originally constructed in 1861, making it as old as the American Civil War. Having been relocated from its original property, the mansion now sits at the entrance of Old City Park, a neighborhood dedicated to preserving Dallas history and home to the city’s largest collection of Victorian and pioneer homes.
The massive Greek Revival home is complete with a porch, a balcony, and four grand Grecian columns supporting its second story. Millermore was once home to a family of wealthy plantation owners who spared no expense in ensuring their home offered the height of luxury and class. For almost as long as the mansion has been around, the residents of Dallas have spread rumors about what goes on within its walls. Even in life, the original owners were said to be standoffish, reclusive, and altogether strange. According to visitors and volunteers of the mansion, the owners have kept up their strange habits from beyond the grave, and evidently do not take kindly to visitors. If you think you’re brave enough for a tour of the notoriously haunted Millermore mansion, read on; but remember, you’ve been warned.
History and Background
By the time the first drums of the Civil War beat on, the Millermore family had moved into the home that would see its bitter end. Unwittingly, they had constructed a home on the back of an institution on the brink of obsoletion. To this day, the mansion remains the largest historic mansion in the city of Dallas, as well as the most striking reminder of its place in the war that divided America.
The home’s first owner, William Brown Miller, moved to Texas from Kentucky in 1847. Miller’s preceding home was a log cabin on a hill overlooking Dallas, although there wasn’t much to look at at the time. Shortly after moving, Miller quickly gained prominence as one of the wealthiest cotton planters, stock raisers, and slave owners in the American South. Miller also owned a ferry service operating on the Trinity River in North Texas. The money from Miller’s entrepreneurial ventures quickly began to burn a hole in his pocket and in 1855, he set out to do something about it. Plans for Miller’s upgraded residence were drawn up that year and construction subsequently began.
Miller built his dream home using lumber from Cedar and Post Oak trees, cut by hand and drawn by oxen to the sight. The process took seven years in total. When completed, the home offered a luxurious level of comfort and privacy not found in most cabins of its time. The mansion also features wide central hallways flanked by squarely structured rooms, allowing cool breezes to reach the inner rooms and somewhat make up for the lack of air conditioning. By this time, Miller had also purchased 7,500 acres of surrounding land for cultivation and livestock, further increasing the home’s sense of privacy—or isolation—depending on how you look at it.
While living at the mansion, Miller married, divorced, and remarried a total of three times. Minerva, his second, as well as Emma, his third, each lived out their final days inside the house. Minerva is thought to have succumbed to illness, while Emma is rumored to have died in childbirth. After the family had all died or moved out, the property remained unclaimed for decades.
By the mid 20th century, the once-great Millermore Mansion was in shambles. Its sad legacy soon garnered the attention of the Founders Garden Club, a women’s group that sought to preserve Dallas’s history. But Millermore’s location quickly proved to be an issue, as contemporary developments in the area threatened its destruction. To ensure its protection, the club disassembled the home and temporarily moved it into storage. By 1966, the group had raised enough funds to purchase a plot of land in Old City Park to serve as a haven for historic Dallas homes known as the Dallas Heritage Village. To this day, the Millermore Mansion remains the oldest and most beautiful of these. And according to many, the most haunted.
Along with the care dedicated to preserving the home’s exterior, the interior of the Millermore Mansion remains pristinely intact. Thanks to the ladies of the Founders Garden Club, everything is exactly as it was in 1861, from the antique furniture to the portraits of Minerva Miller that seem to follow visitors wherever they go.
Many of these visitors even claim that the ghost of Minerva Miller herself remains within the walls of the mansion. Guests overwhelming report feeling the strange, uneasy sensation of being watched near the nursery and master bedroom of the house. Some have also reported feeling the temperature drop considerably in these areas, even in the height of summer. This observation is made even more unsettling by the fact that centralized air conditioning has never been added to the house.
Throughout the years, the mansion has hosted numerous teams of paranormal investigators eager to delve into its dark history. Experts who have studied the infamously haunted mansion believe the trauma that occurred in the master bedroom and nursery led to an extreme concentration of hauntings in these areas. According to corroborating reports by historians, both Minerva and Emma Miller died in the master bedroom, while the spirit of Emma’s stillborn child likely gravitated to the nursery.
A long-term tour guide of the mansion reports a particularly spine-tingling encounter at the mansion that seems to confirm this. According to her report, she had just finished giving a tour and was preparing to leave when she heard a strange shrieking sound coming from upstairs, almost like the crying of an infant. The woman felt a chill run up her spine; she had heard stories about the ghosts supposedly haunting Millermore, but had never experienced anything for herself, until now. Not wanting to investigate alone, the employee enlisted the help of a much larger male employee, and the pair headed upstairs together.
As they ascended the stairs, the demonic shrieks grew louder and louder, and the larger mlae tour guide clung to his companion in fright. Soon they had reached the top of the stairs. The woman reached with shaking hands for the door. She threw it open and all at once the shrieking ceased. But when they approached the antique wooden crib, they found it empty.
Puzzled, the pair headed back downstairs. But nearly as soon as they reached the second floor, the shrieking started up again. The two exchanged a look. But before they could head back upstairs, the unearthly screams were followed by a second sound, as if a heavy object were being dragged across the floor. Without hesitating, the two rushed upstairs to further investigate.
When they reached the nursery the crib was gone, leaving behind it a trail of scratches in the wooden floor; almost as if it had been dragged. The trail led directly into the master bedroom, where the crib now stood inexplicably by the bed. The male tour guide reached to move the crib, but his friend stopped him. Leave it, she said, and he obeyed. By the time the two returned downstairs, the crying had stopped altogether. After the incident, the employees of the mansion opted to keep the crib inside the master bedroom, and all reports of shrieking infants have stopped.
Other reports of strange happenings at Millermore however, have not. One security guard working at the mansion recounts an even more hair-raising tale. According to his story, the guard stood outside the mansion one evening when he heard something smack against the master bedroom window.
The guard walked around back to see what it was and found a large black crow lying in the grass, stunned from the impact. He was so enraptured by the strangeness of it that he failed to notice a second crow crash into the same window, followed by another, and another. The birds landed around him in a flurry of feathers, cawing and shrieking madly. When the man looked up into the window, he swears he saw a pale white face watching him.
Along with the face, security has also reportedly spotted strange lights moving back and forth between the master bedroom and the nursery at night. The orbs materialize in a strange pale green color and seem to pulsate incandescently with a power all their own. Whenever the guards venture upstairs to investigate, the lights mysteriously vanish.
Today, the Millermore Mansion remains the oldest and most beautiful historic home in all of Dallas, and according to many, the most haunted. So if you think you’re brave enough to encounter undead infants, suicidal crows, and inexplicable orbs of light, why not take a tour? If not, try to steer clear of the master bedroom.