Lost loves, tragic deaths, and witch's curses play into just a few of the many ghost stories in the Magnolia State. Whether you're interested in Civil War hauntings, stories of romance and tragedy, or just a fan of a good, spine-chilling tale, you'll want to check out at least a few of these haunted places in Mississippi.
Waverly Mansion is a National Historic Landmark located in West Point. The former plantation house was built sometime in the 1840s and is considered one of the most haunted places in America. Its antebellum-era architecture is unique and features an oversized octagon-shaped cupola. A self-sustaining plantation, it contained livestock, gardens, orchards, brick kiln, ice house, and cotton gin.
Some paranormal encounters include:
- A disembodied little girl's voice cries for her mommy and her handprints sometimes appear on fogged-up windows.
- A civil war soldier wanders the properties.
- Orbs are a common sight, especially in photos.
- Guests, staff, and residents see full-bodied apparitions.
- A man wearing all black clothing rides a phantom horse around the plantation grounds. Some witnesses claim the horseman chased and even attacked them.
You can visit Waverley Mansion year-round. Currently, the mansion is undergoing renovations and is only open for tours on the weekends for the foreseeable future.
Stuckey's Bridge in Enterprise is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and crosses the Chunky River. Legend has it a man only known as Stuckey owned an inn near the river. Stuckey was a member of the infamous Dalton Gang, and he would murder and rob his guests. Depending on who is telling the story, Stuckey would either toss his victim's body into the river or bury the victim by the river. Stuckey's crimes were somehow discovered, and he along with his helper, were hanged from the original bridge and left for several days before being cut down. The current bridge was built later, but the ghosts don't seem to care and still haunt the bridge.
Some stories include:
- Locals have seen a strange mist surrounding a human silhouette.
- People hear a woman's disembodied scream.
- There are numerous reports of a face appearing in an eerie mist.
- Some witnesses claim to see an apparition holding a lantern as Stuckey stalks his next victim.
- Others report seeing his ghostly body hanging from the bridge.
- One witness claims an angry spirit pushed them from the bridge
Stuckey's Bridge is closed to all traffic, including foot traffic, but people can still come and visit in the hope of seeing Stuckey's ghost or one of his victims' spirits.
McRaven Tour Home
Sheriff Steven Howard and his wife Mary built the McRaven Tour Home in Vicksburg. Unlike many haunted National Register of Historic Places, McRaven promotes its ghostly residents. The home is known as Mississippi's Most Haunted House. This famous home was a Confederate campsite and hospital during the Civil War. The McRaven Tour Home knows how to capitalize on its dual claim to fame by offering both a history way-of-life tour and a haunted tour. Visitors can enjoy the three-acre gardens in addition to touring the interior.
Eleven grave sites exist on the property. Many visitors have reported seeing the spirits of the people buried in them over the years. These ghostly residents of McRaven Tour Home include:
- In 1836, Mary Elizabeth Howard died in her home soon after giving birth. She is the most active spirit, and some of her belongings are still in the home. If you visit, Mary may greet you, since she enjoys welcoming guests into her home. She also loves to play pranks on staff and visitors.
- After having survived the Vicksburg Siege, John was killed in 1864 by Union soldiers. Eyewitnesses have seen this former businessman strolling along the balcony of his master suite.
- Andrew Glass is another active spirit, still using the rooms as a hideout.
- In 1991, William Murray died in the home.
Vicksburg National Military Park
The capture of Vicksburg (Gibraltar of the Confederacy) was strategically the key to winning the Civil War. There are ghost stories about the Battlefield, and many describe strange happenings around some of the 1,350 commemorative monuments. The cemetery has over 17,000 soldier graves with 13,000 unmarked and unknown. It's no wonder there are many ghostly encounters on the battlefield. Some include:
- Orbs appear throughout the battlefield grounds.
- The apparitions of soldiers wander the park battlefield.
- Witnesses visiting the Pennsylvania Monument claim the bronze medallions sculpted with the Pennsylvanian commanders' faces shed bloody tears.
- Smoke appears to come from the cannon part of the Texas monument.
- Various phantom sounds ring out, such as gunfire, cannon fire, and shouted orders.
- People smell gunpowder and smoke.
Get a permit from the national park in advance if you wish to use any electronic equipment on the battlefield. Contact the park at 3201 Clay Street or call (601) 636-0583.
King's Tavern is the oldest remaining building in Natchez, built in 1789. It's also far and away the most haunted. During renovations in the 1930s, a wall was opened up. Workers found three skeletons in the space behind it (definite Edgar Allan Poe vibes there). Workers also found a dagger in the tavern during renovations.
The building is also haunted by the spirit of a woman named Madeline, who was the mistress of the tavern's founder, Richard King. There are a few other resident ghosts as well, and guests have reported seeing images in mirrors when no one else was around. They also hear a baby cry when there are none actually present.
The King's Tavern building is still in operation, so it's easy to stop by and see if you catch a glimpse of anything.
Rowan Oak, located in Oxford, was the home of author William Faulkner. Soome are suspicious that Faulkner himself haunts the property, sometimes walking the grounds, and sometimes appearing in the room that used to be his office. Whether he haunts it or not, Faulkner definitely left his mark on his longtime home. Bill Griffith, the curator at Rowan Oak, told the Clarion-Ledger that, "He (Faulkner) did a great deal of work on the house … there is a style to it, just like his writing … You can see every door that he installed because every one of them leans to the right just a little bit."
The other haunting is associated with a young woman named Judith Sheegog, who was the only daughter of the home's original occupant, Colonel Robert Sheegog. Judith, distraught over a lost love, reportedly jumped off of her bedroom balcony, plummeting to her death. Her father buried her under a magnolia tree on the property.
To bring it all back full circle, it's been reported that William Faulkner used to tell his children ghost stories about Judith when they lived in the house. Those must have been quite the bedtime stories.
Rowan Oak is open for tours Tuesdays through Sundays.
Waynesboro Shubuta Road
This road, located just northwest of Waynesboro, is commonly known as "Devil Worshipper Road." The story goes that a farmer in the area sold his soul to the devil, and, upon doing so, was transformed into a seven foot tall "goat man" who still roams the area to this day.
There are also reports that cars travelling the road will randomly start shaking and shuddering, or their engines will suddenly die for no reason at all. So... maybe not the best place to take a drive at night. Just in case.
You can find the Waynesboro Shubuta Road between Shubuta Eucutta Road and Fred West Road, just a bit northwest of Waynesboro, and it's open for travel anytime.
Friendship Cemetery, located in Columbus, is the final resting place of many of those who died in the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. The spirit of a Confederate soldier walks through the cemetery, watching over his fallen comrades. A designer for the Columbus Dispatch was taking early morning photos of the cemetery one day and captured a very interesting shot of what looks to be a grinning face just in front of his camera. He says that it only happened in this one particular frame of the many he took that day, and while he explains that it was very likely an optical illusion due to sunlight and wind, he also noted that it was possible the history of the cemetery was trying to make itself known.
Aside from the soldier's spirit, there's also a gravestone with a statue of an angel that has her hand reaching forward. Visitors have noted that, when they touch the hand, it feels strangely warm and lifelike.
This is one of the best folklore and haunting stories from Mississippi, and like all good stories, it starts with a witch.
This particular witch lived along the banks of the Yazoo River in Yazoo City. She was caught in 1884 torturing fishermen that she'd lured off of the river, and when she was caught, she ran and the sheriff gave chase through the swamp. In the swamp, the witch darted into an area of quicksand, and, as she was going under and the sheriff arrived (too late to save her!), she swore revenge, promising with her last breath that in 20 years, she would return and burn the town to the ground.
Life went on, and no one gave the words of a fishermen-torturing old lady any thought... until 1904, when fire destroyed over 200 homes and almost every single business in town. There's been no conclusive answer as to how the fire started, but people remembered the witch's promise, and the "strange" strong winds that day made them wonder if she was behind it.
To add to the intrigue, townspeople went to her grave the next day, seeking answers, and found that the heavy chain that surrounded her grave had been snapped in two, as if the witch had escaped and wreaked havoc.
People don't even know who exactly is buried in that grave, only that a woman owns it. The gravestone (which was only marked with the letters T.W.) has since disappeared. When another gravestone was installed, it fell and mysteriously split in two. And the chains around the grave are having to be repaired all the time after mysteriously breaking (some of this is very clearly due to vandals, but better safe than sorry).
The Satartia Bridge is not pretty. It's not a gothic-looking marvel, the type of thing you think a haunted bridge would look like. No... the Satartia Bridge is ugly. Industrial looking, a rusty vertical-lift bridge that is a marvel of engineering but is anything but picturesque as it straddles the Yazoo River. But it's also one of the most haunted places in a state full of haunted places.
Located in the tiny town of Satartia, the bridge has been the site of numerous strange sightings. While it's fairly common for visitors to hear moans emanating from the river, the crew of the paranormal investigation team known as Unexplained decided to investigate. And the things they reported are truly spine-chilling:
- They saw yellow-green water bubbling in the river, accompanied by the sounds of moans and the smell of rotting death. They also felt an overall sense of panic.
- Their trifield meter, which detects the presence of spirits, instantly started going off.
- Their other equipment began malfunctioning.
- They spotted flickering red lights floating over the Yazoo River at night.
- They also spotted a large, tall mist rising out of the river and moving into the nearby corn field.
- They caught images of numerous orbs of various sizes, colors, and intensity, unlike anything they'd managed to capture before.
As far as the source of the hauntings, there are two theories. The first is that these are the souls of the Yazoo tribe of Indigenous Americans, who marched into the river rather than surrender to the French. The other theory is that these are the spirits of those who died in the various shipwrecks that litter the Yazoo River in this area, which saw a lot of death during the Civil War.
The McNutt House, in Vicksburg, is one steeped in history. Built in 1826, it remained standing even after Grant's forces sacked Vicksburg. It was the home of former Mississippi governor Alexander McNutt, and is currently a bed-and-breakfast (those who are not staying there can also schedule tours to visit the home).
There are at least two ghosts that seem to inhabit the home and its grounds: Maggie, a young girl who is quite possibly the daughter of the brother of Alexander McNutt who died there when she was a child, and the spirit of David Weeks Magill, a Confederate soldier whose gravesite is located nearby.
There have been plenty of unexplained encounters over the years:
- A caretaker of the home told the current owners that he'd been trying to open a container of salt, couldn't do it, left it on the counter and went back to bed. When he woke up, the container was open, with the lid resting next to it on the counter.
- Various children have seen and spoken of meeting a little girl named Maggie.
- The doors in a single room have all slammed at once, even though some doors opened in one direction while others opened in the opposite direction.
- Paranormal investigator David Childers reported that his equipment picked up a male voice who said his name was David, and that he cursed at the investigative team.
- Childer's team also asked the spirits to slam cabinet doors. Nothing happened for a while, and then out of nowhere, a cabinet door slammed shut.
There have also been human remains of in unmarked graves found on the grounds, so there could be other spirits hanging around besides Maggie and David.
Located in the small town of Kosciusko, this cemetery looks like any other, except for the large, white marble memorial statue of a woman named Laura Kelly. It towers over the rest of the graveyard, but it's not just its appearance that makes it memorable.
Laura Kelly was a resident of Kosciusko who died in 1890. Her husband, extremely distraught over her death at the age of 38, commissioned an Italian sculptor to sculpt a statue of her for her gravesite. He sent numerous photos of his wife to the sculptor, and even sent her wedding gown to him, so that the image would be as close as possible to what she really looked like. The grieving husband even built a third story onto his nearby home, so he'd be able to see her sculpture from there. But, in the end, he was so heartbroken he reportedly couldn't make himself look at the statue.
Laura's statue has been the site of many unexplained activities. Supposedly, the statue has turned on its base on the anniversary of her death. A mysterious red rose sometimes appears in her hand, and it's said that if you walk through the cemetery at night, the statue almost seems to come alive.
The strangest occurrence, however, is that at times, the statue appears to be weeping, tears running from its eyes and down its cheeks.
The cemetery is open to the public year-round.
Two of Mississippi's oldest (and strangest) ghost stories come from Deer Island, located not too far from Biloxi. Both of the ghost stories were first documented in a newspaper article in 1922 by writer A.G. Ragusin, who claimed even then that the stories he was sharing were over 100 years old.
The first ghost story is that of two fishermen who were spending the night on the island. They heard noises in the nearby reeds, and ignored them. Figuring it must be a small animal or something, they remained sitting near their campfire. They heard the noise again, and when they looked in that direction, they saw a tall, headless skeleton ambling toward them. They moved away, and it followed. They ended up running to their boat and taking off, leaving all of their possessions behind. When they returned the next day to gather everything they'd left, they found some coins there that hadn't been with their belongings before.
It's thought that the headless skeleton is that of a pirate captain who landed on the island a long time ago and buried his treasure, and stayed to guard it (stayed, meaning, his crew murdered him via decapitation and left him there so his spirit could guard the treasure for eternity).
The second ghost story is that of the "Firewater Ghost," and the mysterious lights and sounds related to this one can be seen to this day. This ghost appears as a blue light, bobbing over the water, moving across the bay between Biloxi and Ocean Springs. It's said that the Firewater Ghost is like a sentry who guards the bay.
Haunted Places in Mississippi
You can find haunted places throughout Mississippi. Many are well-known with a cast of ghostly characters, while others are out of the way in isolated places with gruesome histories.