Even though urban legends are generally untrue, they are believed to contain some small smidgen of fact which definitely adds to their weird factor. From Indian folklore to unnerving tales of witches, Mississippi has quite a few of its own urban legends that are worth a look.
1. Witch Dance at Natchez Trace
According to local legend, the area of the Natchez Trace known as “Witch Dance” was a popular meeting spot for witches. Upon gathering in this location, the witches would perform ceremonies that included dancing. It is said that wherever the witches’ feet touched the ground during these dances, the grass would wither and die never to grow again. These barren or “scorched” spots on the ground can still be seen to this day.
2. Singing River
According to legend, the Pascagoula River has quite a dark past. Allegedly, the Pascagoula Indian tribe was in danger of being attacked by the Biloxi tribe. Rather than accept this dire fate, the tribe chose mass suicide by way of drowning. It has been said that the tribe marched into the Pascagoula River while singing a death song which can still be heard to this day.
3. Mercritis Outbreak
Dating back to the 1950’s, the urban legend of Mercritis came to life in Mississippi. According to local legend, Mercritis was a disease that originated in Europe before eventually making its way to Mississippi. Symptoms of the disease were different for men and women. Apparently, infected men would emit an odor that would cause women to go crazy and become homicidal. Some people believe that Mercritis did actually exist and was just covered up by both the government and medical community.
4. The Three-Legged Lady on Nash Road
The tale of Columbus’ ghost has been around for quite some time, and while there are several variations of this local urban legend they all include the ghost of a three-legged lady. According to legend, those that stopped at the church on Nash Road could turn off their headlights and honk their horn three times at which point the three-legged lady would knock on the roof of the car. After hearing the knock, the driver is supposed to race the ghost to the end of the road. Sources claim that the three-legged lady doesn’t go down without a fight as she hits the car during the entire race. Another version of this legend includes the kidnapping and murder of a young girl, possibly by a satanic cult. Supposedly the girl’s body was dismembered and her body parts were strewn about the woods. The ghost of the girl’s mother is said to have been seen walking up and down Nash Road, carrying the only part of her daughter she could find – her leg.
5. The Witch of Yazoo
While this legend was popularized by author Willie Morris’ book “Good Old Boy,” the story dates back to the late 1800’s. According to the legend, an old woman, who lived on the Yazoo River, would torture local fisherman. After hearing these reports, the sheriff tried to confront her at which point she gave chase. By the time the sheriff caught up to the old lady, she was sinking in quick sand. Angered by this turn of events, she vowed to get revenge exclaiming, “In 20 years, I will return and burn this town to the ground!” Of course, nobody paid much mind to the threat – that is until 20 years later when a huge fire broke out and destroyed over 300 of the town’s buildings. The day after the fire several residents visited the witch’s gave in Glenwood Cemetery at which point they found the large chain around her grave had been broken into two.
6. Stuckey’s Bridge
Located just outside of Meridian, Stuckey’s Bridge spans the Chunky River. Legend has it that a man by the name of Stuckey ran a local inn and just so happened to be in the habit of robbing and murdering his guests. After killing several customers, Stuckey was finally caught and hanged from this bridge. After some time, his body was cut down and fell into the water below. Visitors to the area have reported seeing the ghost of Stuckey roaming the riverbank with a lantern in hand while others have reported seeing his ghost hanging from the bridge followed by a splashing sound.
7. Blues Legend Robert Johnson’s Deal with the Devil
Born in Hazelhurst, blues musician Robert Johnson made quite the name for himself, but some say it was at a deep price, a very deep price. It is a popular urban legend that Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical talent. Perhaps it is the fact that several of Johnson’s songs mention the devil or some form of the supernatural that led many to believe this urban legend.
8. Crybaby Bridge
It seems that there are a number of states that have a legend of a local “Crybaby Bridge” and apparently Mississippi is no different. Legend has it that a young woman got pregnant out of wedlock and, in order to rid her family of shame, threw the baby off of this Dennis, Mississippi bridge. Visitors to the bridge have claimed to hear the faint sound of a baby crying in addition to seeing the ghost of a baby on the rocks below the bridge.
Had any personal experience with one of these urban legends, or know of any not on the list? Feel free to add your comments/pictures below.