Natchez and Vicksburg are responsible for a majority of Mississippi’s ghost stories. What you might not realize, though, is that the Gulf Coast has its fair share of local lore. Countless tales have come from the region, each as eerie as the next. Want some examples? Read on for 7 bone-chilling stories that’ll make you steer clear of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.
1. Ghosts of Mississippi's Lost Island
About 12 miles offshore, between East Ship and Horn Islands, is Dog Island; however, you won’t see it – and that’s because it’s been overtaken by the water. But it wasn’t always that way. In 1926, the island was very visible and home to a resort known as Isle of Caprice. By the early 1930s, the island disappeared underneath the waters of the Gulf, but phantom remnants of its existence remain to this day.
According to local legend, a hurricane hit the island during its heyday. Rather than evacuate, most chose to ride out the storm on the island. Two days later, rescuers went to check on those who stayed on the island. Sadly, they found no survivors – only bodies and debris floating in the water. It’s said that if you go out to the area in the Gulf where the Isle of Caprice lies beneath the surface, you can hear phantom laughter that’s abruptly replaced with ghastly screams and then, complete silence.
2. Tortured Souls of the Pirate House
Though long gone after being destroyed by Hurricane Camille, the Pirate House lives on through the ghostly tales associated with it. The home, which is said to have been haunted by at least eight spirits, was once used as a hideout for Jean Lafitte and other Gulf Coast pirates. According to legend, pirated booty was moved via a secret tunnel that ran from the home’s cellar to the Gulf. The intricate passageway had another use aside from storing gold and treasures, though. It also housed prisoners, who were often tortured until death. Phantom screams and moans plagued the Pirate House well into the 20th century.
3. Permanent Patients of Howard Memorial Hospital
Howard Memorial Hospital opened in Biloxi in 1963. The hospital has long been associated with stories of the paranormal, most of which involve two little girls who never seemed to be released. Hospital employees as well as patients reported all sorts of strange happenings, from phantom laughing and cold spots to items moving on their own. But seeing the ghostly girls was especially creepy because, according to local lore, that meant you’d soon be joining them in the afterlife.
As far as who the girls were or how they ended up at the hospital – that’s unknown. However, there have been many guesses over the years. Some believe the girls were patients who died at the hospital, while others say they were killed at a nearby park.
4. Beauvoir's Lingering Residents
Although Beauvoir is most widely known as the former home of Jefferson Davis, it has another identifying characteristic – it’s a paranormal hot spot. Since opening for tours in 1941, several visitors have found something unusual in their photos taken at Beauvoir. Dozens of pictures appear to have apparitions in the background. Jefferson Davis, his wife, and daughter have all been caught on film. Beauvoir was officially investigated by a paranormal team for the first time in 2014. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Paranormal group spent the night in the home and caught some strange things
on film and in recordings
5. Vanishing Boy from the Pass Packing Co.
Back in the 50s and 60s, the ghost of a little boy haunted the beach in Pass Christian. According to several reports, the phantom child would suddenly appear, watching people as they enjoyed a visit to the beach. The boy's clothes were old-fashioned, tattered, and dirty. His unkempt appearance often led people to ask questions about where he lived, his family, etc.
More haunting than the sight of the little boy’s ghost, were the answers that he gave. Always very polite, he’d reply that he stayed "down at the packing plant." That’s the most information he ever gave out. Anyone familiar with Pass Christian is well aware that the packing plant the boy’s referring to has been closed for decades. According to witnesses, once the questions became too much, the boy simply vanished.
6. Restless Spirits at Garden of Hope Cemetery (a.k.a. Franklin Cemetery)
This Gautier cemetery is actually considered one of the most haunted in the entire country. Several witnesses have reported a young, friendly ghost named Cheryl Anne, while others have come in contact with Bloody Sarah, an apparition that likes to run into the road and make motorists think they ran someone over. According to several reports, Bloody Sarah can be heard insanely laughing throughout the entire ordeal.
Other ghost sightings in this cemetery include Cheryl Anne’s father, Hal, who supposedly killed Cheryl Anne, her siblings, and her mother, and the ghost of a man who climbs from his grave, steals flowers and wreaths from other gravesites, and then returns to his grave with the loot.
7. Phantom Passenger at the Bay St. Louis Train Depot
Built in 1928, the Bay St. Louis Train Depot has a lot of history. And even though it’s been years since it was a bustling train station, one traveler refuses to leave. The phantom traveler, a young man in a white linen suit, walks leisurely along the tracks. As he makes his way, he whistles an upbeat tune, occasionally checking his pocket watch. To many, it appears as if he’s waiting for a train to arrive. According to witnesses, once he reaches the end of the walkway, he tips his hat and vanishes.
So, were you familiar with these eerie tales? Did we include your favorite ghost from the coast? Have one to story to add? Tell us in the comments section.
This isn’t the only area of the state with a penchant for spooky happenings. Read about another