Calling Mississippi home is a privilege afforded to both the living and the dead. That’s right; there are several ghosts that have taken up residence in Mississippi, or, technically, never left. From somewhat spooky to completely frightening, here are the stories of some of the state’s most well-known ghosts.
1. Archie at the Anchuca Mansion, Vicksburg
Anchuca may be Choctaw for “happy home” but, for the original owners, that wasn’t always the case. The mansion was built in 1837 by Richard Archer, a man known for being quite strict with his five daughters. So strict, in fact, he forbade his daughter, Archie, from marrying the love of her life. As a result of her father’s decision, Archie stopped speaking to him and refused to sit at the table with him during dinner, taking her meals at the fireplace mantel. And apparently Archie hasn’t left, as a number of people have reported seeing the ghost of a young woman wearing a long dress standing in front of the fireplace.
2. The Little Girl of Waverly Mansion, West Point
It is believed that many ghosts haunt this historical home; however, one of the most eerie is perhaps the apparition of a little girl, who is searching for her mother. There have been several occasions where the little girl could be heard desperately calling out "Mama." Additionally, the young apparition had been known to nap in an upstairs bedroom. The proof? The impression of her body would appear on the bed.
3. General Quitman at Monmouth Plantation, Natchez
Built in the early 1800’s, Monmouth Plantation has had many occupants over the years, and one of them, General John A. Quitman, has allegedly never left. Guests of the current-day bed and breakfast have reported seeing the General, dressed in full uniform, inspecting the grounds, while some have reported being woken up by the General checking on them in their rooms.
4. Stuckey at Stuckey’s Bridge, Enterprise
Legend has it that a member of the Dalton gang, Stuckey, opened an inn near the Chunky River, hoping to appeal to those travelling the river looking for overnight lodging. At night, Stuckey would stand outside with his lantern, guiding travelers directly to his inn. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting guests, the innkeeper had a more sinister plan in store for them. Once everyone turned in for the night, Stuckey would murder his guests, steal their possessions, and bury their bodies along the riverbank. Eventually, Stuckey’s evil doings were discovered and he was hanged from the bridge. Several witnesses have reported seeing an old man carrying a lantern along the river as well as hearing splashes believed to replicate the sound of a body hitting the water.
5. Jane Surget Merrill, Richard Dana, and Octavia Dockery at Goat Castle, Natchez
In August of 1932, Jane Surget Merrill, better known as Jennie, was found murdered in her home - a mystery that would unravel one of the strangest tales in the history of Natchez. After purchasing her home, Glenburnie, Jennie became somewhat of a recluse, only accepting visits from her cousin and suspected lover, Duncan. The two began to have issues with the neighbors, Richard Dana and Octavia Dockery, who lived in a home known as Glenwood. After Jennie’s body was discovered, police immediately suspected Richard and Octavia. When the police arrived at Glenwood to question the two they were faced with a shocking sight – the mansion was in total disarray.
The ceiling was partially caved in, windows were broken, and the home was infested with fleas, mites, and cockroaches. Chickens, geese, and goats were actually living inside the home, earning it the nickname “Goat Castle.” Eventually, Richard and Octavia were cleared of the murder and returned to their home – which they opened for tours. By 1950, the two had passed but the tale of Goat Castle lived on. Several have reported seeing an apparition believed to be Jennie, seeking vengeance for her murder. Some witnesses claim Jennie’s ghost can be heard moaning as she darts from tree to tree. The ghost of Octavia has also been spotted wandering the woods near Goat Castle, while others have reported hearing Richard play the piano.
6. Mary at Mississippi University for Women's Callaway Hall, Columbus
This dormitory is supposedly haunted by a ghost named Mary. Not only can Mary often be seen peering out of the top floor window looking for her lost love, but she has also been spotted sitting on the beds weeping…while their occupants are asleep. A terrifying wake-up call to say the least.
7. The Klein Family at the Cedar Grove Mansion, Vicksburg
Built in the 1840’s, Cedar Gove Mansion Inn is haunted by its former residents, the Klein family. Visitors have reported seeing Mr. and Mrs. Klein in the home, hearing the couple's children roam about the halls, and actually smelling Mr. Klein’s pipe. And they’re not alone. A young woman, also a former resident, committed suicide in the home and has been seen by several witnesses on the anniversary of her death.
8. Madeline at King’s Tavern, Natchez
Built in the late 1700’s, King’s Tavern is one of the oldest buildings in Natchez. According to hundreds of witnesses, the building is haunted by a ghost named Madeline, the mistress of the tavern’s original owner, Richard King. No one is sure whatever happened to Madeline as she disappeared without a trace, but many believe that Mrs. King either had her killed or killed Madeline herself after finding out about the affair. In the 1930’s, three mummified bodies were found in the tavern’s cellar – two male and one female, which was assumed to be Madeline. Additionally, a jeweled dagger was also found, which was believed by many to be the weapon used to take Madeline’s life.
9. Cheryl Anne, Hal, and Bloody Sarah at the Garden of Hope Cemetery, Gautier
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, 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.
10. Helen Johnstone at the Chapel of the Cross Cemetery, Madison
Located at this Madison County Cemetery, the grave of Henry Grey Vick has quite an interesting story. Just days before Henry was to marry Helen Johnstone, he was killed in a duel. Losing the love of her life so suddenly, Helen was heartbroken, so much so, that she reportedly wore her wedding dress to Henry’s funeral. There have been numerous reports that Helen’s ghost, still in her wedding dress, visits Henry’s grave quite frequently – oftentimes sitting in the bench shown in the background of this photo.
11. Hal on Highway 90, Gautier
The ghost of Hal, a former shipyard employee, is said to haunt a lonely stretch of this highway near Gautier. Hal’s family lived in New Orleans, and, on a rainy Friday night, made plans to meet Hal at a Gautier motel. What Hal’s family didn’t know was that the welder was laid off of work earlier that day. With a family to support and no income, Hal became extremely upset and did the unthinkable - he used an axe to murder his wife and five children as well as several other motel guests. After completing his heinous act, Hal wandered down the highway and was ran over and killed. To this day, witnesses say that Hal can still be seen wandering down the highway.
These are just a portion of the ghost stories associated with Mississippi, so be sure to share yours below!