We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. City Cemetery, Kosciusko
After Laura Kelly’s death in the late 1800s, her husband was so distraught that he commissioned a statue to be built in her memory. Sparing no expense, Mr. Kelly hired a world-renowned sculptor and even sent the sculptor some of his wife’s clothes so that the statue would be as realistic as possible. The grieving husband then had a third story added to his home just so he could view the statue of his beloved wife. Several visitors to this Kosciusko cemetery have claimed that at times the statue of Laura Kelly appears to be weeping.
2. 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 – often times sitting in the bench shown in the background of this photo.
3. McRaven, Vicksburg
This Vicksburg home is actually considered the most haunted house in Mississippi and the third most haunted in the country. McRaven’s paranormal activity has been documented by A&E, The Travel Channel, and 48 Hours. And with the home’s history, these occurrences are no surprise - several of McRaven’s past residents have died in the home, one owner was actually murdered on the property, and during the Civil War, the mansion served as a Confederate hospital.
4. The Witch of Yazoo’s Grave at Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City
According to local legend, an angered witch vowed to exact revenge on the city of Yazoo, exclaiming, “In 20 years, I will return and burn this town to the ground!” Of course, nobody paid much attention 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 at which point they found the large chain around it had been broken in two. Even though it’s been years, strange occurrences at the witch’s grave haven’t stopped. A new gravestone was installed, only to mysteriously fall and break in half and the chain around the witch’s grave constantly has to be repaired.
5. 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 traveling the river. At night, Stuckey would stand outside with his lantern, guiding travelers 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 throw their bodies into the Chunky River. Eventually, Stuckey’s evil doings were discovered and he was hung from the railings of the bridge, but that wasn’t the end of Stuckey. Several witnesses have reported seeing his ghost carrying a lantern along the river. Others have reported seeing his ghost hanging from the bridge. Even more frightening, some locals have experienced up close encounters with the ghost of Stuckey. According to one resident, the angry apparition pushed him off the bridge.
6. King’s Tavern, Natchez
As the city’s oldest standing building, King’s Tavern is rich in history, and that includes the paranormal kind. The building is believed to be haunted by several ghosts, including Madeline, the mistress of one of the tavern’s original owners. Although many believe Madeline was murdered by the wife of her lover, no one is sure what happened to her; however, in the 1930s, three mummified bodies were found in the tavern’s cellar, one of which was assumed to be Madeline. Aside from supernatural happenings believed to be caused by Madeline, employees have reported hearing a phantom baby crying, seeing mysterious reflections appear in mirrors, and an unoccupied bed giving off a warmth as if someone was sleeping in it.
7. Kuhn Memorial State Hospital, Vicksburg
By 1989, Kuhn Memorial State Hospital closed its doors for good, leaving it vacant for decades...well, somewhat vacant. In the years since its closing, the hospital has attracted numerous paranormal investigators and was even featured on the television series “Ghost Asylum.” In September of 2014, members of the Mississippi Paranormal Research Institute paid a visit to the abandoned hospital. The investigative team noted several strange happenings, including the recording of a disembodied voice of a little girl saying, “Want to come play with me?” The weird occurrences didn’t end there. The K-2 meter, which lights up when spirits are present, went off several times, a pendulum was used to successfully communicate with the dead, and perhaps the most strange, the word “help” suddenly appeared written backwards in a pile of dust on the floor of the embalming room.
8. 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 has been known to nap in an upstairs bedroom. The proof? The impression of her body would appear on the bed.
9. Garden of Hope Cemetery (a.k.a. Franklin Cemetery), Gautier
This 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.
10. Deer Island, near Biloxi
This sprawling 400 acre-island is home to ten different types of endangered species and the site of two of the state’s most mysterious entities. Both ghosts were documented for the first time in a 1922 article by A.G. Ragusin. The article stated that two fishermen, who were planning to stay on the island overnight, heard something moving in nearby bushes. Assuming it was a hog, the men tried to ignore it, but as the sound grew louder, they decided to investigate. As they approached the bushes, they came face to face with a headless skeleton, which then proceeded to chase them off the island. A similar incident was repeated by several others, leading to the entity being deemed the “Ghost of Deer Island.”
The article also mentioned a supernatural blue light, known as “Firewater Ghost.” The mysterious light has been spotted moving across the bay between Biloxi and Ocean Springs long before the invention of electricity. According to legend, the light is believed to be some type of ghostly guard, patrolling the area with a lantern in his hand.
11. Witch Dance, Natchez Trace Parkway milepost 233.2
Legend has it that witches used to meet in this very location so that they could perform ceremonies, which involved 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 can still be seen to this day.
12. The Longfellow House, Pascagoula
The haunting of the Longfellow House has been a popular topic of conversation amongst Pascagoula natives for years. Legend has it that a slave who worked in the home was beaten nearly to death and sent into the woods to die. It is this slave that is believed to haunt the Longfellow House, and can often be heard moving around in the upstairs area of the home. It appears that the spirit is still angry as he has reportedly gotten violent on several occasions, pushing down one employee and slapping another.
13. Eola Hotel, Natchez
In 1927, Mr. Isodore Levy opened the Eola Hotel, which quickly garnered a reputation for being the grandest hotel in Natchez. The hotel eventually closed in 1974, but was restored and reopened in 1978. Upon reopening, it became clear that one guest never left – the ghost of Mr. Levy. The former owner has been spotted on several occasions by employees of the hotel. In one instance, an elderly gentleman approached the bar and ordered a drink. After mixing the drink, the bartender turned around to give it to the man; however, he was gone. Later that evening, the bartender saw a picture of Mr. Levy in the hotel’s lobby and claimed that was the customer who ordered the drink. Mr. Levy’s daughter Eola has also been seen in the hotel, especially the dining area.