“Weird” isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Mississippi. The Civil War, historical homes, sweet tea – these are things that normally come up when thinking about the Magnolia State. But when it comes to strange and unusual places, Mississippi has its fair share. From the supernatural to places that are just a bit out of the norm, these Mississippi locations will either give you the creeps, leave you scratching your head, or completely amaze you.
1. Red Water Artesian Well, Shubuta
Artesian wells can be found all over the country, but this Shubuta well has become quite the tourist attraction, which can be attributed to the fact that it pumps out potable red water. The unusually colored water, which is safe for consumption, is caused by harmless minerals that get diluted in the water source. Long ago, people drank the colored water believing it had medical value.
2. The Grave of the Lady in Red in Old Fellows Cemetery, Lexington
In 1969, an unexpected discovery was made near the town of Cruger at Egypt Plantation – the body of a perfectly preserved woman was unearthed. The woman, who was dressed in red, was encased for burial in a glass-sealed, cast iron coffin. This type of burial was common prior to the Civil War. Efforts were made to identify the mysterious Lady in Red, but the woman’s identity and how she ended up buried on the plantation remain a mystery to this day. Eventually, the unidentified woman’s remains were relocated to a grave in Old Fellows Cemetery.
3. McRaven, Vicksburg
Named “The Most Haunted House in Mississippi,” 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. Witch Dance, Natchez Trace Parkway (milepost 233.2)
First inhabited by Native Americans, the area of Witch Dance soon became a meeting spot for witches. According to local lore, 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. Believed to be bad luck, these barren spots were avoided by Indians, travelers, and traders; however, there was someone who wasn’t so lucky. Local criminal, Big Harpe, was told to stay away from the unusual spots, but he ignored the warning and was later found with his head nailed to a tree. Many believe that a witch ended up taking Big Harpe’s head and using it for a special potion.
5. Ghost Town of Rodney, Lorman
Once slated to be the capitol of Mississippi, the town of Rodney is now home to only a handful of residents and a lot of old, deserted buildings. At its prime, the burgeoning city was home to 4,000 residents and boasted 35 stores, two banks, two newspapers, a hotel, and several churches and schools. The once booming city began to dwindle thanks to the changing course of the Mississippi River, two severe fires, and the yellow fever epidemics of 1843 and 1898.
6. Frog Art Farm, Fayette
Looks like Kermit isn’t the only famous frog in Mississippi. The Fayette Frog Farm may be off the beaten path, but the one-of-a-kind attraction is definitely worth the trek. Created by Louise Cadney Coleman, the Frog Farm is a sculpture garden filled with folk art frogs and other assorted “critters.”
7. Witch’s Grave in Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City
Legend has it that 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 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 in Glenwood Cemetery at which point they found the large chain around her grave 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 is constantly having to be repaired.
8. Kuhn Memorial State Hospital, Vicksburg
The abandoned hospital has been a go-to destination for paranormal investigators for years, and has even been featured on the television series “Ghost Asylum.” From the dark maze of rooms that fill the building to an abundance of reports of supernatural happenings, a visit to Kuhn State Hospital will definitely send chills down your spine.
9. Palestine Gardens, Lucedale
Constructed in 1960, this scaled model of the Holy Land has been attracting visitors for years now. The extremely detailed model features accurately represented topography and includes significant sites such as the Jordan River, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, to name a few.
10. 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 Madeline, the mistress of one of the tavern’s original owners. No one is sure whatever happened to Madeline, however, 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.
11. Pascagoula River
According to legend, the Pascagoula River has quite a dark past. Many years ago, the Pascagoula Indian tribe was in danger of being enslaved and possibly slaughtered by another 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.
What are some other unusual places in Mississippi? Tell us in the comments section below!