4 Ghoulishly Good Times in Mississippi
The Magnolia State offers frighteningly fun ways to celebrate Halloween
With the arrival of fall, there’s no better time to travel. For those that dare, it’s a prime time to discover spooky, supernatural sites and paranormal places, from old, haunted homes to mysterious graveyards, and even ghostly bed and breakfasts. For those who like a little more trick than treat, there are plenty of bone-chilling activities to check out in Mississippi. Here are four of our favorite haunts.
Located in Union, just outside Meridian is Stuckey’s Bridge. Crossing the Chunky River—though impassable for vehicles as it has been abandoned for years—the historic bridge is a designated Mississippi Landmark, and it’s even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yet Stuckey’s Bridge is best known for the reason behind its spot on The Travel Channel’s Most Terrifying Places in America in 2018: the bridge is haunted by “Old Man Stuckey.” According to local legend, a man named Stuckey owned a guest house near the bridge in the late 1800s. A member of notorious robbers and outlaws called the Dalton Gang, Stuckey was known to stand on the bridge late at night and lure travelers to his house, where he would rob and murder them, burying their bodies on the riverbank. Eventually—after murdering 20 victims—he was caught and killed on the bridge. Since then, visitors have claimed to have seen Old Man Stuckey carrying a lantern along the river’s edge and hear unexplained splashes, and even see Stuckey’s corpse on the bridge.
Natchez City Cemetery
Any cemetery can seem more than spooky, but none so more than Natchez City Cemetery. It all starts in 1861 with a little girl from Florence named Florence, who was terrified of thunderstorms. During bad weather, she would often run to her mother, Ellen, for comfort. When she was 10, Florence died from yellow fever, and her mother had a coffin specially designed with a glass window at the head. She also had steps built to the grave that led down to a small glass viewing window. During thunderstorms, Ellen would go down the steps to the grave and sit by her daughter’s coffin, singing songs and reading stories until the storm passed. Also at the Natchez City Cemetery is Turning Angel, a stone monument where drivers often claim that at night, when the headlights hit the monument, the angel turns.
McRaven House in Vicksburg holds the title of the most haunted house in all of Mississippi. The McRaven House served as a field hospital during the Civil War with unknown deaths within its doors. In addition to those deaths, at least five occupants have died on or near the property, including the original owner, a highwayman who robbed travelers on the Natchez Trace, a young wife during childbirth, and a businessman killed by Union reconstruction troops. Visitors to the home claim to have seen full-body apparitions, heard mysterious voices and slamming doors, and seen lights turn on and off without explanation. McRaven was featured on The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures in 2018 and has also been featured in National Geographic Magazine, LIFE Magazine, and CBS’s 48 Hours. It’s also open for tours and “ghost hunt” paranormal investigations.
The Tower of Natchez
The Tower of Natchez has a long and storied history. Originally built in 1798, it had two additions during the mid-1800s and eventually a major renovation to restore the home after a fire in 1920 that destroyed its unique tower rooms. Its haunted past comes from the Civil War when it was used as the headquarters for Federal troops during the occupation of Natchez. Over the years since then, visitors have reported sightings of ghostly Civil War soldiers, along with sightings of the Fleming family, who owned the home during much of the 19thcentury. During the fall and spring, candlelight tours of the property are available, and it’s also open as a bed and breakfast during the spring and summer.