- Religion and Philosophy
The McRaven house is located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and is said to be the most haunted in the state. On October 8, 2016, I decided to enjoy a house tour and watch the reenactment of the Civil War. Prior to the visit, I had only heard limited information about the area, such as someone getting shot there around the Civil War era. I walked onto this property with thoughts that this place cannot be all that haunted. However, I do not think I will ever visit another location without learning all I can about the area first, as I did not feel good for several days after my visit. Apparently, much history has taken place at this location. I had no clue, while walking around outside, that unknown soldiers were buried in the yard. Or, that Mr. Glass was rumored to have been seriously injured by gunfire, and to avoid being hung had his wife put him out of his misery. He stole from the area and would bring his loot to his home, and one particular night of thievery, it is rumored, he was gunned down. I will never forget how the evil presence that I sensed in that room made me feel.
My friend and I approached the front door of the house and saw a sign instructing visitors to knock and wait for someone to assist them. This sorta tickled me, so we knocked and within seconds the door opened. The young tour guide was very nice and told us the next tour would start at 1:00 p.m. So we parted ways outside, each taking our own little private tour around the property. It was twenty minutes until the next house tour. I captured several pictures as I walked around the house.
I was fortunate enough to visit on a day when there was a civil war reenactment taking place. Though small with only a few people involved, it was quite fascinating. The men were dressed in period war attire, and the one woman in attire appropriate to the period, as well. The day was hot and humid, and I recall thinking how uncomfortable that lady must be in what appeared to be a seven-layered dress. These people were very much into the reenactment. I stayed out of their way, but was fascinated by their passion to recreate the past. At times their voices were strong and would carry far, and in a moment that I least expected I would hear someone yell, "fire in the hole" followed by a loud gun shot (similar to the sound of a canon blast). I wanted to take a few pictures of them, but felt it would have been rude. Shortly after, one of the reenactment participants called the others to eat. As they gathered around a small table, one of them blessed the food and they dug into to what appeared to be Kentucky Fried Chicken. Still, in my mind I could smell food cooking on an old time camp fire - beef stew to be exact. This would sure bring out the ghosts of the past, I thought. I had just eaten prior to my visit; however, it made me hungry just thinking about it.
As I continued walking around the grounds, I decided to have a little fun. In an audible voice, I said, "if you are here, show me something." I turned on my smart phone's video device in an attempt to capture something, but I got nothing and eventually turned it off. I continued walking around the side of the house and “something” decided to throw a small rock at me. It hit me on the chin quite hard. At first I thought maybe it was something that had fallen out of the trees, but it was actually a rock. It was odd, to say the least, and a bit frightening. The property, larger than one would imagine, is nicely shaded with big, beautiful oak trees. Though I wanted to spend more time outside, I did not, as the young tour guide opened the door and invited us inside.
Now inside the beautiful home, I began to wonder if anyone knows the exact location where Mr. Bobb was shot. I recently read that Mr. Bobb threw a brick at drunken Union soldiers who were picking his flowers from his yard, as he was trying to get them to leave. Could Mr. Bobb be the one who threw the rock at me, wanting me to leave? He may very well have not liked the idea of a woman taunting him. However, at that time, I did not know the full story of what happened in the home in the year 1864. I also read recently that unknown graves exist on the property. So it could have been a number of unsettled spirits who could have thrown the rock at me. Interesting to note is that I was alone at the time the rock hit me.
A Little History as We Tour...
The McRaven house was built in 1797 by Andrew Glass. The name “McRaven” came from the name of the street, which in the past was called McRaven Street, but is now called Harrison Street. The house has had five known deaths occur inside the home. Rumor has it that the house served as an infirmary during the Civil War. There is something about this place that pulls one back in time and gives one a sense of history that has somehow managed to survive through the years. As I walked around outside, I saw a well. I stared at it for a while and had a sense that slaves worked in this area. I was not shocked when the tour guide mentioned slaves helped build part of the house. By 1836, the Vicksburg home belonged to Sheriff Steven Howard and his wife Mary Elizabeth. The new owners enclosed a balcony, added a staircase, an upstairs bedroom, and a couple of other additions to the house. Local records indicate that Mary Elizabeth died, in the upstairs bedroom, soon after giving birth to the couple’s son.
As we entered the foyer of the house, I immediately felt like I had stepped back in time. I could feel the history in this house. The tour guide was great and very knowledgeable, but I had a feeling she may not have been too much into the paranormal part of it - only the history, or she did not want to deal with it at the time. I was respectful and tried to keep my thoughts to myself. We then turned our attention to the parlor. It had matching gossip chairs. Yes, gossip chairs. The name alone is interesting; however, even more interesting is that these chairs were made without arms for a specific reason. Women in this time period wore hoop dresses that were so large and somewhat stiff that chair arms would hinder the ladies from sitting somewhat comfortably. The room was filled with various objects from the Victorian period (some from countries other than the United States), and several of the items were original to the home. Henry Murray's portrait captured my undivided attention. He appeared quite sad. He lived in the house post Civil War and had two sons and three daughters who were raised in the house. Two other portraits captured my attention - those of the spinster (unmarried) sisters who were the last of the family to live in the house. The story is told these two sisters who were never married both lived in the home and stayed to themselves. One sister passed away in the house and I believe the other passed away in a nursing home. I wondered what happened to these ladies to cause them not want to be around others. Something perhaps happened when they were younger or maybe they just got tired of society? Perhaps we will never know the true story. The tour guide later spoke of a caldron that the sisters used to perhaps practice Voodoo.
I was in awe over the courting chair located in the foyer. The guide drew our attention toward a candle that was lit by the father when a suitor was calling for his daughter. If it was someone he approved of - a prominent member of society, he allowed the candle to burn for a long time. However, if he did not approve of the young man - maybe a mere peasant, the candle was set to burn only a couple of seconds.
More Than I Bargained For
As we ascended the staircase, I felt a very strong presence and immediately looked into the room on the left of the staircase and found myself not wanting to shift my gaze away from the room. I walked over to the window; the tour guide asked me if I was okay. I said, "yes," and ask her about the history of the room. I wanted to know what happened in that room. I felt her apprehension, as she replied, "lots of things." She told the other visitors that we weren’t going to stay in that room long because some people are unable to handle the energy in the room. I felt a very heavy male presence in the room. And, I felt as if someone or something was touching me around my head and neck. I felt as though I was being pushed, and at times something or someone would get ever so close to my ear, as if taunting me. It was overwhelming. Whatever is in that room wants everyone to know it is still his/her room. We then walked into the bedroom across the hall, and I immediately felt despair and heaviness. I knew someone had died in there. The tour guide shared that a woman had died during childbirth in that room. A very narrow stairway leads back downstairs. As we were led by the tour guide down the stairs and into another room, I had decided to block whatever was in the room we had just left.
I felt weak and tired following the tour, and was more than ready to go home. Maybe in part because I had participated in the five mile Over the River Run that morning. I plan to return for a ghost tour in November. If you are up to it, I suggest a tour of this house. The house is the last home at the end of a dead end road. You won't see it from the small parking area; however, a short walk through an overgrown walkway will lead you to its historic entry. You'll see why this home will probably never be a bed and breakfast - sad, but true. This place is indeed a time capsule - a must see. I hope it stays preserved for a long time. The tour fee was $10 and well worth it. I would pay it again to see that spinning wheel on the top floor, the pioneer section, the small furniture, and the top porch which had a breathtaking view.
Just another Haunted Location...
I enjoy visiting haunted locations. I had a paranormal experience as a child that left me terrified for years. However, as I grew older I learned healthy ways to cope with my anxieties. In my forty-five years, I have learned that some things simply happen without explanation. This recount adds to my list of one of the most haunted places I have ever been. I enjoy writing about my experiences and I hope you enjoy reading my true account of visiting these locations. Behind the rusty-iron gates at 1445 Harrison Street in Vicksburg, Mississippi lies the historic McRaven home. Do you dare enter? I did and will most likely visit again.
Until my next haunted adventure...