Under the calm exterior of Vicksburg, darker pockets of the past slumber. Civil War battles, grudge-fueled duels, and bouts of yellow fever have all left their bloody stains on the landscape—and who knows how many restless souls with unfinished business lurk about.
Something about the decaying leaves and autumn air makes this season feel ripe for the thrill of the supernatural. And Vicksburg has plenty of haunted history to offer spooksters of all stripes, from the cautiously curious to the bona fide paranormal investigator. As the nights grow longer, check out these top locales for spectral encounters and frightful fun!
McRaven Tour Home
The McRaven House’s stately columns, museum-quality antiques, and sprawling grounds earn its title of “time capsule of the South.” But, like all good ghost stories, there’s more lurking beneath the surface—McRaven, for all its historical splendor, is also Mississippi’s Most Haunted House.
At the dead end of an unassuming neighborhood road, the entrance to McRaven instantly unsettles. The grounds are beautiful, even lush, but the air is eerily quiet. Knocking on the tall front door to begin your tour feels like being dared to visit the creepy house on Halloween… and for good reason.
The tour guides here regale with hauntings passed down through the many ages and stages of McRaven House, from its sordid origins as a notorious highwayman’s hideaway through its years as a Civil War field hospital and on through the lives of a pair of strange spinster sisters. But the guides also have stories of their own—how they must rebury surfaced bones in the gardens after rains or greet a young mother in the room where she died to keep her from pulling their hair.
Visitors can have hair-raising experiences of their own throughout the year, but in October, special events promise more immersive thrills. Whether you can only stomach a daylight tour or you prefer to spend dinner and a late night with the house’s 14 ghosts (that they know of), McRaven is the ultimate haunted house experience.
Haunted Vicksburg Walking Tour
Nobody can tell a story like a Southerner, especially recounting something unexplained. These are the stories you want the most—what you can’t find repeated on countless websites, what isn’t scripted because it’s known by heart.
Morgan Gates, founder of the Haunted Vicksburg Walking Tour, takes guests through 90 minutes of haunted horror stories and history’s mysteries. Strolling past historic homes, live oaks, and magnolias in the stirring breeze, you’ll be initiated into the legacy of restless spirits that inhabit this peaceful town.
The tour snakes through 12 blocks in a neighborhood studded with historical sites, including the Old Court House and the Old Jail House, where countless criminals met their fate at the end of a rope, and the McNutt House, where a little girl in a blue dress has been visiting for decades. Make sure to take plenty of pictures, just in case one of these apparitions decides to make a guest appearance.
Vicksburg Military Park
The Vicksburg Military Park is hallowed ground. It’s one of the country’s most renowned memorials, established 40 years after the war by veterans who served on its roiling battlefield. But, of course, being the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the park can be a site of paranormal as well as historical interest.
Visitors have reported odd sights, sounds, and smells throughout the park. Smoke has been seen emanating from cannons, and sculptures of statesmen may, at times, appear to weep blood. Watch for weary soldiers in your periphery. You might just catch a whiff of gunpowder on the air.
As always, one must remain respectful at this site of great sacrifice and service. But with an open mind and fine-tuned sensitivity, you may just experience something otherworldly rising to greet you from the forested ravines.
All This and More
Ghost hunters and every day, curious tourists alike have flocked to Vicksburg for a taste of its supernatural surprises. See what stories folks are sharing on our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel, and set your own spooky itinerary at VisitVicksburg.com.