Hidden away at the end of Harrison Street in a wooded area is McRaven Tour Home. Said to be the most haunted house in Mississippi, the Vicksburg historic landmark is open for tours and is a popular attraction in the city.
Vicksburg, one of the state’s most haunted cities, is the site of the famous Civil War battle where more than 1,600 soldiers died. McRaven and its grounds were used as a Confederate camp and field hospital.
Two tours are offered here: a daytime house tour and an evening haunted tour. I opt for the daytime tour, which is spooky enough. My tour guide, a young woman in her 20s, tells me at least five people died in the house as well as former owner John Bobb, who was murdered just outside, and the soldiers being cared for in the field hospital.
Touring the house
McRaven House takes you on a journey of three times, three styles and the lives of three men who built sections of the home.
My tour starts in the newest section. The beautiful Greek Revival addition was added by Bobb, a prominent brick manufacturer and sawmill owner, in 1849. On the day I visit, the grand front door and second floor veranda are decorated for Halloween.
Inside the front door a beautiful flying wing staircase dominates the foyer. The parlor is elegant with its period furnishings and décor. The tour continues throughout the first and second floors before we enter the house’s next historic chapter.
The middle section was built by Sheriff Stephen Howard in1836. Using the original structure, Howard enclosed a patio creating a stairway and added a bedroom, a dining room and two-story covered porch. His choice of design was the Empire period.
Although my guide doesn’t mention the ghosts (I am, after all on the day tour), she does tell me Howard lost his young wife Mary Elizabeth after childbirth and that her spirit is the most active ghost in the house. The bedside lamp turns on and off at will and her apparition is seen on the newer section’s staircase and in its dining room.
The original portion of the house was built in 1797 before Mississippi became a state. Highwayman Andrew Glass built a two-room brick structure with a bedroom above a kitchen, with a removable ladder to prevent an ambush while he slept.
Glass robbed people traveling the Natchez Trace and would hide out in McRaven. His death was the start of McRaven’s haunting.
What is remarkable about the house too is each owner left the previous rooms untouched.
The tour is interesting and well worth making time for while visiting Vicksburg.
If you go:
Come for the Vicksburg National Military Park and stay for the beauty of the city, its antebellum houses and the history of its residents.
For more information: Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.