Hidden away in a wooded area at the end of Harrison Street is the 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 Mississippi’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 opted for the daytime tour, which was spooky enough. My tour guide, a young woman in her 20s, told me that at least five people died in the house, not including former owner John Bobb, who was murdered just outside, or the soldiers being cared for in the field hospital.
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 started 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 visited, the grand front door and second floor veranda were 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 continued throughout the first and second floors before we entered the house’s next historic chapter.
The middle section was built by Sheriff Stephen Howard in 1836. 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 didn’t mention the ghosts (I am, after all, on the day tour), she did 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 that had the bedroom above the 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 that each owner left the previous rooms untouched.
The tour is interesting and well worth making time for while visiting Vicksburg.
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, visit: Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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