Behind the wrought-iron gates at 1445 Harrison Street in Vicksburg sits the notorious McRaven home. Dubbed “the most haunted house in Mississippi,” the McRaven House has been attracting paranormal activity since the late 1700s. At least five residents have died in the house during its remarkable history. People claim all five still reside there. During the Civil War, the McRaven House was a makeshift hospital for Confederate forces, which explains the 11 unidentified bodies buried around the property.
Since being built in the late 1700s, ownership of the home has changed several times, but one thing has remained the same – it is a magnet for paranormal activity. McRaven has earned the title “the most haunted house in Mississippi from unexplainable occurrences to malevolent spirits.”
In 1797, McRaven was a simple two-story dwelling, consisting of a kitchen on the first floor and a bedroom on the second. At the time, it belonged to notorious criminal Andrew Glass, who was known for robbing and murdering unsuspecting travelers on the Natchez Trace. Since there were no stairs, the second floor was only accessible by a ladder – a ladder never left out because Glass feared other criminals or the law would come for him. According to local legend, Glass returned home one night after being shot, pulled up the ladder, and had his wife “finish him off” so he wouldn’t be hung. Glass was the first person to die in McRaven but not the last.
By 1836, the Vicksburg home belonged to Sheriff Steven Howard and his wife, Mary Elizabeth. The new owners closed in a balcony and added a set of stairs, a dining room, two side balconies, and an upstairs bedroom. Local records indicate that Mary Elizabeth died in the upstairs bedroom soon after giving birth to the couple’s son.
McRaven’s final renovations came in 1849 when John H. Bobb from Philadelphia acquired the home. Mr. Bobb added a front entry area, parlor, flying wing staircase, upstairs bedroom, and a dressing area. Because portions of McRaven were constructed at different times and exhibit varying architectural styles, the home is sometimes known as a “time capsule of the south.”
McRaven became a makeshift hospital during the Siege of Vicksburg. As you can imagine, much death occurred while McRaven was a hospital.
According to local legend, John H. Bobb caught some Union soldiers tampering with his crops, became enraged, and threw a brick at one of them. Seeking revenge, the soldiers returned later that night and killed Bobb, making him the third resident to die at McRaven.
In 1960, McRaven went up for sale. It had become so overgrown with weeds and vines that many residents were unaware of its existence, but the new owners, the Bradleys, saw McRaven’s potential, restored the home, and opened it for tours. Not long after, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1984, Mr. Leyland French purchased McRaven, making him the first to reside in the home in over two decades. French had several frightening supernatural encounters while living in McRaven. In one instance, the ghost of former resident Mr. Murray chased him. Not long after, French was pushed to the ground by an unseen force. He fell face first, broke his glasses, and required stitches. Another time, a drawer mysteriously slammed on French’s hands with such force that it broke both of his thumbs. This last instance persuaded him to move from McRaven.
French’s supernatural encounters were only the beginning. In the years that followed, the Vicksburg home became the site of numerous unexplainable mysteries, such as doors slamming, lights flickering on and off, alarm clocks going off in the middle of the night, and of course, sightings of former occupants.
One of the home’s most haunted rooms is the upstairs bedroom in which Mary Elizabeth passed away. Witnesses have reported lights in the room turning on and off by themselves and the impression of a body suddenly appearing on the bed. For quite some time, Mary Elizabeth’s wedding shawl was on display in the home. Several visitors claimed to feel a presence pulling the shawl from their hands. Another hotspot for paranormal activity is Mr. Glass’s old room. In one instance, a tour guide was in the room when a chair suddenly slammed to the ground on its own.
Mr. Bobb has been seen on several different occasions, even appearing in the middle of a tour!
Since McRaven played such an essential role in the Civil War, several spirits may be fallen soldiers.
Several witnesses have spotted the spirit of a teenage girl. She is commonly spotted in one of the bedrooms as well as on this staircase.
McRaven’s paranormal activity has been documented by A&E, The Travel Channel, and 48 Hours.
If you are up for an actively haunted house, this one’s for you.
Until Next Time,