WRITTEN BY: MAGENTA
Magenta contributes many informative articles and tarot spreads for the TABI Blog and has treated us all to a little insight of the tricksome McRaven House.
Ever thought about buying a haunted house? Well that’s exactly what relatives of mine did! In August 2015, my cousin Steven & his wife Kendra bought McRaven House in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA, not to live in but as an investment.
McRaven House is thought to be the third most haunted house in America and the most haunted in Mississippi. It has a very interesting story and many things have happened there over the years. When Steven and Kendra bought the house, it was in need of some TLC and they (and other members of the family) spent quite a while renovating the property to get it ready for opening to the public. Another cousin told me that whilst she was working there, although she didn’t see anything, she’d had the distinct feeling of being watched! Steven also found bones in the grounds, one of which was identified as a human thigh bone.
The following is an excerpt from the McRaven House website and gives part of the history of the property:
‘McRaven tour home first opened to the public in 1961. It has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, LIFE Magazine, The Travel Channel, 48 Hours and countless local magazine and books about hauntings. Popular for being built in three different periods, National Geographic called it the “Time Capsule of the South.” Each addition to the house leaving the previous rooms untouched. Today McRaven is filled with museum quality antiques, true to each period. The rooms demonstrate a way-of-life for these periods that may otherwise be lost.
The first portion of the house was built in 1797 when George Washington was President, and before Mississippi became a state. Highwayman Andrew Glass built a two-room brick structure with a bed- room above a kitchen, with a removable ladder to prevent an ambush while he slept. The blueberry and buttermilk plaster still adorn the walls. Mr. Glass would rob people traveling the Natchez Trace and hide out in McRaven. His surprising death became the start of McRaven’s haunting.
The second portion of McRaven was built in 1836 by Sheriff Stephen Howard. He enclosed a patio, creating a stairway and added a bedroom, a dining room and two-story covered porch. Built in the Empire period, this portion of the house was simple but decorative touches. Sheriff Howard lost his young wife Mary Elizabeth after childbirth, and her spirit is the most active ghost in the house. Mary Elizabeth often greets guests and plays pranks. Some of her personal belongings are still in the house.
The third portion of the house was built in the Greek Revival style by John H. Bobb in 1849. He was a prominent brick manufacturer and sawmill owner. Mr. Bobb built an elegant parlor, master bedroom, men’s changing area, flying wing staircase and a Greek Revival facade which he later replaced by the Italianate facade with “Vicksburg pillars.”
During the American Civil War, it was turned into a field hospital and many soldiers died there. Others would of course, have had limbs amputated, like the thigh bone my cousin found. There were other residents of the house who also put their stamp on the house over the years; some let it go to ruin and become run-down like the two sisters who chopped up antique furniture for firewood as they were so poor!
McRaven House is now open for tours and as you can imagine, these tours are very popular around Halloween! It has been featured in various programmes about the paranormal, in particular ‘Ghost Adventures’. If you do a Google search on Mcraven House, there is a wealth of information available about its gory past! You can also pop onto McRaven House to find out more.
As yet, I have not been over to visit the house, but I aim to do this soon. I might even apply for a job as a tour guide, although it would be rather a long way to go to work every day as I am in the UK!
With grateful thanks to Steven and Kendra Reed and McRaven House.