SuperTalk Mississippi

Spirit Soldiers, People of the Past: Mississippi’s Most Haunted Home is Open to Tour Again

VICKSBURG, MISS– McRaven, the Vicksburg home with a tortured past dating back before the Civil War is now open to the public again; after being boarded up for nearly a decade. 

If you’re driving to the end of Harrison Street in Vicksburg, you’re not likely to find McRaven unless you know what to look for. You pass each house, keeping your eyes peeled for a mailbox, or those white columns that represent antebellum Mississippi. Instead, you reach a dead end. But if you peer through the trees, you barely see the sign. “McRaven Tour Home,” it reads, with tour times listed.

Walking through the gate, which still stands from 1836, you step along the brick walkway, each step taking you further and further back into the woods, and further back in time. Round the corner and then you see it. The white columns, the porch, the tall windows all calling you back to the time of the Civil War.

McRaven was built in three phases. The first portion was built in 1797 by Andrew Glass. He was a robber, a thief, and built a two-story hideaway. The kitchen below, the bedroom above, only accessible by ladder.

“His was the first death in the home,” says Brian Riley, with the Mississippi Paranormal Society.

The second portion of the home was built in 1836 by a sheriff named Stephen Howard. After his wife died tragically, just months after the birth of their child, that’s when the paranormal activity began to pick up in the house.

“She’s the most active spirit,” says Riley.

The third and final portion of McRaven was built in 1849. John H. Bobb built the rest of the home to way it still stands today; shrouded by trees, with tall white columns and elaborate design that most people recognize as being from the Civil War era.

During the war, the house served as a military hospital. Riley estimates that up to 25 people died on those lands. Evidence of that fact found in 2000, when the house was purchased and the backyard was turned up for renovations.

“They found enough bones for about 11 soldiers,” says Riley. A memorial headstone was placed there that year, sitting atop the mass grave. The bones were returned to the earth from which they were found.

At McRaven, there’s more than bumps in the night and creaking floorboards. At one point, the homeowners experienced such terror, they had a priest come in for a blessing of the home.

“He was over there, cleaning a stain from the carpet,” says Riley, “when suddenly….BAM!” Riley slams his heavy foot into the floorboards, “He felt a boot pin him down, square in his back. He had to get stitches because his broken glasses cut his face.”

That was the final straw for the homeowner, who had the home blessed. But even after that, the activity didn’t stop, and he eventually moved out, leaving it boarded up.

In August 2015, the home was purchased yet again. The walls were covered in mold and mildew. The glass in the windows was clouded. No one had been in, and nothing had come out. In order to have the house ready for Halloween, major renovations began, and the house was back to original grandeur in just two months.

“But when we started moving belongings, that’s when the activity picked up,” says Riley, “we’d move this hope chest, or that dresser…they are attached to their things.”

And now these things are touched, adored, and picked up by the strangers who tour this home everyday. Maybe if you pick up Mr. Bobb’s courting candle or open the doors of Mary Elizabeth’s armoire, you might have your own experience.

But don’t just take history’s word for it. Tour McRaven for yourself, if you dare. Click here  to set up your tour.

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