Updated: Oct 16, 2021
*sources marked with an asterisk are affiliate links; I earn a commission from each sale
Vicksburg, Mississippi is a city with a lot of rich history. It’s well known for the Siege of Vicksburg which took place during the Civil War, and its famous Independence Day surrender is thought to have been crucial in the Union’s victory. But with such a violent history comes plenty of ghost stories. Let’s talk about five creepy haunted places in Vicksburg.
Ahern's Belle of the Bends
Not much is known about this Vicksburg hotel. Located at 508 Klein Street, less than a mile from Vicksburg’s historic district, the building was originally constructed in 1876 and named for a steamer that brought president Teddy Roosevelt to Vicksburg. It was originally a mansion, and some say its former residents never left. Guests at the hotel have reported the presence of a ghostly woman, a man in an old fashioned suit, and the smell of perfume — presumably when nobody else was around.
While the hotel appears to be otherwise normal, the inside is absolutely gorgeous. It seems to have pretty good ratings online, with one kayak.com user saying their breakfast was “beautifully served and delicious.” Maybe Ahern’s ghostly inhabitants are so taken aback by the beauty of their former home that they can’t imagine spending their afterlife anywhere else.
Vicksburg National Military Park
Like I mentioned earlier, Vicksburg is known for the Civil War siege that famously ended on July 4, 1863 after 47 days. According to the National Park Service, Vicksburg National Military Park “commemorates the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg.”
Located at 3201 Clay Street, the park has long since been an attraction for history buffs and picnickers alike. But have some of the ghosts of Civil War soldiers chosen this park to spend their afterlife?
Several of the park’s monuments are said to harbor ghostly activity. People report that the faces on the Pennsylvania Monument will sometimes cry tears of blood. Others claim the faces will blink if you shine your flashlight on them at night.* Witnesses have also seen smoke coming from the Texas Monument and soldiers’ ghosts hanging around the Illinois Monument. Other reported activity includes: Large walls of fog, orbs, the phantom sounds of horses and cannons and the smells of smoke and gunpowder.
Cedar Grove Inn
This gorgeous mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast, which sits at 2200 Oak Street, began construction in 1840 and was finally finished in 1852. It was built by a wealthy businessman named John Klein as a gift for his wife, Elizabeth. After their wedding, the couple went on a year long honeymoon to Europe, where they bought a lot of the furniture for the house.
In 1862, John went off to fight in the Civil War, leaving a pregnant Elizabeth behind and turning the house into a temporary hospital. Elizabeth gave birth to the couple’s son during the siege and named him Willie after a general who helped her out during the birth.* A cannonball is also famously lodged in one of the mansion walls.
The Kleins had ten children in total, but four didn’t make it to adulthood. Two died in infancy, a two-year-old daughter was taken by yellow fever and Willie, famously born during the siege, was killed in a hunting accident the age of 16. The Kleins reportedly sold the house in 1919, but the deaths didn’t stop there; a woman whose family lived in the house later on came for a visit one day and shot herself in the ballroom.
With all this death, it’s no surprise some of the departed may have never left. John Klein is often still spotted by witnesses in the gentleman’s parlor, and a man dressed in 19th century clothing has been seen by the front desk. A couple who stayed in the wine cellar one night reported a light being turned on and off seemingly by itself. During the war, the wine cellar had been used as a morgue. Were there still restless spirits down there? Other reported hauntings include phantom soldiers and ghost children playing.
Cedar Grove was sold in September 2020. The new owners appear to be turning it into a “boutique hotel” set to open in summer 2021. Will the Cedar Grove ghosts stick around for this new chapter of the mansion’s life? Only time will tell.
Duff Green Mansion
This mansion-turned-bed-and-breakfast was built in 1856 by cotton broker Duff Gordon*** as a gift for his wife, Mary. Are you starting to see a pattern here?
***(since I prepared this entry, the site has gone offline. I’m not sure what happened or if and when it’ll be back.)
And the similarities to other haunted spots in the city don’t stop there. Sitting at 1114 First East Street, the building has served not only as a private residence but a Civil War hospital, a boys’ orphanage and Salvation Army headquarters. In fact, Mary Lake Green gave birth to the couple’s first child in a Civil War cave! The cave was dug during the siege so the family could escape, and can easily be accessed from the house — or at least it could at the time.
Unsurprisingly, one of the house’s ghosts is said to be that of a Confederate soldier, probably one who died in the then-hospital. The one-legged solider reportedly likes to sit in front of the fireplace and is also fond of the Dixie Room — which used to be the amputation room when the house was a hospital.
Harry Sharp, who owned the house in the 1980’s, claims he and his wife have spotted the solider ghost and heard heavy, disembodied footsteps on the floor and stairs. A tour guide claimed he once spent the night in the Confederate Room and woke up to find his bed covers pulled back and moving up his leg.
But maybe the most spotted ghost is that of the Green’s daughter Annie, who died from yellow fever. Annie likes to do typical child things like play ball and run up and down the stairs. There’s at least one story of a toddler visitor to the house playing ball with Annie, and the ghost girl was even reportedly spotted by the Sharps’ granddaughter when she was young. Mary Lake Green has also been spotted, but the mother and daughter don’t appear to interact much.
I found audio of a paranormal investigation that took place in the house’s former amputation room and supposedly picked up audio of Annie’s ghost. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work on my end. Maybe it’s because Safari hates me. Or maybe…just maybe…the ghost of little Annie only wants to present herself to certain people.
Anchuca Historic Mansion and Inn
Named for the Choctaw word for ‘happy home,’ the house that later became this bed and breakfast was initially built in the late 1820’s. The actual Anchuca mansion was later built by politician J.W. Mauldin. It was also turned into a temporary Civil War hospital — again, even more similarities among all these haunted places.
But unlike some of these other locations, soldiers don’t seem to haunt these grounds. The main — and perhaps only — ghost spotted here is that of Archie, the daughter of a former owner. As the story goes, Richard Archer bought the house in 1837 and moved his family in. But Archie soon took up with a boy who her father saw as beneath them, class-wise. He forced her to break up with her new boyfriend, and she was so angry about this that she never got over it, even eating her meals alone and away from the rest of the family. Now she presumably chooses her former home as the place to spend eternity, either waiting around for her old boyfriend or maybe still unable to let go of her feud with her dad, even in death.
Sightings of Archie go all the way back to the 1960’s. She reportedly wears a long brown dress and hovers on the balcony or hangs around the stairs, slaves’ quarters, parlor or dining room— the latter two being places she often ate away from her family in life. Staff members have reported the sounds of glass breaking and water running when nobody else was around. Shortly after the latter incident, a search for the source of a water leak led the mansion’s owner to the attic, where they found several portraits from the 1800’s. After the portraits were hung near the entrance, the leaking stopped. Was this all a strange coincidence, or did Archie want these portraits to hang and sent a ghostly signal to get it done?
In another story from 2009, a cook at the mansion as well as a friend of theirs claimed to see a young woman in a nightgown, heading up the stairs to one of the bedrooms. They asked around but nobody knew about any guests matching her description that were there at the time. That same year, a couple staying at the hotel took photographs that showed the same girl when they looked at them later. However, this one was described as a “little girl.” Maybe they just meant that she was relatively young, or maybe this is yet another ghostly occupant of the mansion.
Before we go, I want to mention the book Haunted Vicksburg by Alan Brown. I got a decent amount of my material in this video from it, and it also has tons of information about other haunted places in the city. There are several affiliate links to it in the text (I earn a commission from each sale if you buy it from one of those links), and I'll also leave one here.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever visited any of these places and had a paranormal experience. I went to the military park back in college, but didn’t know it was haunted at the time and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.