From a notorious colonial highwayman to centuries of tragic deaths, McRaven House has earned its title as being the “Most Haunted House in Mississippi”. Being used as a Civil War Hospital and the documentation of countless ghostly experiences, this home is still open for tours for the brave adventurers who wish to enter its spooky grounds.
During the colonial era and the early development of what would later become Mississippi, Andrew Glass settled in the small town of Walnut Hills. The city had gained its name from the bountiful walnut trees that grew along the ridges of the Mississippi River. The Spanish Fort Nogales lie just a short distance to the north on the Yazoo River. Andrew Glass was known as a highwayman. He had made his fortune by the treacherous acts of robbing innocent passerby on the nearby Natchez Trace. The Natchez Trace being a popular route for explorers and immigrants settling into the Mississippi River area from places that would later become Tennessee and Alabama.
With the money earned from highway robbery of travelers, Andrew Glass decided he needed a place to hide out near Walnut Hills. On this site around 1797, Glass built part of this beautiful mansion. At the time of its construction, America was still in its beginning stages of its formation and John Adams had recently taken office as the Second President of the United States. His home consisted of two rooms, a kitchen and a bedroom. Made of brick, Glass thought he had created himself a fortress with even a detachable ladder that allowed him to be hidden in his bedroom loft at night to prevent being robbed himself.
One night, Andrew was out in search of finding himself more stolen goods near a French encampment. Meanwhile, his wife stayed home on the quiet evening. As Andrew approached a potential victim of his crimes he got himself shot by a slew of French soldiers. He quickly fled the scene running back to the safety of Walnut Hills. When he reached his home, his wife attempted to save her dying husband. She knew that his wounds were too severe for him to survive and that French soldiers would come looking for him soon enough. According to legend, Andrew Glass pleaded for his wife to kill him to spare him the mercy of not being caught by the French. In the little brick home that Andrew had built, his wife slit his throat. Andrew Glass became the first death of many to occur in the home.
Nearly half a century later, the home had grown older and had not seen the maintenance it needed in decades. In 1836, the local sheriff by the name of Stephen Howard saw great potential in the little brick home. He was excited to improve the home for his pregnant young wife, Mary Elizabeth. Stephen added a dining room and another bedroom to the brick home. Around August of that same year, 15 year-old Mary Elizabeth died in the upstairs bedroom giving birth to their child. Sheriff Howard could not stand to live in the home after this tragedy and quickly sold it.
The house once again saw little attention until it fell into the hands of John H. Bobb and his wife Selina in 1849. Bobb put much work into his home. He wanted to turn the home into a Greek Revival style mansion located just a few blocks from the grand Mississippi River and the growing downtown Vicksburg. Bobb finished most of the home to the way it still looks today.
Bobb, being a Southerner, sided with the Confederate forces during the Civil War. As the Siege of Vicksburg in 1863 ravaged the city around him, Bobb strived to protect his beautiful home. Cannon fire rattled the windows and shattered them to pieces. During the battle, Bobb opened his doors to make his home useful as a Confederate field hospital. Wounded soldiers were brought into the rooms of the home and it is where many died from their injuries.
After making it through one of the most devastating battles of the Civil War, Bobb hoped that the city would one day regain peace. However a year later in 1864, Union forces had remained in control of the city as it was key along the Mississippi waterways.
John Bobb and his wife were known to take pride in their flowers and vegetable garden. Much of what they grew was used in their own kitchen to prepare meals. So when a group of drunken Union soldiers stormed into the Bobb’s yard and started eating their food, John grew outraged. Not only were his floors still stained with the blood of Confederate soliders, but now the opposing soldiers were stealing from his own garden and trampling his wife’s flowers. Bobb told the soliders to leave, but his request went unfulfilled. After several attempts, Bobb threw a brick at the men, striking one of them to the ground. The soldiers left, threatening that they would be back.
John Bobb then feared for his life as he was only defending his property. He immediately went to speak to U.S. General Slocum who assured him he would take care of the issue himself. As John was making his way home, he noticed a group of men outside of his home. They were the same Union soldiers. He was captured by them and taken to a nearby Bayou where he was shot and killed.
John’s widow Selina remained in the home until 1869, when she decided to go live with family at Sunnyside Plantation outside of New Orleans. The home was sold to a local real estate agent as Selina could not bear to live in Vicksburg anymore.
The house was soon renamed from the Bobb House to the McRaven House, as it was located on McRaven Street in the urban area of Vicksburg. When William Murray bought the home in 1882, he brought with him his wife Ellen Flynn. The couple had several children together who lived in the home.
During their residence at McRaven House, William, Ellen and two children died in the home. After their deaths, two Murray daughters, Annie and Ella, remained at McRaven. Many people spoke that they never saw the woman leave the home nor did they ever marry. The two spinsters lived in the home until the 1960s but refused to adopt modern convivences. No telephones, televisions or any other amenities had been introduced to the house. The home was in severe disrepair as it was covered in vines and hidden behind ungroomed shrubs. The home that was once filled with beautiful furniture had been destroyed during the cold winters when the sisters chopped up the once elegant pieces for firewood. When Ella Murray died in the home in 1960, Annie sold the house so she could live in an assisted living place.
The home was purchased and restored by Mr. Bradway, who first opened the home to tours in 1961. Over the years the home has changed hands several times but is still open for tours to the public.
The McRaven House has been known to be a host to several mysterious spirits spanning several centuries. A few of the ghosts known to frequent the home are Andrew Glass, Mary Elizabeth, John Bobb, members of the Murray family and various Confederate soldiers who lost their life during their time in the home as it was a hospital.
Of all the ghost stories Mary Elizabeth’s seems to get the most attention. Her tragic death in childbirth at the age of 15 in the upstairs bedroom, makes for the peculiar coincidence of the strange light flickering’s in that room. Still on display in the home is her wedding shawl, which is known to oddly emit heat when held. Her apparition has been claimed to be seen on the staircase and in the windows of the home. Lights also turn themselves on and off at random times of day.
How to Visit
McRaven House is located at 1503 Harrison Street in Vicksburg. The home is open for both guided tours and haunted ghost tours depending on availability. For more information about admission and hours, please visit the official website here.
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