"...I have truthfully told the owner of McRaven, Leyland French,'If you deeded this house to me with the stipulation that I must live in it, I would not take it.
" Charles Sullivan-The Haunting of McRaven
Vicksburg’s haunted house is called “The McRaven Home”. Constructed in the year of 1797 by a man by the name of Andrew Glass, this home was known during the period in which the Civil War as the infamous “Bobb House”. During this time, the town of Vicksburg was called “Walnut Hills”, and the street in which the home resided on was known as “McRaven”. Eventually, this structure would come to be known as the “McRaven Home”. It still retains this particular name despite the fact that street has a different name. Now, it is known as “Harrison Street”. Many individuals who have visited and/or resided in the structure believe it to be haunted. Many will go as far as to say that Vicksburg’s haunted house, the McRaven Home, is the single most haunted house in all of Mississippi!
History at a Glance
The history of the haunted house is quite extensive. It all started with the home being constructed by Andrew Glass. This home was popular among pioneers who required a place to lodge during their travels. Originally, the home was actually on the small side. There was a kitchen and just above this room was another room that one could stay in. Many changes have taken place in the home since then. Now, the small area that retains original construction is notably referred to that which is the “Pioneer Section”.
A man by the name of Stephen Howard who served as the Sheriff at the time, decided to purchase the estate in the year of 1836. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth decided that the home could do with a little more room as they were expecting their first child. He integrated two additional rooms. The first was a dining room, and the second was an upstairs bedroom. This bedroom rested just above the newly constructed dining room. Later that year, Mary Elizabeth went into labor in the newly added bedroom. While giving birth to their first child, she died due to complications. Sheriff Howard and his new child resided in the home for quite a few years.
By the time the year 1849 rolled around, there was an interested buyer for the home. This was a man by the name of John H. Bobb. He took an interest in developing the home to more potential. He particularly enjoyed homes that were constructed in the style that was considered to be “Greek Revival”. This is architectural style that he finally decided on when it came to the renovations and additions for the structure. In the year of around 1863, he allowed the confederate army to use the structure as a make shift hospital and also as an area to lodge in camps to help pay his part to the war effort. This was during the time of the infamous “Seige of Vicksburg”.
While this was supposed to serve as a point of refuge for wounded and active soldiers of the confederacy, it fell victim to the bullets and cannons that played a role in the Civil War. The home received a large amount of damage and became terribly battered. It is believed that several individuals died in and around the property of the McRaven Home. A year later, the area was under control of the Union. John H. Bobb came home one day to find a hoard of soldiers from the Union taking foods from the crops in his garden. Naturally, he was quite angry. There was a confrontation that resulted in Bobb hindering a sergeant due to a brick blow to the head. Later that day, a large group of Union soldiers captured Bobb, took him about 300 feet from the home, and shot him several times. John’s wife, Selina, was left behind and eventually sold the home and moved to Louisiana.
The haunted house was eventually purchased by a family named Murray. This was in the year of 1882. The McRaven Home remained in the possession of the home until all members had passed away, except for one, who was relocated to a nursing home for care. The family included the parents who were William and Ellen. The children included a son, and several daughters. While the son’s name remains a mystery, the daughter’s names were Ida, Annie, and Ella. By the time this family left, the home was in dire need of restoration.
In the year of 1960, a family by the name of Bradway purchased the home. They started the first restorations and converted it into a home where individuals could tour, learning about the history. Eventually, an individual by the name of Leyland French would purchase the structure. This took place in the year of 1984. French was the first to actually live in the home since the year of 1960 when the last Murray child was moved to the nursing home for additional care. The structure still offers tours to the public.
The hauntings of the McRaven Home are one of the most popular and unique characteristics about this particular structure. The legends of spirits lingering in the home start with the various individuals that died in and/or around the structure. Based on the history, we know that Mary Elizabeth Howard who lived in the structure in the early days gave birth and died with complications during this time. We know that she passed in the bedroom right above the middle dining area. There seems to be quite a bit of unexplained phenomenon that occurs in this room.
It seems that Mary Elizabeth turns the light in the room on and off, as if to draw attention. Her wedding shawl remained with the home for quite some time, and those that actually pick it up say that it is very hot and it seems as if it is pulled from their hands. Several people have reported seeing the apparition of the teenage girl in the bedroom, on the lavish staircase, as well as several other areas in the home. It is not known whether this spirit is residual or intelligent, but several account to the fact that the spirit seems to acknowledge and attempt to interact with others, which would conclude an intelligent haunting.
Seeing that the home served as a hospital during the Civil War and several fights took place on the property, several spirits that are believed to be fallen soldiers that either died under medical supervision or actual battle are said to linger the grounds. In addition to this, the owner of the haunted house at the time, John H. Bobb is believed to linger among the grounds and the home. He was the one that was brutally shot just 300 feet away from the structure. It sometimes seems as if the spirit wants to make his spirit known as if he is being territorial over the area.
Several other spirits are documented to appear in and around the haunted house in Vicksburg, the McRaven Home. If you are seeking haunted places to go that have a rich history, a tour of this home would be considered ideal. If you go to Harrison Street in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the house number is 1445. You may call them by dialing area code 601, then 636-1663 to learn more! By the time you leave, you will be certain that the McRaven Home is, indeed, a haunted home!