McRaven House
  Vicksburg, Mississippi

The mighty Mississippi River, known as the ‘spinal cord’ of the Confederacy, was crucial to the survival of the Rebels in the western theatre. General Ulysses S. Grant knew that to insure victory, the river must be in control of the Federals. Without it, the enemy could easily transport troops and goods up and down the river at will.
Understanding the importance of this river, Vicksburg held the key to the Mississippi. Whoever controlled Vicksburg, controlled the river. After a series of major battles, the Yankees approached and attempted numerous assaults on the city. Realizing the extensive fortifications, and underestimating the mettle of their foe, General Grant formulated his plans to lay siege to the city.
May 26, 1863, the Federal army severed rebel telegraph and supply lines, dug in, and prepared to wait out their equally determined counterparts. The southern soldiers and population alike, prepared caves to live and protect themselves from the random artillery of the Yankee army and navy under Admiral Porter. 
Starvation and disease ravaged the citizens and infantrymen. After over a month,  Confederate Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton, realizing relief was not forthcoming, surrendered the town on July 4, 1863.
With the occupation of Vicksburg, the Federals delivered a severe blow to the Confederates, for now control of the Mississippi lay in the hands of Grant.
Of the occupying forces, a Colonel Wilson and his aide, Captain McPherson decided to headquarter at 1445 Harrison Street. This beautiful house built in the style of Greek revival, was familiar to Capt. Harrison, for he was a resident in Vicksburg before the war. Now seeing the half starved populace, he would often give food to the local children, saying “I don’t want the next generation to grow up hating us like this one does.”
Unfortunately, the hatred seethed and with the disappearance of Capt. McPherson, Colonel Wilson began an organized search for his aide and friend. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that the Colonel was awakened by a noise in his bedroom. He fell back asleep in his rocking chair, only to be awakened again by the motion of someone rocking the chair from behind. He leapt up, and there before him was the figure of a man. Upon closer examination, he realized it was his missing friend, Capt. McPherson. Horror pervaded the Colonel as he noticed that the side of the Captain’s head was mutilated and his clothes torn and wet. The Captain weakly stated that he had been beaten and thrown into the river by former Confederates. He pleaded to the Colonel that his murder not be avenged, for he didn’t “want the next generation to grow up hating” them “like this one does.”
In 1984, the house was bought by an architect; not for the macabre history, but for its elegant beauty. He had no idea what lay ahead for him in the realm of the supernatural.
Soon after the purchase, a tour guide was bringing a group through the house when one of the tourists asked if the piano in the parlor worked. The guide pressed a key to find that it in fact did not work. As the group neared the archway, the sound of a beautiful waltz was heard from the parlor. Apparently the piano had changed its mind.
As some time passed, the disturbances got worse. One could feel the oppressive air as they entered the house. Feeling demonic, this was new to the establishment. On one particular occasion, a door was slammed through it’s own volition on the hand of the owner, causing injury. On another occasion, the owner states that as he walked through the parlor, he was pushed to his knees from behind, although he was alone.
It was at this time he moved out until an Episcopal exorcism could be performed. The atmosphere is that of a benign one now, although apparitions of soldiers are seen by startled tourists from time to time. Tour guides seem to have the most abundant sightings, since their time in the house is daily. As for the bloody apparition of Capt. McPherson, he has been seen too in the time since the war. The house is also home to a woman apparition who has appeared in the middle bedroom, with long brown hair and a homespun dress.
McRaven is located at 1445 Harrison Street and is open daily for tours. 

Back to Famous Hauntings
Back to Ghosts and Hauntings