Sunday, May 9, 2010

Case Files: The Duff Green Mansion B&B

Haunted Dixie Room at Duff Green Mansion
When Duff Green made the decision to marry Mary Lake, he built a home for his soon-to-be bride in 1856.  She was fond of entertaining folks in Vicksburg, Mississippi and he thought the Palladian style mansion would be a perfect environment for their social galas. And so the place thrived until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

The war would place an immense strain on the Green family, as well as the residents of Vicksburg--especially after the city became the focus of General Ulysses S. Grant's army during the siege of 1863.  Confederate General John C. Pemberton commanded the defense of the city and they would endure a vicious artillery assault for more than forty days while the residents of the town huddled in their homes and neighboring caves for safety.

During the battle, the Duff Green Mansion would become a hospital for troops from both sides.  After the home was struck a number of times by cannonball fire, Duff offered the place for the wounded in a last ditch effort to save the structure.  The basement/kitchen area of the home was used as an operating area, the ground floor was used for recovering Confederate soldiers and the top floor was reserved for Union troops.  Hundreds would go under the knife in the mansion--with many of them losing their lives.  Meanwhile, Mary Green would give birth to a son in a neighboring cave.  He would be named William Siege Green in a bit of dark humor.

Once the war was over, the Greens leased the mansion to the federal government as a veterans hospital so that troops could fully recover from their wounds before traveling to their homes.  It would be 1866 before the Greens would get their mansion back.  They lived there until 1880 when Duff passed away in the premises, then Mary would sell the property.  The house would go on to be an orphanage, a retirement home and a center for the homeless/needy operated by the Salvation Army.

Today it is a premier bed and breakfast operated by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Carter Sharp.  They have completely renovated the home in a style that tells of its former glory while offering modern amenities for guests.  Visitors to the B&B can still see the evidence of the home's trials during the Civil War; blood stains are still visible on the floor and even the damage from a cannon ball can be seen.  Of course, another thing that's often seen in the home is ghosts...

The most common reported spirit is that of Mary Green who has, apparently, decided to return to the home that was built for her.  Her apparition has been seen throughout the main house numerous times.  She is said to have blond hair and to be wearing a long, green dress.  Incidents involving being touched by Mary and hearing her voice have also occurred.  And Mary is not alone in the house either...

Visitors who stay in the Dixie Room have also seen a ghost.  In this area, though, the entity appears to be that of a Confederate soldier.  Interestingly, most stories involving this ghost state that the man is missing a leg and is usually sitting in a chair within this room, indicating he was probably a soldier who recuperated in the home just after the war.  Other haunted hot spots include the Confederate Room (where phantom smells, disembodied voices/footsteps have been experienced) and the staircase area of the main house (where the spirit of a young Green daughter (who died at a young age in the home) is said to hang out).

During our investigation at the mansion, several interesting things happened.  While performing some EVP work on the ground floor of the house, we heard what sounded like a voice twice (once it sounded like a female or young child and once it sounded male).  We also seemed to have an entity moving back and forth between the dining room and the living room; we were actually able to track the movement using a K2 style EMF detector (see the video below).  Though I initially thought the spirit to be Mary Green (and even say so in the video), it seems that this entity was most likely the young Green daughter; the K2 hits seemed to be a consistent 3 feet or so off the ground and the energy field seemed to enjoy 'sitting' in my lap.

We also spent a great deal of time in the Dixie Room attempting to get the ghost there on camera.  Though this did not happen, some strange events did occur.  At times the room seemed to go extremely dark like something was, literally, sucking the light out of it.  And there would be strange, light knocks within the room--sometimes seemingly in response to our questions (or us simply talking about the spirit there).  Once our investigation was over, we actually slept in the Confederate Room, hoping to experience some activity there (of course we were so tired we dropped off immediately, so there was no chance of catching any 'phantom smells').

Review of the audio from Duff Green Mansion yielded some interesting things.  Warning:  When you listen to these EVP's/audio clips, wear headphones in a quiet room!  There was a rain storm the night we visited, so we had to use low sensitivity microphones (otherwise all we would have heard on audio is thunder, rain, etc.).  We caught the following:

Clip 1:  This EVP was captured in the ballroom of Duff Green.  You'll hear a loud breath (me) then there's what sounds like a faint male voice.

Clip 2:  This was captured in the living room of Duff Green.  You'll hear me say 'ask you some questions,' then you'll hear a male voice say something.  We actually heard this voice live.

Clip 3:  This was captured just outside the ballroom in the hallway.  It sounds like a 'yoo hoo' style whistle.  Maybe somebody trying to get our attention?  This is an EVP and was not heard live.

Clip 4:  This was recorded in the dining room.  We were doing EVP work and having fun with the K2 meter when we heard a yell.  Could either be a female or child (this is in the video as well).

Clip 5:  This was recorded in the dining room.  Just before you hear me speak, there is the voice of a woman.  This is an EVP and was not heard live.

Clip 6:  This was captured in the Dixie Room.  While attempting to catch the soldier on video, we caught this EVP of a male voice.

Clip 7:  This audio clip was recorded in the Dixie Room.  This is an example of the low-volume tapping that would often occur in response to questions, or when we were talking about the ghost of that room.

The Duff Green Mansion is a wonderful haunted location--and an even better bed and breakfast.  Well worth the trip to Vicksburg.  Stop in for a bit of good Southern hospitality and tell 'em Paranormal Inc sent you.  Enjoy this video tour of the Duff Green Mansion and visit their website for more information regarding your visit there.