Haunted History

The Gulf Coast’s Spookiest Secrets and Darkest Lores

From greedy pirates to a ridiculing granny, the Gulf Coast has a lagniappe of otherworldly entities who have staked a spiritual claim in antebellum mansions, forgotten graveyards, and a vacant hospital.

  And no matter which of the charming 12 coastal towns you hail from, you no doubt grew up hearing terrifying yarns involving a ghastly soul or two, maybe even three. We all did. 

  If you’re just visiting the gorgeous white-sandy beaches, here are the spookiest ghost stories from the shores of the Gulf Coast and beyond that you should have on your spectrum. 

Grave Concerns
  The Garden of Hope Cemetery in Gautier has it all, a friendly ghost, a menacing mischievous spirit, and a lone gravedigger turned grave robber who drags his loot back to his own crypt. It’s also known as Franklin Cemetery and it’s considered one of the most haunted places in the country, teeming with ghostly activity. Cheryl Anne, a friendly ghost girl, innocently frolics in the cemetery, while her best friend Bloody Sarah, plays menacing pranks on anyone foolish enough to visit the graveyard or the nearby area. According to reports, Bloody Sarah is wearing a gore-stained dress and runs frantically into the road, giving drivers the impression, they’ve hit her with their vehicle, and then jumps up while insanely laughing and runs away. Other ghostly sightings include Cheryl Anne’s father, Hal, who allegedly killed Cheryl Anne, her siblings, and her mother, and the ghost of a young gravedigger who claws his way out of his grave, steals flowers and wreaths from other gravesites, and then returns to his resting place with the haul. Passersby have also reported seeing the gravedigger hitchhiking along the road but when they stop, he informs them that he died there and then he disappears.

Haunted Hospital
  Of all the historical haunts throughout the Magnolia State, Howard Memorial Hospital in Biloxi has to be the most unsettling. The now-closed facility opened in 1963 and despite thousands of patients, it’s the two little mischievous girl ghosts that people still talk about to this day. The seven-year-olds would play with thermostats and elevator buttons, and phantom girl giggling was often heard echoing the halls. Some patients reported more sinister experiences including blood-curdling screams and sobbing weeps and a soft, little girl voice that whispered in their ear. But a true ghostly girl sighting was a sign a patient was marked for death.

Cackling Granny
  Cemeteries are usually a little creepy, but the tiny Seymour Cemetery down an isolated dirt road and surrounded by woods in Ocean Springs is beyond spine-chilling, hair-raising, and petrifying. For more than 75 years, visitors have reported the gate unexpectedly and forcibly slamming shut as they tried to leave or catching a glimpse of an old lady dressed all in white rocking back and forth in a chair while shrieking and laughing. And sometimes, after the gate slams shut, she even stands up and gets a little too close for comfort.

Pirate Secrets
  The well-known gentlemen pirate, Jean Lafitte, once had a Waveland mansion with a myriad of secrets, including hidden tunnels that led to the Gulf, where pirate booty and slaves were transported to New Orleans. Although the 1802 manor was beautiful on the outside, inside held alluring dark secrets and persistent rumors suggested the basement served as a slave dungeon and prisoners suffered unimaginable horrors before their transport. A well in the backyard allegedly became the final resting place of three unfortunate prisoners, and their restless souls are still occasionally seen wandering the estate grounds. Although the secrets of Pirate House may truly never be known, as it was destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969, the legends of pirate lore and haunting tales still endure, leaving a cultural, haunting mark on Waveland.

Lost Love
  The Tullis-Toledano Manor in Biloxi was owned by a sugar and cotton broker from New Orleans who built the mansion in the 1860s for his wife. According to local lore, a young man died during a sword fight with another man in the backyard of the manor. The fight was over a girl, and they were dueling for her affection. The mansion was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but locals still report a ghost in a bloody shirt roams the property looking for his lost love.

  And now you know, the Magnolia State is riddled with ghostly legends and the Gulf Coast is no exception. So, take advantage of the mild autumn weather to unlock a haunting adventure or two and decide for yourself if these Gulf Coast haunts are drenched in history or just wicked urban legends.

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