Natchez houses featured in ghost hunts

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2000

Halloween may be over, but stories of ghostly encounters are still floating about Natchez.

Historic King’s Tavern will be featured at 10 p.m. today on Jackson’s Newschannel 12 as part of a &uot;ghost hunt&uot; series on the &uot;most haunted places in America and Mississippi.&uot;

WJTV Reporter Darren Dedo, two videographers, a webmaster and a ghosthunter visited the haunted tavern Oct. 14 in an attempt to gather evidence of the resident ghost, Madeline.

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Janis Raley, founder of the Ghost Preservation League, spent the night in Madeline’s room in the tavern hoping to catch a glimpse of the spirit but with no success. Photos posted on the TV station’s Web site show what ghosthunters refer to as &uot;orbs&uot; — bubble-shaped images that some believe represent trapped souls.

But, Brenna Willis, King’s Tavern employee, said she had an encounter just days later — on Halloween night.

While showing a Ohio couple an upstairs room, Willis said a bright light flashed across her face. &uot;(The couple) didn’t believe it, they thought I’d pushed a button or something, but there’s no button to push,&uot; Willis said.

Willis was not the only person to have a taste of the supernatural this week. Magnolia Hall was the site of a remote radio broadcast by a Meridian station. Seventeen people passed Monday night in the antebellum house equipped with cameras, microphones and webcams that allowed visitors to the station’s Web site to view the night’s occurances.

Susan Adams, who works at Magnolia Hall, said she was skeptical of ghosts prior to Monday night. But as a psychic on the phone from Jackson described sensing a &uot;female presence&uot; near a piano in the house, two notes played from a piano in the next room, witnessed by all present, Adams said.

&uot;I’ll just say this: I think there are things you can’t explain,&uot; she said.