STATUS: Open as garden club and Natchez Historic Clothing Museum
The Magnolia Hall was built by Thomas Henderson, a merchant, planter, and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church, in 1858, and is one of the last mansions to have been built in Natchez prior to the Civil War. During the war, the home was damaged by shelling from a Union gunboat, and a cannonball landed in the kitchen. Henderson suffered a debilitating stroke and died before the war ended. His ghost is believed to haunt the guest bedroom downstairs, where his stroke occurred.
The mansion was purchased by the Garden Club in 1984, and the downstairs rooms were decorated with period items. The second floor had a historic clothing museum. Every night, Henderson’s ghost follows the house manager when it is clothing time. She has said that it feels like something is watching her. One time, she saw a “great shouldered, shadowy figure” at the top of the stairs.
In the guest room, the housekeepers have reported that the bed was already made, even though it had been used by someone who did not make the bed. A paranormal team investigated the place. With six of them in Henderson’s bedroom, they asked “Did anyone die here?”. After doing so, the shutters began banging outside.
Later on, the light in the main parlor turned on and off a total of three times and the piano began to play. Another member of the team played the guitar to attract Henderson’s spirit while the others videotaped it. When it was played back, a purple ball of light was seen dancing over his head the entire length of the video.
Now, imprints of Henderson’s head can be seen on pillows even when no one has laid upon them. A shadowy, hooded apparition has been seen in the halls, and is believed to be him.
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