VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Vicksburg walking ghost tour starts in broad daylight. But it lasts until well after dark. One reason for the early start is- it is more than a ghost tour. There is a lot of history thrown in for good measure. So you need to be able to see where the history was made.
Morgan Gates is a licensed tour guide with the Vicksburg National Military Park and is well versed in Vicksburg History and created this tour several years ago after taking a similar tour at Gettysburg.
“A couple of years back we went to Gettysburg and took a ghost tour up there. 51 thousand people died. It was a three day battle. That was it. That’s their whole claim to fame. So I said if they’ve got ghosts certainly Vicksburg has more,” Gates said.
The shadows are filling in and the fast fading light is evaporating ever higher into the sky and farther toward the western horizon following the sunken sun by the time the group gets to Duff Green Mansion to hear of the amputations that happened in the kitchen there during the siege here.
And the hand laid bricks of the Vicksburg streets are beginning to cool by the time the group gets down to the street to Anchuka.
And the street lights have come on by the time, too.
I asked if you have to believe in ghosts to enjoy a ghost tour.
“You do not,” Gates told me. “There’s plenty of history involved here. We invite people who are skeptics to come along. We’ve convinced a few skeptics, by the way, over the years. “
During the course of the tour some participants begin to tell of their own experience. We are told of experiences participants have had while taking this tour. Through back yards and court yards- Across patios and decks- the now quickly descending darkness turns the pathways into a labyrinths.
“Every once in a while we’ll just have a quiet night- just seems like nothing is going on. Buy especially when it gets into the fall of the year- and it seems that it picks up as it gets toward Halloween, too… strange things do happen,” Gates said.
As the tour comes to a close, we know more about the history of Vicksburg than when we started. And we’ve earned about ourselves a little perhaps- that we can stay out after the streetlights come on and survive… but we probably really wouldn’t want to do it every night.
Ghost tours and cemetery tours are a great way to learn about the history of an area without a text book.