Duff Green hosting Halloween ghost hunt

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

The tales of ghostly activity in the Duff Green Mansion are the stuff of legend; nearly as historic as the three-story, antebellum home itself.

There’s the unexplained sounds — footsteps and bouncing balls mostly — that guests of the bed and breakfast commonly report. There’s the photo that appears to reveal the shadowy image of a solitary man standing on the front veranda. Then there’s the recurring sighting of a Confederate soldier sitting near the fireplace in the Dixie Room, clutching his amputated leg.


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A guided investigation of paranormal activity at Duff Green Mansion is scheduled for Halloween, beginning at 4 p.m. Cost is $60 per person. Space is limited, and a second investigation may be held Oct. 30 if demand requires. For reservations contact Danny Holland via email at danny@mississippiparanormalresearch.com.

“I’ve seen the ghost of Mary Green floating in the entrance of that doorway — plain as day,” said Harry Sharp, Duff Green owner since 1985. “I’ve heard many unexplained sounds, and hardly a week goes by that I don’t see something unnatural move out of the corner of my eye.”

On Halloween night, believers and non-believers alike will have the opportunity to investigate these claims of paranormal activity by joining the Mississippi Paranormal Research team on a true ghost hunt.

“They’re going to be investigators for the night. We’ll supply the basic tools for a ghost hunt and they’ll get to use all of our equipment to conduct a real paranormal investigation,” said Danny Holland, an investigator with the Mississippi Paranormal Research team. 

Mississippi Paranormal Research is a not-for-profit company that’s been investigating claims of paranormal activity across the state for the past two years. Founded by police investigators in the Jackson area, team members include psychologists, plumbers and electricians. Tools of the trade include thermal imaging and infrared cameras, as well as electromagnetic field detectors and other devices. Holland stressed the investigations are anything but hocus-pocus.

“We don’t use Ouija boards, psychics, divining rods or anything like that. We’re all skeptics in different ways, and in our investigations we try to debunk these paranormal claims by finding a scientific explanation for them,” he said. “We put a lot of research and scientific effort into every investigation.”

Duff Green is named for its original owner, who built the home in 1856 as a wedding gift for his new bride, Mary Lake Green. Through the years it has served as a hospital during the Civil War and housed the local Salvation Army chapter for 50 years. It has been home to a boys’ orphanage and was once a retirement home for destitute widows. Sharp said most of the ghost sightings are of Civil War soldiers, but others have reported seeing angels, a pair of undertakers and a young girl.

“This house has always been a place of refuge, and that’s why I think the spirts here are not menacing,” said Sharp. “These are not evil spirits. In our 21 years of being open to the public, only two guest have been intimidated enough to leave. No one has really had a negative encounter.”

The Halloween investigation of Duff Green will begin at 4 p.m. with a few brief seminars on basic paranormal investigation. Sharp will also give a tour of the home and the paranormal research team will go over some of the reported paranormal activity within and the available evidence. Following a social hour, participants will get to help set up the equipment and will later take part in the actual investigation — which will last beyond midnight.


Contact Steve Sanoski at ssanoski@vicksburgpost.com