McRaven House opens its doors to public Friday

Published 2:11 pm Monday, September 28, 2015

Owners Dr. Steven and Kendra Reed are ready to open the doors to McRaven House.

The couple closed on the house Aug. 10, and have been working steadily since to get it prepared for tours. The Reeds did some of the house cleanup themselves, which had already been well-kept by caretakers Steven and Stephanie Hansen since 2008.

“The house was in pretty good shape considering its age and considering it’s been vacant for eight years,” Kendra said.

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She said most of the repairs are things people wouldn’t notice but still needed to be fixed.

“We cleaned all the mold off the walls. We’ve painted a few rooms, some windows are about to be put in on Monday or Tuesday and we had to get up to fire code. It’s not really exciting stuff I’m afraid to say,” Kendra said.

The updates on the house have cost a little more than the couple expected, but they wanted to take advantage of the time they had with the house being closed to the public instead of waiting to do construction after the house had reopened.

“We took advantage of the opportunity of us being closed,” Kendra said. “We decided to take on a couple extra projects.”

The columns at the front of the house have been redone because of rotting wood, and new air-conditioning was installed. She said they also cleaned up the kitchen, which has an outdoor entrance, to better tell the house’s story.

“When you see the house, it’s not changed that much. It’s more the infrastructure,” Kendra said.

The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau helped the Reeds find a contractor who did the repairs to the house. Everything has gone according to plan and the opening is right on schedule.

“Thanks to the visitor center we got a building contractor who is amazing and has been able to work magic on a very tight timeframe,” Kendra said. “Thanks to Bill Seratt for that.”

Other than repairs, the Reeds have been doing a lot of research into the ghost stories that go along with the house. Kendra said they have discovered the stories to be true. The highest quality electronic voice phenomenon, or a Class A EVP, was recorded in the house and they got more than they bargained for.

“It’s a full sentence, which is really rare. You usually just get a word or something like that,” Kendra said. “The whole EVP says something like, ‘That’s a funny old clock.’ It’s a woman’s voice, and you can hear it clear as a bell.”

She said she is new to the paranormal world, but the other EVP recordings she has heard typically sound like static.

“It’s the creepiest thing,” Kendra said.

The couple have even created a video from their ghost investigations for people to watch when they come to the house for the ghost tour.

“It’s really to set the mood and the tone,” Kendra said.

For the most part, the ghosts have not been interfering with the repairs other than occasionally locking the contractor out of the house.

A grand opening will be Thursday and the house opens to the public Friday.

A preview was given Friday to fifth graders on a field trip from Texas.

The house has 13 tour guides for historic tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Haunted tours begin at 7 p.m. and will end at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for historic tours and $25 for haunted tours. Children ages 6 to 18 get in for $10 and children under 6 are free. For more information, email general manager Evan Winschel at