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A&E’s Ghost Hunters highlights Vicksburg’s past

When one of Vicksburg’s historic homes makes national television, it’s something to get excited about.

A&E’s Ghost Hunters visited the Duff Green Mansion earlier this summer to investigate potential paranormal activity in the home. The episode had an intriguing plotline: Harry Sharp and his family, as well as guests who stayed at the bed and breakfast during their ownership, had numerous ghost encounters, but current owner Harley Caldwell was skeptical. Sharp asked Ghost Hunters to investigate in an attempt to convince Caldwell otherwise.

“I am adamant that the Duff be recognized for its history and opulence, and not just remembered as haunted,” Caldwell said.

The show featured many beautiful shots of the home, as well as conversations with Sharp and his immediate family, Lydia Nettles (Sharp’s granddaughter) and Caldwell. Specific rooms of the home were shown — from pristine antique furnishings to glimpses of china, crystal and a portion of the ceiling that has been exposed with plexiglass to showcase damage from a cannonball. The show’s hosts led conversations that detailed Vicksburg’s and the home’s history as an important part of the Civil War, like when the home served as a hospital and housed many soldiers who underwent amputations.

It is evident the cast’s time in Vicksburg made an impression on them by Ghost Hunters paranormal historian and site analyst Mustafa Gatollari’s blog post on Distractify.com. Gatollari detailed visiting a local antique shop, where he found a “painkiller bullet,” the item at the heart of the common saying “bite the bullet.” His post was accompanied by a few photos he took while at the home, showcasing its interiors, and confirmed the cast had a warm southern welcome to the town we call home.

In the end, Ghost Hunters was inconclusive about whether or not ghosts are present at Duff Green, and Caldwell is still skeptical.

“So are there ghosts at the Duff Green Mansion?,” Gatollari’s post read. “If it is haunted, then the data we collected suggests that it’s residual and in no way conscious. The ‘energy’ of whoever was there was captured in this historic location and sporadically manifests itself in ways that don’t seem like the entities are in control.”

To celebrate the airing of the show, Caldwell hosted a watch party at Duff Green, complete with popcorn, candy served on a silver tray, deviled eggs, Vicksburg tomato sandwiches, asparagus and dip, Halloween-themed cookies, beverages and more intentionally spread by executive chef William Furlong.

As for Caldwell’s resolution that the home be remembered for its history and opulence, as long as she is serving candy on silver trays, I think it will be remembered as just that.

 

Catherine Boone Hadaway is publisher of The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newspapers, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Vicksburg Young Professionals, The Heritage Guild and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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