Built in 1915 in Gulfport, Mississippi, the Cahill Mansion was owned by several different families before it was leased by the Air Force during World War II for a noncommissioned officers’ club. It was not until then that the darkness began to eat away at the fabric of the mansion. The Sergeant who managed the club brought in illegal gambling and prostitution. Rumors of the club’s shady activities swept through the community. Locals told stories of enslaved prostitutes, some underaged, forced abortions, and even murder. As soon as the Sergeant’s superiors got wind of the debauchery, they promptly shut the entire operation down.
In the 1940’s, the mansion was bought by a local chiropractor, Dr. Cahill. The Cahill family lived in the mansion without incident until their fourteen-year-old son, Ritchie was killed on the property while riding a tractor. To make matters worse, Ritchie wasn’t killed instantly. When his mother found him pinned under the tractor, he seemed to be fine. But soon, he became pale, weak, and ultimately collapsed. As an ambulance rushed him to the hospital, Ritchie died. The Cahills never got over the tragic incident and moved out four years later.
The next owner of the mansion was Dr. Gregory, a local internist who moved into the mansion with his family in 1957. By this time, the city of Gulfport was fraught with rumors of ghosts at the Cahill Mansion. As soon as she walked in, Mrs. Gregory felt as if someone were watching her and became uneasy. Almost immediately, the family was plagued by strange activity. Footsteps could be heard throughout the mansion coming from nowhere in particular. One of the children complained of waking up in the night to find a little boy coming out of the closet, standing by her bed. The boy walked right through her and disappeared. Another child complained of a ghostly figure standing over him, face to face, late in the night. Closet doors opened and shut by themselves. Strange cries, moaning, and heavy dragging sounds could be heard throughout the mansion. The noises got so bad that Mrs. Gregory had to wear earplugs.
The mansion also seemed determined to burn, as strange fires were frequently found seemingly out of nowhere. One afternoon, Mrs. Gregory and her son walked into his room just as the boy’s jacket, which was lying on the bed, burst into flames. In another instance, Mrs. Gregory came home from shopping only to find that there was a red flaming candle underneath the kitchen sink. She angrily called to the maid, accusing her of trying to burn the house down. The stunned maid told Mrs. Gregory that she had found the lit candle under the sink earlier in the day, put the flame out, and placed it in the sink. How the candle was lit and placed under the sink is anybody’s guess.
A friend of Mrs. Gregory’s got quite a start when she was talking on the telephone in the kitchen of the Cahill Mansion. She noticed a boy standing by her, reprimanded him for eavesdropping, and went back to her telephone conversation as he walked away. When she discussed the incident with Mrs. Gregory, she was informed that no boy had been in the mansion. They looked through a photo album, where the friend identified a picture of the boy she had seen. Shockingly, the picture was of young Ritchie Cahill, who had died years before, unbeknownst to the friend.
In another instance, the Gregorys were asleep in their bed when the headboard began to shake and knock loudly. The two quickly got up to search for the culprit. When they found none, they went back to bed. No sooner had they tucked themselves in, when they heard what sounded like fingernails clicking and scraping down the headboard.
Perhaps the most chilling event occurred the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Although news of the President’s death would not reach the public until later that day, the family received an ominous warning. The Gregorys awoke to their children screaming early one morning. The shaken parents ran as quickly as they could into the children’s room, only to find what looked like blood dripping from the curtains and smeared across the windows. Dr. Gregory took a sample of the blood to his lab and determined that it was RH positive human blood, just as President Kennedy’s.
In 1969, the mansion was badly damaged by Hurricane Camille and the family moved out. They allowed several paranormal groups in to investigate. The most notable of these investigators was Reverend Dr. David Bubar, a parapsychologist and psychic. During a séance, Dr. Bubar claimed to channel the spirits of women and children who had been brutally murdered in the mansion. One spirit named Flossie spoke through him. In a chilling voice, he proclaimed that Flossie had been brought into the mansion against her will to serve as a prostitute and forced into abortions before she was finally murdered. “He shot me. I’m corroded. My body is full of holes.” Flossie said through Dr. Bubar. Witnesses to the event, including a reporter saw a table moving by itself as well as strange knocking sounds.
During one of the seances, Dr. Bubar claimed that the spirits communicated that they could only be freed if the mansion were to burn down. They even went so far as to say that before they saw the mansion torn down, they would burn it to the ground. He predicted that this is exactly what would happen.
The activity became more violent as time went on. When a visitor was picked up and thrown down the stairs, Dr. Gregory decided to tear down the dilapidated mansion. Eerily, on the day the mansion was scheduled to be demolished, the contractor died of a heart attack. It seemed as if the spirits would not allow the mansion to be torn down.
The very next day after one of Dr. Bubar’s seances, the mansion did finally burn to the ground, just as he had predicted. It should be noted that five years after this incident, Dr. Bubar was convicted for his part in burning down a rubber products factory. He predicted that the factory, in which he once worked, would burn down to the ground. There is vast evidence that Dr. Bubar had orchestrated the arson of the Cahill Mansion. If he did do it, maybe he really did it to free the disembodied occupants. Only the spirits know the truth.
Despite Dr. Bubar’s possible involvement in the fire, there were too many events witnessed by too many people to deny that something strange was going on in the Cahill Mansion. Other houses were subsequently built on the property. One wonders if the spirits may still be lingering, watching over the land. - Angel Summers
The Longfellow House was built in 1850 in Pascagoula, Mississippi by a slave trader, New Orleans business man, and sometimes pirate named Daniel Smith Graham. Graham spent most of his time at sea, leaving his wife to tend to the house and slaves. Mrs. Graham was known to be very gentle and kind to the public, but behind closed doors she had another side. She would torture her slaves for the slightest infraction. She had them taken to the third floor attic, where she would brutally beat and torture them. The third floor of the house is said to remain blood stained as a permanent reminder of the injustices committed in that room.
The haunting started back in the 1800s, when slaves heard strange noises coming from the third floor when no one was up there. They told a story about a former slave who was tortured to the point of death. He then ran off into the woods to die. The slaves said his spirit came back to the house to seek revenge on the evil slave traders. Today, this spirit is called George, although no one knows if this was truly his name. He can still be heard shuffling around the third floor.
At one point, the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was said to stay at the house, where he wrote “The Building of the Ship.” This is where the house got its name, although no one knows for sure if this is true. At some point, the house was used as an all-girls school.
The house was purchased by the Pollock family in 1902. They renamed it Bellevue, but some called it the Pollock House. The house was again bought in 1938 by Bob Ingalls, of Ingalls Shipbuilding. It was used as an upscale country club until the 1990s. Since then, it has been a private residence and a tourist attraction.
Stories of the hauntings at the Longfellow House abound. One night manager of the house said, “I was new to the area. I didn’t know the stories. I told my husband about what was happening and he was getting worried about it. It’s real. I would have never have believed it, but it’s very real. A jukebox would come on at three in the morning and play until five. We would hear babies crying, toilets flushing, café doors opening and closing. Sometimes it would sound like a party was going on upstairs. You’d hear conversations and ice tinkling in glasses. But when you got upstairs, the noise stopped.” It was said that glasses at the bar mysteriously shattered so often that they eventually had to move them. The night manager’s experience got so bad that she was eventually slapped in the face by a ghost. It was loud enough for others to hear and solid enough to leave a mark on her face. On one occasion, she was in her office when she put her cigarette down to investigate a noise. When she came back, the cigarette was gone, later to be found in a room in which she hadn’t even been that night.
The Longfellow House is now owned by private owners. It is in the National Register of Historic Places, where tours are conducted. To learn more about the Longfellow House, visit them on Facebook. - Angel Summers