The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Mississippi’s King’s Tavern

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

There is often a strong relationship between paranormal activity and extreme negative emotions. While not all hauntings are based around tragedy and heartache, this seems to be a common thread among many of the country’s most active locations. The King’s Tavern in Mississippi is another example of negativity that seems to come alive in the afterlife.

Haunted Mississippi: King’s Tavern

King's Tavern
King’s Tavern in Mississippi
c. 1934

The King’s Tavern was constructed in 1769 in Natchez, Mississippi. It is the oldest structure standing in the city. It was originally built to serve as a block house for Fort Panmure when the British moved into the area. It, and other nearby buildings, were put together using scrap wood scavenged from sailing ships.

It was bought by a New Yorker named Richard King in 1789. King brought his family to the city and opened a tavern and inn inside the building. The business was successful and King became a popular resident in Natchez.

Unfortunately outlaws also moved into the city to gamble and rob. They preyed on travelers and boatmen. Some were absolutely brutal, like brothers Micajah and Wiley Harpe.  The pair didn’t just rob their victims. They would actually torture and mutilate people before killing them. Men like the Harpe brothers would sometimes stay at the King’s Tavern and use it as a stalking ground to find new prey.

Paranormal Activity at King’s Tavern

The King’s Tavern was featured on the August 8th, 2012 episode of Haunted Collector.  Tom, the tavern keeper, shared stories collected from staff and guests who claimed they heard a baby crying when no children were around. Some had their hair pulled or were pushed. Physical activity was sometimes bad enough to leave bruises.  Women also reported being mysteriously locked in the bathroom.

Ghost Adventures also spent time at King’s Tavern for their April 19th, 2013 episode. Part of the episode focused on a Spanish colonial dagger from the 1700s. It is believed that the object may have been used in human sacrifices. A news article was found at the local library with a photo of the dagger. The article mentioned a tour guide who liked to tell her groups that the dagger was used by a Spanish nobleman to commit murders. The weapon was allegedly found alongside three skeletons in a wall in 1932.

Madeline ,mistress of Richard King, is also believed to haunt the tavern. She was allegedly stabbed to death by King’s wife. In June of 1994 reporter Sylvia Booth Hubbard stayed at the tavern. She claims to have seen the ghost of a woman she believes was Madeline.

Members of the Smoke and Mirrors Paranormal group captured a crystal clear EVP at King’s Tavern. The short recording included a childlike voice crying out “mommy…”. 

What was even more disturbing was an EVP the group shared in the segment that focused on lead investigator John Bullard. The disembodied voice said Bullard’s son’s name, Mason, followed by a laugh.  Bullard stated that he felt “heavy” and “depressed” when he returned home after the incident.

Case manager for the LA Spirits paranormal team Stephen Coleman had a personal experience at King’s Tavern. He claims to have witnessed a girl sitting at a table staring at him.

King’s Tavern Today

King’s Tavern seemed like a promising spot for paranormal investigators. Unfortunately it proved not so promising for business people. The tavern did not survive the recession and has since closed its doors.

The building still stands at 619 Jefferson Street in Natchez, but it no longer welcomes patrons inside. Owner Shawyn Mars said that “The economy [has been] so bad, people are are ordering from the $1 menu at McDonald’s and not supporting local restaurants […] We tried to keep the business open, we just can’t do it any longer.” The fate of the building is currently unknown.

Have you been to King’s Tavern (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

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