Haunted House?

From heavy footsteps to opening doors to children peeking out the windows of an empty house, the Deason Home seems to be host to some ghostly inhabitants!

Advertisements

 

house2Constructed around 1845, it is only natural that this old historic home be connected to the distant past with recorded truths, legends and tales of its occupants and their lives.  A mystery of murder, blood stains, buried gold, secret passages, deaths, funerals, squeaking hinges and yes, ghosts! remain a part of the Deason Home legacy.

The most notorious occurrence in the home is, of course, the shooting of Major Amos McLemore by Newt Knight.  McLemore was a guest of the Deasons when he was shot.  His blood soaked the heart pine floor in the bedroom where he fell.  No amount of scrubbing could completely remove this stain since it soaked through and ran down the joists below the flooring.  After that infamous night, family members reported that the door would fly open on the anniversary of the shooting and so the reputation of the home being haunted began.

Young Jennie Anderson passed away in the home around 1884-1885.  She was the bride of George Anderson, Eleanor Deason’s grandson.  The young couple had moved into the home to stay with Eleanor, who was widowed.  Sadly, Jennie died either while giving birth or shortly after the birth  of the couples’ only child, a daughter named A. Viola Anderson.  Jennie’s body was lovingly laid out adorned by gardenias clipped from the bushes on the grounds.  Her funeral was held on the front porch of the Deason Home.  Family and friends stood in the front yard while the funeral eulogy was delivered.  Jennie’s spirit is said to roam the Deason grounds in May when the gardenias peak in full bloom.  On occasion at dusk, a hazy specter can be seen drifting among the fragrant flowers followed by a sudden rustling of their leaves.

Before the elementary school moved to its new location across town, students at the old school often asked their teachers who the children in the old house were and why they weren’t in school.  Many former students will swear that they saw several little children looking out of the Deason Home windows and watching them play …. but the home was uninhabited at the time, at least by the living…..

After the home was given to the DAR, the ladies worked inside the home sanding and scraping paint, often into the wee hours of the night.  They experienced mysterious sounds and shadowy figures.  Contractors hired to rewire and re-plumb the home had some strange experiences as well.  Lights would turn on after the workers had turned them off and work completed one day would be undone when they arrived back the next morning. It seems the spirits were not happy about their home being changed in any way.

The spirits seem to dislike modern technology.  Batteries drain of their charges quickly in the home.  One camera placed in the attic to record ghostly motion was unusable when retrieved at the end of a ghost hunt and another camera placed in the attic was never found.  At least one cell phone was also unusable after a night at the Deason Home, its charging port melted.

There are enough stories to fill a book and in fact the ladies are currently working on a book about all the strange experiences they have had in the home.  The spirits are usually just playful, opening doors, drawers and curtains to let us know they are there.  Ghost hunts are usually eventful, too.  They are scheduled quite often.  If you would like to attend one, please visit our website or watch for events on our Facebook page.  Maybe you will get a chance to meet one of the residents of the Deason Home in person!

http://www.deasonhome.org

 

Background before you see the movie..

Did Newt Knight shoot Amos McLemore?

This Friday, the movie The Free State of Jones will be showing in a theater near you.  There has been a lot of talk about the movie and its connection to the Deason Home.  To start this blog, I wanted to give you the story of Newt Knight’s association with this historic home.  The following is an excerpt from our book, Secrets of Historic Deason Home, published in 2002 by the Tallahala Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, owners of the home.

“It was on a dark and stormy night in 1863 that Major Amos McLemore stared into the fire, exhausted.  Somewhere in the dark of the night, the War Between the States raged on.  He sighed and sat down in the old wooden rocker.  Laying his sidearms down on the table, he wrenched off his mud-encrusted boots.  It was good to be in a warm, comfortable place tonight.  His soldiers were quartered elsewhere but his friends Amos and Eleanor Deason, had invited him to stay at their home.  He was happy to accept.

McLemore’s eyes were getting heavy and his head was nodding.  Outside, unknown to the tired man, Newt Knight was stealing up on the house with some of his followers.  Newt being the self proclaimed leader of the band of Leaf River Rowdies that Major McLemore may have been sent to apprehend and Newt was determined not to be caught.  Suddenly the door to the room was flung open.  Newt Knight stormed into the room, shot Amos McLemore, and vanished into the night.  The wind moaned as Amos fell and died* in front of the fireplace.  Other accounts state that Newt Knight shot him through a window.

The family was shocked, the town grieved and the soldiers swore to avenge their Major’s death.  Eleanor Deason openly wept as she cleaned the blood of her friend from the floor and fireplace.  Major Amos’ lifeless body was taken home to his old homeplace where he was later mournfully buried and time passed.  Somehow Newt Knight always managed to evade capture and lived a long life. ”

*Correction to the story:  Major McLemore was taken home to Eastabuchie, where he died a few days later.

A few questions and answers:

Q. Was any of the movie filmed at the Deason Home?

A. No.  The movie was filmed in Louisiana.

Q. Will the Deason Home receive money from the movie company or proceeds from the movie?   Does the home receive government funding?

A. No.  The Deason Home has not received any money and does not anticipate receiving any money from the movie, although we would gladly accept if any money was offered!  The Deason Home is privately owned and we do not receive any money from the state or national government.  All money used for the upkeep and restoration of the home comes from tours, ghost hunts, sales of books and other products and donations from Tallahala members and the public.

Q. Will a home representing the Deason Home be in the movie?

A. Not having seen the movie, we do not really know.  However, many names were changed so characters in the movie that were based on real people now have different names.  It is not known whether or not the shooting of McLemore is in the movie at all.

The Deason Home is a wonderful home, full of history and character.  It is open the first and third Saturday of each month from 1 – 4 PM.  Private tours and ghost hunts can also be scheduled.  Contact us at 601-577-1066.  We hope you will find time to visit this summer!

Visit our website – http://www.deasonhome.org.