I’m still working on settling in after my transition home after working in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, but I’m still collecting news.
USO of North Carolina, Jacksonville Center
9 Tallman Street
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Organized at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the United Service Organizations (USO) was created in 1941 to provide recreation to military personnel during the dark days of World War II. The first facility in the United States opened in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After the war, the facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina remained open due to the concerted efforts of volunteers and this facility is the oldest continuously open USO facility. Since the “Great War,” the organization has expanded its efforts from just providing support to military personnel to including their families as well. It seems, however, that this facility may be providing support to those on other planes as well.
A fund-raising ghost hunt was held in the 70-year-old building on Halloween night and led by Dave Tango (a guest investigator from the show Ghost Hunters) and members of the SEPIA (Southeast Paranormal Investigative Association) team. The SEPIA team had previously investigated the building and discovered evidence that there may be paranormal activity in the center. Returning Halloween night for the investigation with the public, they encountered quite interesting activity.
Perhaps the most dramatic bit of paranormal activity was the scratching of one young woman. An avowed skeptic, the young woman had requested that the spirits not touch her. Moments later, she “felt like someone put Icy-Hot across my back.” After complaining that it itched, her sister discovered that she had scratch marks on her back. Generally, the activity reported in the building and witnessed by the paranormal team has been far less malevolent and includes distant music and the moving of small objects.
- Daily News Staff. “’Ghost Hunters’ to check out USO of NC.” Jacksonville Daily News. 26 October 2012.
- “Our History.” USO-NC. Accessed 23 November 2012.
- Perez Rivera, Jackeline M. “Ghosts make contact at USO.” Camp Lejeune Globe. 20 November 2012.
- United Service Organizations. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 23 November 2012.
822 Main Street
It’s interesting to see a building alternate between public and private uses and it’s rare to find a building that has alternated so much as Planter’s Hall has. Built around 1834, this structure was constructed to serve as the local branch of the Planter’s Bank of the State of Mississippi. Like many other Mississippi banks, the bank failed in 1842 and the branch was closed. The building changed hands many times in the years leading up to the Civil War and it was converted into a residence in 1854, though most likely not occupied until 1861.
When the city, one of the most important cities on the Mississippi River, was laid siege to by the Union army, the house was occupied by a Confederate officer, Colonel Allen Thomas, and his staff. Following the city’s fall, the home may have been occupied by General William Dennis of the Illinois Cavalry. The home soon returned to service as a private residence and remained as such until 1956 when the building was purchased and turned into a museum. Recently, the building returned to status as a private residence, though certainly it is one of the most historic private homes in the city.
According to a recent story from Jackson, Mississippi’s WAPT News, the home’s current residents have been experiencing some possibly paranormal activity. Interestingly, the reporter in this story is doing the investigating himself. While the reporter found few things that were unexplained, the stories from the residents are quite interesting with the home’s owner being awakened to find an angry soldier looming over the bed.
- Bagley, Clinton I. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for Planters Hall. 22 February 1971.
- “Vicksburg resident says her family shares home with ghosts.” 1 November 2012.