Tupelo, Mississippi has a rich history that lends itself to the paranormal activity that has been reported around the area. The town was originally called Gum Pond due to the numerous black gum trees in the area. However, it would be renamed in honor of the Battle of Tupelo that happened during the Civil War.
The area is such a hot spot that Jumpin Gene Simmons (not KISS Front man) the co-writer of Tim McGraw's hit song, "Indian Outlaw" wrote a song in 1964 entitled, "Haunted House."
A little known fact that also lends itself to the possibility of paranormal activity is that Tupelo was used as a hiding spot for members of the Mafia. According to Dexter Babin, a life long student of the Mafia, "Although the group, "Dixie Mafia" wasn't a member of the Kosa Nostra. It was actually an association of criminals with different backgrounds."
Even just being criminals, the possibility that murders were not in the group is small. Murders tragically end lives shortly and lead to the possibility that some paranormal researchers believe lead to ghostly phenomenon.
One of the paranormal hot spots is "The Lyric Theater," a historic landmark that is still being used to this day. The story of particular interest, at least to enthusiasts of the paranormal is the tornado in the 30s that leveled the town. According to Tom Booth, Executive Director of the Community theater "The information about the use of the Lyric during the tornado that occured on April 5, 1936 is true."
Many sites have reported that the dead and dying of Tupelo were brought to the Lyric. Surgeries were performed by using the popcorn poppers to sterilize the instruments.
Local legends say that the theater is still haunted to this day. Probably the best time to visit the theater, if you want this kind of experience would be during the annual "Haunted Theater" event in October.
Just south of Tupelo is a sign that was placed by the National Park Service which reads WITCH DANCE..
The old folks say the witches once gathered here to dance and that whenever their feet touched the ground the grass withered and died, never to grow again....
And the sign appears to be right. If you search around the area, you can actually find scorched spots on the earth where the grass will not grow.
These spots have been there for years, catching the interest of even Andrew Jackson, who noted the spots in his journal after a trip along the Trace on the way home to Tennessee.
The Trace is very old. It was traveled along by the explorer De Soto in 1541 and for more than 500 years before that, used by the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians as the best way to travel.... but even they avoided the scorched places in the earth.
It has been told to me that if your car breaks down on the Trace, especially in front of Witch Dance, stay with your car.
Wait for a ranger.
Do not try to walk to get to a phone...
Or you might not make it...ever.
People disappear there. They always have....