tribes

Haunted Mississippi: The Ghost Song of Singing River

Haunted Mississippi: The Ghost Song of Singing River

The second site I’m visiting in preparation for Halloween is the Singing River in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Singing River is part of the Pascagoula River, that was the local grounds of the Pascagoula tribe ( local Native American Indians). Back in the 17th century the tribe became extinct in one moment, by all walking into the river together to die. To this day the tribe supposedly haunts the Singing River in Pascagoula, by making the River sing to the residents of  the town.

Artwork depicting the tribes demise by Lorin Thompson

Renowned  Pennsylvanian Artist Lorin Thompson was commissioned to create a mural for the Pascagoula Post Office, that would depict what exactly happened to the Singing River Tribe.

According to local legend, the tribe was part of the Choctaw Natives and were called the Singing River or Pascagoula tribe. These natives were seen as peaceful people, with no aggression towards neighbouring tribes.

In 1699 Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville encountered the tribe, saying they were “friendly ……and had very beautiful women”.

So why did such a well liked and peace-loving tribe all decide to give their lives in one instance? Was it like some say for love? Love of a woman? Love of family? Love of togetherness?

Singing River at dusk

According to legend, the Biloxi and Pascagoula Tribes had co-existed over centuries before a split between the tribes resulted in the disappearance of both tribes from the region. Altama, Chief of the Pascagoula, fell in love with Anola, a Biloxi princess who was promised to the Chief of the Biloxi, going against traditional protocols.

Altama and Anola wanted to be together regardless of the outcome. In response, the Biloxi made war on the Pascagoula killing and taking them as slaves for the decision Altama had made. The Pascagoula were outnumbered and feared what the future held for them. Loyal to Altama, they decided as a group that it would be better to die at their own hand than become slaves. In the afterworld they would be reunited and live in a perfect world. Altama, Anola and the Pascagoula people chose to drown themselves in the river, and while singing their death song, they joined hands and walked into the waters. It’s there that the local legend states, that the disappearance of the Pascagoula people has a direct connection with the sounds which they hear coming from the water.

Singing River by day

One of the first written accounts of the “Singing River” was that of Governor Perier of French Louisiana on his visit to the Pascagoula Tribe. He says that “…while among the Pascagoulas or ‘Bread Eaters,’ he was invited to go to the mouth of the river of that name and listen to the mysterious music which floats on the waters. The water formed itself into a towering column of foaming waves, on the top stood a mermaid.  As the Indians and missionary looked on, the mermaid began to sing ‘Come to me, come to me,’ where upon they walked into the water never to be seen again.” There are similar stories in other parts of the bayou, such as the Singing River located in modern-day Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which is also links the strange sounds emanating from under the water’s surface with the disappearance of the local tribe.

Singing River, Mississippi

The myth of the Singing River continues to draw people to Pascagoula and the rivers romanticized identity creating tourism in the region. In 1985 a county resolution formally renamed a stretch of the Pascagoula River, the Singing River.

I have engaged with some locals about the legend and many claim the sound comes from underfoot on the river bank, sounding like a “swarm of bees in flight”. Others say it’s like a gentle hum that reverberates around the area of Pascagoula. All agree the ‘singing’ is more audible in late summer and autumn during the later part of the evenings and grows louder once you hear it.

So is the humming just a strange weather phenomenon? Is there creatures or wildlife making the sounds? Or are the ghosts of a whole tribe singing out to us? Maybe this Halloween someone may investigate and find out!

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, HORROR HISTORY, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments