There Is Such a Thing as Too House Proud
John McGee Parkman had reason for hubris. He had worked his way up from dry goods clerk to become President of the First National Bank of Selma at the tender age 28. His house—a 13-year-old Greek Revival beauty which he purchased from its original owner for $65,000 in 1864—was a reflection of his success. Then Parkman got himself in trouble for speculating in cotton. The feds threw him in jail by the Mississippi, and he drowned in 1867 in a failed attempt to escape. That didn't stop him from inhabiting his mansion. He's been seen loitering by the side portico and surveying his property from the cupola windows. The house, named Sturdivant Hall now, is open to the public. But enter at your own risk: doors swing open of their own accord, and Parkman's possessive presence is sensed in the bedroom and parlor.