Ghost of Deer Island & Firewater Ghost - Biloxi, Mississippi
Ghost of Deer Island & Firewater Ghost - Biloxi, Mississippi
Deer Island, Mississippi
Deer Island is just offshore from the waterfront
of the historic Gulf Coast city of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Legend holds it is haunted by a mysterious ghost.
Ghost of Deer Island
Strange lights are said to
appear on Deer Island on
dark and stormy nights. Are
they signs of a ghost?
A Pirate's Ghost in Biloxi?
One version of the legend
holds that the island is
haunted by the ghost of a
pirate left behind to guard a
Ghost of Deer Island & Firewater Ghost
Biloxi, Mississippi
Hauntings in Biloxi, Mississippi
Copyright 2013 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: October 20, 2014
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Firewater Ghost of Biloxi
The Firewater Ghost is a blue
light that appears over the
waters of Biloxi Bay just off the
popular Mississippi resort city
of Biloxi.
A View of Deer Island
Seen here from the marina at
Biloxi, Deer Island shows
signs of the damage left
behind by Hurricane Katrina
in the form of barren trees.
Two of Mississippi’s oldest and most
enigmatic ghost stories involve Deer Island
and the surrounding waters.

The closest island to the Mississippi Coast,
Deer Island is easily visible from the
beaches and attractions of historic Biloxi. It is
a rookery for the Great Blue Heron and is
maintained in its natural state as a
Mississippi Coastal Preserve. Nine different
rare and/or endangered species live on the

Humans have visited or lived on the island
for thousands of years. Ancient American
Indians came there to hunt, gather and fish
long before the birth of Christ. The French
arrived in 1717 and by 1905 even an
amusement park operated there.

Hurricane Camille changed all of that,
destroying manmade structures and forcing
the last inhabitants to relocate to the
mainland. The wisdom of the move was
demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
when water swept over the island.  An
artificial reef built since then now helps
protect Deer Island from erosion.

Neither the storms nor the retreat of human
beings from the island, however, have
eliminated two ghost stories that rank among
the oldest in the South.

Both were first documented in an article
published by A.G. Ragusin in 1922, the story
of the Ghost of Deer Island was then nearly
100 years old. He quoted Captain Eugene
Tiblier, Sr., who had resided in Biloxi for all of
his 78 years, as the authority for the tale of
two fishermen who were spending the night
on the island when they suddenly heard a
great shaking and rattling of the palmetto

Assuming the noise to be made by wild
hogs, the men initially paid little attention but
the longer they tried to ignore the sound, the
louder it grew.

Finally they investigated the cause and were
stunned to see a headless skeleton
standing erect among the palmettos.  The
two men ran for their boat with the headless
ghost in pursuit, but succeeded in making a
narrow escape.

The story of the headless ghost originates
from an old pirate story. According to the
legend, a pirate captain once steered his
ship into Biloxi Bay to bury a large treasure.
He and his men buried their gold on Deer
Island, chopping off the head of one of their
own men and leaving his body behind to
guard their ill-gotten gains.

The apparition of the headless ghost was
verified to Ragusin by another Biloxi
fisherman who said he had seen it while
exploring the island with two other men.

Their experience was similar to that of the
men described by Captain Tiblier. A great
rattling of the palmetto bushes preceded its
appearance and it was so terrifying that all
three of the explorers rowed for the mainland
as fast as possible.
Southern Ghosts & Monsters
The Ghost of Deer Island is said to be
responsible for mysterious lights and
strange sounds observed on the island to
this day.

The other old Biloxi legend tells of the
“Firewater Ghost,” a supernatural blue light
seen moving over the waters of Biloxi Bay
long before the invention of electric light.

According to that legend, the mysterious light
often moves across the bay between Biloxi
and Ocean Springs.

The same Captain Tiblier who told the story
of the Ghost of Deer Island said that he and
his brother, Louis, saw the Firewater Ghost
in around 1892. They were rowing a skiff in
Back Bay at around 2 in the morning when
the light suddenly appeared.

Tiblier described it as being blue in color and
traveling about one foot above the water. He
and his brother stopped rowing and watched
as it crossed the bay and disappeared near
Ocean Springs.

Local legend holds that the Firewater Ghost
is a spectral sentry who patrols the bay with a
lantern in his hand.

The stories of the Deer Island and Firewater
Ghosts are important parts of the folklore of
the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The next time you are walking the Biloxi
beaches at night or enjoying the view of
Mississippi Sound from your hotel room
window, keep your eyes open! You just might
witness the lights that fishermen have told of
seeing for nearly 200 years.

Please click here to learn more about historic
Biloxi and its points of interest.