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Bad Men - Bad Times     

While the gentlemen and ladies of the town lived up on the hills of the city, under the bluffs was a playground for the despicable, dastardly, and the debauched. There were bars, brothels, and gaming establishments lining the piers.

"Under the Hill", as it was called, was also the home to some of the worst outlaws that called Natchez home.

These were notorious bandits who preyed on the travelers along the Natchez Trace: John Morrill, who would sell a slave over and over, stealing him back each time after selling him. When the slave got too well known, he would kill him and get a new one.

Two other characters were the Harpe brothers, Big Harpe and Little Harpe. Little Harpe, whose real name was Wylie, cut the head off a wanted man in his gang, and took it into town to collect the bounty.

When the sheriff recognized that Little Harpe's horse was one that had been reported stolen, he locked up Wylie, then the townsfolk hanged him. The people of Natchez then removed his head, then took it to the start of the Natchez trail, and put it on a tree as a warning to other villians.

A ghost story from Under the Hill comes from Joseph Hare - the story of the Laughing Ghost.

Hare was dating a girl from Under the Hill, and although she was a questionable woman to begin with, he demanded that she be faithful to him. He continually showered her with jewels from the people that he robbed on the Trace, but while he was out on his raids, she was left alone in the worst part of Natchez.

Joseph Hare begin to think that his woman was cheating on him, so in a fit of drunken rage, he weighted her body down with all of the jewels that he'd given her, then buried her alive - some say by dumping her struggling body into the Mississippi.

Today, people who work below the bluff are said to occasionally hear the maniacal laughter of Hare, and feel the presence of some of the other "Under the Hill" characters.

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