Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

You know you sang that in your head, right?….

This Freaky Friday post will feature the Gypsy Queen Kelly Mitchell. Mysterious, enchanting, worldly and with the title of “Queen”, what more could you want?

Gypsies in Meridian?

Yes and no, but only because Meridian had ice. That’s right, Meridian was used for its ability to keep a dead body cool. Which is why the Gypsy Queen was brought here after her death. Queen Kelly, or “Callie” as it’s sometimes spelled, died in premature childbirth. It would have been her 15th child. Without the aid of a doctor, the Queen’s health declined quickly as labor progressed. Against custom, her husband, King Emil Mitchell, sent for the town doctor and offered him $10,000 if he could save the Queen’s life. She died at the age 47, on Jan. 31, 1915, in the town of Coatopa in Alabama.

The Queen City

Grieving King Emil Mitchell chose Meridian as the final resting place of his wife. The city had adequate refrigeration and funeral facilities and Meridian was just across the MS/AL state line from where the gypsy tribe had made camp. So, the Mitchell tribe carried their beloved Queen to Meridian. The extravagant funeral service was held 12 days later to allow gypsies to travel to the event.

According to an article in The Meridian Dispatch, more than 20,000 gypsies crowded the town to witness the service. It was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Most had to stand outside.

The newspaper described the funeral:

“At one side of the parlors, with candelabra at the head and foot stands the magnificent silver-trimmed metallic casket. Hermetically sealed within, in all the barbaric splendor of a medieval Queen lays Mrs. Callie (Kelly) Mitchell
Queen of the Gypsies of America.

Her swarthy face with its high cheekbones is typical of Romany tribes and the head, the upper portion of which is covered with bright silken drapery pinned at the back with pins, rests upon a cushion of filmy silk and satin. The hair is braided Gypsy fashion and the dark tresses shine. The body is attired in a Royal robe of Gypsy Green and other bright colors contrasting vividly with the somber hues usual under such circumstances.

Two necklaces are around the neck, one of shells, an heirloom that was descended through generations. The lower part of the body is draped with ‘Sacred Linen’ treasured by Gypsy bands for the use only when death overtakes one of their numbers. When the children arrive, each will put a memento of some kind in the casket and it will devolve upon the youngest child to place her mother’s earrings in the ear.”

Rose Hill Cemetery

Gypsy Queen Kelly Mitchell was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. This began a tradition for the Mitchell clan of gypsies, with King Emil being buried beside his wife, Kelly. As folklore has it, if you bring a trinket or offering to the Gypsy Queen’s grave, she will come to you in a dream and solve all of your troubles. It’s an old stereotype that the Romani people have psychic powers, use tarot cards and many make their living in the fortune-telling trade.

Thousands visit Queen Kelly’s grave every year, to pay their respects and maybe with the hope a bit of magic will rub off. The city of Meridian “The Queen City”, has no problem using the Queen’s grave as a tourist attraction, but has outlawed fortune telling inside of city limits.
If you would like to learn more about Mystic Gypsy Magic I reccommend:

Want to learn how to READ TAROT CARDS?…Click Here!

Want to know how to READ PALMS? Click Here! Created By World Renowned Hypnotherapist Steve G. Jones, “palm Read Easy” Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know About A Person’s Past, Present, And Future By Reading Their Palms.


Want to visit the Gypsy Queen?

Rose Hill Cemetery is located at 8th St & 40th Ave, Meridian, MS 39307. Bring a token, a treasure or offering of some sort and maybe the Queen of the Gypsies will visit you in your dreams.

Pay tribute to your favorite Gypsy Queen, by dressing as her for Halloween. Check out these Gypsy Halloween Costume ideas…

4 Replies to “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”

  1. Hi Shelly,

    There is something very eerie about Gypsy Queen Kelly Mitchell, saying that i am really curious about leaving a trinket for her. What kind of Trinket would you recommend? I hope I wont get nightmares if i bring the wrong gift! You know everything is eerie about this, especially that picture with the little boy looking at the camera!

    1. Freddy,

      You’re right, this is very eerie. After I had researched and written the story, the Gypsy Queen and her family really stuck in my mind. She is a very enchanting figure. If you we’re to leave her an offering, I would suggest something feminine. Coins are the most popular. 

      Best Wishes! 


  2. Interesting read, I do not think I have heard too much about the Gypsy Queen but after reading this, I am interested to learn more about her.

    Although I am not close to the Mississippi area, I maybe interested in visiting that area if I got the chance to.

    My question is, do you believe the myth that leaving something on her grave will cause her to enter a dream solving your troubles?

    1. Thanks Arie! If you are ever in the Meridian, MS area, do stop by her grave. It’s a pretty popular tourist attraction in the area. I don’t know how much stock I would put into the myth of her visiting your dreams. However, anything is possible! I’ve had relatives that have passed away visit me in my dreams! So, you might want to bring the Gypsy Queen a token and find out for yourself. I’ve covered some local haunts in Haunted Meridian Mississippi if you want to check them out! Thanks for the comment! 


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