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Ghost Bustering in Savannah, Georgia

I just kicked Ghost Tour off of my list.  Beware,another lengthy post-short attention span, don’t read this. If you are interested in; paranormal, ghosts, or Savannah Travel, enjoy.  If any of you have taken a great ghost/haunted/paranormal tour in Savannah, drop me a note.  I would love a do-over!

Savannah just has that freaky vibe at night. You wouldn’t think that night-day could be so different in the same place.   Case in point.

Because who doesn’t have a stuffed raccoon in their ride?

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Nice Rod!

I am certain that “real writer’s” have written on this very subject.; At night the colors seem to change, the Spanish sways off the trees, the old buildings, old forts, mansions, cemeteries, and cobblestone streets mix with that humid air mix with legends and stories. And there are those trees.

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I certainly understand why films are made in this scenic city. Deep Southern Gothic.  Think Midnight in The Garden Of Good And Evil.

I get why films are made in this location

I get why films are made in this location

Savannah is the most paranormal city in the U.S.A. Word!   I had always wanted to try a Ghost Tour in this fine city.   I remember my very first visit to Savannah and saw this open aired hearse driving around. I thought wouldn’t that be a barrel of monkey’s?

Now this looks like fun. I am going to do this another time

Now this looks like fun. I

I was eating at a restaurant on River Street and saw a Ghosts and Graveyards Tour Trolley full of fun people, and decided to jump on. No pre planning, no research just did it.

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Ghosts & Gravestones took me on a 90 minute “Trolley of The Doomed” tour.  Departing from River Street, this street can be creepy at night.

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Steep and spooky cobblestone streets.

Aside from the cobblestone drives, there are also few sets of steep steps from the city to the waterfront.   It just reminds me of a movie scene that you would take you to a scary place. Think Dracula. The buildings are very old and a damp smell hangs in the air.  Many of the buildings were once working warehouses.

Beautiful old buildings

Beautiful old buildings

1.  Once the fun-bus got going, it passed The Shrimp Factory  where slaves were once held upon arrival.  By day the slaves worked in this former cotton warehouse and at night were chained to the walls in the upper floors. There are many stories of strange noises; groaning, chanting, chains klinking and sights of shadows on the wall. I have eaten in this establishment but did not hear or see spirits except for The Chatham Artillery Punch. (see my Tasty Tuesday on Savoring Savannah if you are interested in Savannah Food)

2. We drove by the 17 Hundred 90 Inn. It is thought to be the oldest hotel in Savannah dating back to 1820.  In brief; Reportedly not named 1820 because 1820 held a fire that nearly wiped out this city, followed by a Yellow Fever epidemic where so many residents died. I learned on another trolley tour that there were actually 666 people who died. Because of the numerical superstitions it was rounded up to 700. I did a quick fact check and The Georgia Historical Society has it recorded as 666.

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Back to 17 Hundred 90 haunting. Built by a man who died in an accident before it was completed. There are many interesting stories of hauntings surrounding this house.

17 Hundred 90

17 Hundred 90

*hard to see in my photo but the window on top floor above awning and light post is Room #204.

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Room#204. Here is what is stupid; there is a mannequin dressed up in the window to entertain the ghost tours. Here is a fact; A pregnant single woman who rented this room by the name of Anne/Anna Powell threw herself out the window, reportedly after her sailor love left her and did not return.   It is currently an Inn and Restaurant. People interested in the paranormal actually may stay in this room and record their own accounts of manifestations in this home. It looks like a really nice place per their website, and is in a great location. So you too can investigate this phenomena.  In 2009, singer Miley Cyrus stayed in Room 204 Miley Cyrus claimed Anna left a hand print on her boot while she was out. http://17hundred90.com/category/hauntings/

Stop 1 of 2 Juliette Gordon Low home

Stop 1 of 2 Juliette Gordon Low home

3. Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of Girl Scouts of America. The Low family was prominent and reportedly took interest in the paranormal.  It is said that the presence of both Juliette and grandmother, Sarah Gordon and her daughter-in-law Nellie Kinzie Gordon, the mother of Juliette Gordon Low, still remain to haunt the house, and can be felt inside the house. I wonder if there is a Girl Scout Badge for paranormal?

So if you are interested in older homes,decor and gardens here is my take away.

Home tour

Home tour

This was my favorite part.   I loved seeing this statue!

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And the gardens!

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4. We also drove by The Sorrell Weed House.  This is the paranormal rock star house of Savannah. This beautiful and tragic haunted home has been featured on many programs. HGTV,Sci-Fi, History Channel, Fox, ABC and so on. This house also has many stories of paranormal activities.

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Francis Sorrel was the first owner of this home. He married a young woman named Lucinda who died 5 years into the marriage. Frances Sorrel then lived here with his second wife Matilda, who happened to be Lucinda’s younger sister. Francis was involved with a slave named Molly, and the two of them were caught in the act by Matilda. Distraught, she threw herself out of a window and died. A few days later, Molly was found hanging from a noose in the carriage house.

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Fact check; According to investigators of this story, In the census there was never a slave named Molly nor evidence of a love affair. Matilda was a jumper but from the house next door. Francis had sold the home to the Weed family and moved next door 9 months before this suicide.  Other stories that I read were that all six Weed children died during a yellow fever epidemic.  Or, Sorrel’s first wife died of yellow fever. (With a quick check, I could not prove or disprove these last two facts.)

So why is it so haunted? Another theory suggests that during the Revolutionary War grounds were under Sorrel-Weed House’s current location. October of 1779 1000 men died right in or near this spot, and was, according to many historians, the bloodiest hour of the entire American Revolution. Gross.  *To note, this is from Battlefield Park

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There are so many stories about this house that it was a bit difficult to sort out. Another story claims Francis Sorrel is half French, half Haitian.  His Haitian mother was murdered.  Francis reportedly was light skinned and denied his Haitian heritage. thus he was cursed. Voodoo may be involved.

What is known is a lot of of paranormal activities have been reported and investigated.  Some of the reports are of; ghost sightings,lots of voices and screams, weird photos,touches, odors,chocking sensations and nausea.   I have learned that many people just feel the need to ‘get out,”

Truth is, this home is the finest example of Antebellum Greek Revival/Regency architecture. Random Fact; The opening scene to Forrest Gump was filmed off this rooftop.

5. The Pirate’s House is in one of the oldest sections of Savannah. There have been many ghost sightings at his spot. Our tour guide told us that there are tunnels leading from the rum cellars to the river. Story has it that men would disappear; get drunk, pass out and wake up on a ship, and forced to work. People report hearing sounds from the tunnels. Fact; I also learned that there may have never been tunnels.

6. We drove by The Colonial Park Cemetery. Established in 1750. I learned that this site is considered to be one of the most paranormal sites in Savannah.

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Over 10,000 people are buried here but reportedly there are under 1000 markers.

Sparse markers

Sparse markers

One of the reasons for this is mass burials from Yellow Fever epidemic era. Another reason is that graves were desecrated during The Civil War.   I biked in to have a closer look at the markers on the back wall.

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Also,  It is a fact that Voodoo has been and is practiced in this location. The former two stories being an explanation for the paranormal spirits. Of course, there are the legends. A large mass murderer who killed little girls and was later hung in the cemetery. Not true.

Did you know there was a dueling era in Savannah? There is an adjoining dueling ground. How handy!

7. Perkins and Sons Ship Chandlery was our last stop. In a nutshell, I did not quite ‘get it. ”It simply reminded me of a community haunted House during Halloween month or the Disney Haunted House ride, idk. I stepped into an old building into a room with artifacts. I couldn’t tell if they were real items recovered from the river or props. Is this place actually haunted or is it just for the tour? I could not find any stories.

Spoiler alert: We were sent into another room where it darkened and there was about a 10 minute story told by an actor with some special effects.   I couldn’t quite follow the story. I was bored and disinterested. Some people may enjoy this night out.

The Ghosts and Gravestones tour was extremely well done with the material at hand, and the people were really nice but honestly, it was a tad bit corny  (a lot) and the ghost stories few.  Don’t expect goose bumps. This tour has been featured on The Today Show, Sci-Fi Channel and The Travel Channel so I would not hesitate to recommend it for a family fun situation.  You know a stupid company bonding event or the like. Note, it is rated PG-13. No young folks under 18 without an adult. No children under the age of 6. There is a 100% money back guarantee

MEGastars  I would give the Ghosts and Graveyards tour 2 * star for how wonderful the guide was. She put her heart into her job. And another star for ease/comfort.   I have to wonder why is Graveyards in this tour title? We drove by one?

2 SELF TOUR SITES-Moon River Brewing Company and The Olde Pink House Restaurant.

1. Another place that I checked out on my own. The television shows Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters did a show on this haunted Brewery.  Moon River Brewing Company was a former Inn  that had a history with violent deaths beginning in 1832 with a gun shooting. In 1860, and a lynch mob beat a man nearly to death simply because he was not “Southern.”   In the 1880’s there was a death but I was unable to find out the event surrounding this death. The inn remained empty for many years. In 1999 when the Inn was being renovated, a wife of the foreman was pushed down the stairs and died.  The foreman resigned and the upper floors have remained largely empty.

There is reports of a violent ghost who pushes people and throws things. There is a ghost named Toby who lives in the basement and has been described as a shadowy figure. There is also a white apparition that moves about the upper floors.  I have eaten here and really like it. They have just added a 4500 outdoor beer garden.

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2. The Olde Pink House Restaurant.  Not only does this place get many visitors for great food, there are ghosts that harass customers and employees. Thrown menus’s, glasses of water and an apparition of a man in 1700’s clothing.  It is reported that this may be the original owner of the home who hung himself in the basement.  It is a known fact that this man did NOT hang himself in the basement and yet he could still be the ghost.  I love the food here.  When I ate at both of these places, I did not know about the paranormal activity.

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If I had to rate Savannah for playing ghost bucket list, i would give this city 5 of 5 MEGastars ***** 

I have never seen a ghost or have I? This is what happens when a Wisconsin Girl moves South?   Snowman follows her.  Snapped this while work was being done on my pool.

Snowman

MEGatips

  1. Going to ghost hunt or bust? Research, Research, Research.
  2. It would be really simple to self-tour. Next time, I’m going to go big or go home and find something that is going to make me faint.
  3. Strictly ghost hunters? Ya gotta eat. Check out The Olde Pink House-(make a reservation.)  and drink at Moon River Brewing Company. Check out their new beer garden. They have a great menu with grassfed beef and these amazing gouda scalloped potatoes. See  my Tasty Tuesday Savannah Blog for more food tips.
  4. Interested in old homes? Walk around the neighborhood near The Pirate’s House. There are some of the earliest homes in this area.
  5. Colonial Park Cemetery is NOT “the” frequently photographed Bonaventure Cemetery which is located miles from the downtown area. I will have photos on one of my next few posts. It’s gorgeous there.
  6. More photos on my instagram.
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