Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 15, 2010

Haunted Savannah

The Jasmine season had just finished.  A few dried flowers still clung to the jasmine winding their way up the side of the sides of the old house.  I sat on the front porch leaned back into the comfortable porch swing, enjoying warm Savannah night air.  The overwhelming heat of the day gone, the evening seemed perfect, a beautiful finish to a long day.  Almost from one moment to the next, I felt a wave of exhaustion pouring slowly over me.  It was time for bed.  I bade M goodnight and entered the “haunted” bed and breakfast alone.

Not ten minutes after I walked in the door it started.  The lights dimmed and flared, dimmed and flared, dimmed and flared.  Suddenly the warm Savannah night seemed cold, I felt the hair rise on the back of my arms.  Three times, just like M had said.  Everything was normal for a minute, two minutes, three minutes, then suddenly the lights dimmed and flared twice more.   Disconcerting, yes, but I was too tired to let it bother me and headed for bed.  Snapping the lights off quickly I jumped into bed and pulled the covers high up over my head, hiding from the ghoulies.

Savannah is one of the most picturesque cities I have ever visited.  Parks every few blocks, grandiose mansions, Spanish moss hanging from the trees, and charming cobblestoned alleyways; it is the epitome of my romantic ideas of what the South “should” look like.  It is also, reportedly one of the most haunted cities in Haunted cities in the US.  

The city has almost a Parisian feel, and why not?  It was designed to.  By day these parks, built for lovers, serve their purpose.  They are romantic, their fountains create a lovely atmosphere, the historic buildings are magnificent, and the Spanish moss festoons the streets, hanging like necklaces on the trees, adding an air of aristocracy to everything.  Night on the other hand; night is a completely different story.

At night Savannah becomes a completely different place.  The life is sucked from the air.  The majestic trees decorated with their Spanish moss become menacing, the cobblestone streets glisten eerily, and the spirits assume their rightful place in the mansions.  It is common knowledge; the ghosts of the past rule the Savannah night.

There is even a ghost ride tour of Savannah.  In a hearse no less!  The flyer boasted that for $18 you could ride in a hearse taking a 90 minute of the top ten most haunted attractions and creepy places in America.  And tourists eat it up with a spoon; after 6:00 pm every day, the streets of Savannah are filled with black hearses sporting blood-red lettering on the sides.

The tour even includes a visit to the infamous Sorrel-Weed House, purportedly the most haunted house in Savannah.  Legend has it, or so M told me as we walked past the massive brick mansion, that “back in the day” a wealthy plantation owner lived in the house.  One day, the plantation owner’s wife caught him in bed with Molly, a slave girl.  Distraught, the woman flung herself out of the window.

Two weeks later the landowner discovered Molly’s lifeless body in her room above the nearby carriage house, hanging limply from the rafters.   Some stories say that she ended her own life, but then there are the recordings…  To this day a woman’s plaintive screams “No! No!  Get away from me” are still said to echo from the empty walls of the carriage house.  In fact, ghost hunters made one of the most famous paranormal recordings of many ghosts in this house.  They and many visitors to the Sorrel Weed house have experienced unexplained phenomena.

Whether haunted by actual spirits or merely by its past, Savannah wears her faded beauty as tenaciously as Miss Havisham wore her wedding dress.  Clothed in grey tatters of Spanish moss, the wistful trees bow their heads over Colonial Park Cemetery gates.  The cobbled streets are filled with the clip clop of horse-drawn carriages and the boat whistles of barges passing. 

Yes, Savannah is truly a city trapped in a time gone by.   I will probably never be certain if the haunted B&B was plagued by ghosts, or merely aging wiring, but whatever the case the mystery only serves to add to the city’s charm.  And who am I to discount the experiences of so many.  I would highly recommend visiting Savannah for a weekend of southern charm, echoes of days gone by, and who knows… you may be lucky enough to see a few spirits.

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Responses

  1. Very cool. I know that towns often play up the “hauntedness” of their homes and other locales for the tourists, but I’m one of those who “eats up” those stories. It just adds another layer of interest to the place. I have GOT to get to Savannah someday.

  2. I need to get there too… after I my stint on a sailboat in the caribbean!


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