Anyone who has ever lived in, visited, or read about Savannah has probably come across a ghost story or two. A port city with hundreds of years’ worth of history, it has seen many come and go from its streets.
And a good few chose never to leave, if the legends are to be believed.
Whether you’re visiting or a local who isn’t sure which infamous spot you should stop at first, we’ve got a few suggestions. Gather your courage, and read all about some of Savannah’s most haunted sites.
Originally built by Samuel Pugh Hamilton (better known as “The Lord of Lafayette Square” for his penchant for throwing parties) in 1873, this mansion would later be the home of Dr. Francis Turner, who is believed to have run his medical practice from the basement and whose daughter apparently fell to her death within the home.
USA Today called the hotel one of the most romantic, and indeed it has glamorous finishes and textiles that create an ambience of old-world decadence to put anyone in the mood. But many who have stayed within its walls have something else to say about their experience.
Some claim to hear billiard balls rolling around, courtesy of mischievous children long gone. Others say that Hamilton’s security guard (tasked with protecting priceless paintings) can be seen on certain evenings, roaming the rooftops as he once did.
The Marshall House
Beloved by architecture connoisseurs for its gorgeous wrought-iron balcony, this building was established as a hotel from the start, by Mary M. Marshall. Over the course of its life since, it has also served as a hospital for Civil War soldiers.
Today, it is both hotel and museum, and guests often spend breakfast discussing the giggling of little ones heard in the middle of the night. The staff also receives frequent complaints about faucets turning on of their own accord.
17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant
Guests to this popular Savannah spot so frequently express odd sightings that the hotel and eatery has a whole page devoted to describing its resident ghosts.
The most well-known of the bunch is Anna, who is said to move personal items—clothing, jewelry, and the like—around Room 204, where she apparently stayed as a young bride before her untimely death. Then there’s Thaddeus, a little boy who leaves pennies all about the restaurant areas. Alongside these two friendlier spirits, something is said to cause a ruckus in the kitchen from time to time, uprooting jars, pots, and pans.
While visits to a cemetery aren’t always an excursion, and the ground within them should certainly be respected, Bonaventure Cemetery has a rich and fascinating history to explore. From housing some of the most ornate tombs in the region (or perhaps anywhere), to being a home for John Muir during his expedition to write A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf, to having a large role in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this resting place boasts an array of factoids to be learned. We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a cemetery on a list of haunted sites, and a tour of this one does not disappoint.
The Pirates’ House
Although it now boasts some delicious seafood dishes, this restaurant has rather insidious roots. Once a favorite haunt (pun intended) of sailors and pirates who longed for a drink and some relaxation after their seafaring journeys, The Pirates’ House was known for its rampant crime and drunken offenders. It is believed to have been a location for trafficking at some point, having underground tunnels that pirates would use to transport inebriated fellows to a life of servitude on their nearby ships.
Employees hear heavy boots in step, things fall from the shelves unexplainably, and many have had the sensation of coming face to face with someone who isn’t in front of them. From the cellar, it is said one can hear screams travel through from the tunnels and water beyond.
Arguably one of the most beautiful haunted sites in the Hostess City, this Victorian-style stunner is now a bed and breakfast. But it has a dark supposed past. Although some of the stories have been debunked (so much traction had they gained), plenty of people are still convinced they happened.
One such tale is that of the Kehoe children, who, legend says, got stuck in the chimney and died there. Today, guests claim they can hear little feet and voices roaming about the home. Others feel phantom hands touching them, especially as they rest in bed.
Moon River Brewing Company
First built as the City Hotel by Charleston native Elazer Early in 1821, the walls of what is today Moon River Brewing Company have witnessed some acts of extreme violence. More than one dispute between patrons ended in dramatic deaths, and, some would say, ghosts that refuse to vacate the premises.
From Toby, who is known to push patrons and employees, to the glowing, white apparition seen floating around the upper floors, to bottles being thrown about at random, the paranormal is afoot at Moon River, and so is a great brew, so it’s a multifaceted source of entertainment for those interested in boos and beer.
There you have it, lovers of spook! We hope you enjoyed reading through these frightening fables and make good use of them to plan your next October activity. And now that you’ve learned the stories behind Savannah’s most haunted sites, click through the home types of Upper East River to discover their own inspired (but not haunted, as far as we know) origins.