Historic Haunted Savannah

Savannah CarriageSavannah: What makes this old Spanish Moss-adorned city mesmerizing? Is it stories of pirates, ghosts and haunting? We wanted to try and paint a portrait of historic Savannah beyond just the haunting, legend and lore - choosing also to view the city as it is, today.
Savannah was Georgia's first city, founded in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe. His plans created what is currently the largest national historic district in the U.S. This waterfront district is renovated to include shops, restaurants, hotels, taverns, promenades, trolley and horse drawn tours; it bustles with activity during the day and well into the night on weekends. On Halloween weekend, people dressed in various costumes take over the sidewalks as they move from club to bar to party.
Historic Haunted SavannahThe Historic District
Savannah's historic district is also home to incredible architecture, such as Federal, Italianate, Regency, Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Greek Revival, Second Empire French, and of course, Georgian. A whopping 40% of Savannah's buildings are historically significant, having about every example of 18th and 19th century styles preserved.
Historic Squares
Spread throughout the historic district of Savannah are what's known as "historic squares" - tree-decorated parks that may have fountains, statues, gazebos etc. within them. Many of the nicest squares (there are 22 of them by our count) are spaced up and down Bull Street with huge Spanish Moss covered trees creating a breathtaking canopy. They are jewels dispersed amidst the old, historic buildings that is Savannah's bustling historic district. Many of these parks are memorials that honor important people, and who could ever forget the famous park bench scene from Forrest Gump that was filmed at Chippewa Square.
SCAD Film Festival
The Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art & Design, also premiers each year toward the end of October (in 2011, it was during Halloween weekend) and is closing in on it's 20th year. (We should tell you that SCAD also owns a bevy of old buildings throughout the historic district and, by doing so, has helped to preserve a part of the city's history.) The week-long film festival is an incredibly fun time with special screenings, receptions and talks with major film actors. Buy a pass and get into all the events. And between films, walk to Leopold's ice cream shop and have a cone of their homemade peppermint! Similarly, in early Spring, the Savannah Music Festival takes over the city for a week with different types of performers that will please all types of listeners!
Spanish MossCotton Warehouses
Another must-see is the warehouse section along river street. Old cotton warehouses aligned against a cobblestone street are full of taverns and shops, today. You'll see cargo and cruise ships heading out to sea on the Savannah River; and you can even tour an old sailing ship for free.

Savannah HauntingLegend of Savannah Ghosts and Haunting
Savannah is certainly full of stories about ghosts and haunting, and many people consider it to be the most haunted city in the Unites States. We asked the question, "Why is that?" While exploring Savannah, we received several answers to our question. Some say the water running underneath the old city is why there is so much ghostly energy. Some locals will tell you that ballast stones, brought to the city by sailing ships, line the walls and streets, creating a great carrier of spirit energy. Others will speak of tragedies such as tales of pirates, Yellow Fever epidemics, the British invasion of Savannah, and General Sherman's famed "march to the sea." We think there may have been a general neglect of the city's dead. As the town grew, it seems the whole city (now the historic district) was built upon it's dead.  We saw gravestones as part of the sidewalk, many grave markers placed against walls due to not knowing where they go, and mausoleums sort of dissected by fence (indicating the graveyard had once been much larger). The beautiful squares seem to also have been the sites of tragedy, such as courthouse hangings, and even mass deaths (Madison Square is said to be home to 800 bodies killed during a British invasion). People still report seeing ghosts there.
Colonial Park CemeteryHaunted Sites
What about sites that are haunted in Savannah? There are too many to list. However, we will attempt to list a few. Foley House is now said to be a haunted bed and breakfast that was once a boarding house, home to many a fine gent. Mrs. Foley had a suitor that she wasn't interested in (nor was her caretaker who loved her). A body was found in a wall, and many suspect it was the suitor who had mysteriously disappeared. People, today, still report smelling cigar smoke in the home that borders Chippewa Square. (Picture: Colonial Park Cemetery with its Spanish Moss...)
The Marshall House, one of Savannah's finest, restored hotels, is said to have been the site of a hidden room that was discovered. Inside the room, so we were told, was a ghastly site of limbs...bones now. The Marshall House, you see, had been used as a hospital during the Civil War.
There are many stores and restaurants that are reputedly haunted in Savannah's historic district. Pictures on the walls of the Planter's Inn are said to be adjusted if moved by guests. The Kehoe House is said to be home to apparitions. At the Pink House, people often report being sat to their tables by a man dressed in Colonial attire. This man is James Habersham who originally owned the house. Sometimes, people say he will playfully lock women in the bathrooms (there are no locks on the door).
17 hundred 90 House InnThe 1790 Inn (pictured here at night) is home to a mischievous ghost many believe to be Anna. Once residing there as a wife purchased, she later jumped to her death from the window of room 204. People who stay there have had their underwear stolen, only to find it adorning a Christmas tree during holiday season, or have had their objects moved. Miley Cyrus has a ghost story she can tell from staying there. Apparently her boots were moved, and wet hand prints were left on them as evidence. Miley stayed in room 204 while in the area filming a movie back in 2009. (See the 17 Hundred 90 Ghost Pictures)
The Owen Thomas House is said to be haunted, as it was a former slave quarters. The Lucas Theater, now owned by SCAD, is also reportedly haunted. The playground beside Colonial Park Cemetery is known to be haunted - a boy ghost is said to be seen still playing there. And, of course, the Monterrey House from the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is also said to be haunted. Antiques dealer, Jim Williams, had a lover found dead in his study. Nine years later, Jim was fund dead in the same place, shot to death in the same room. A Hollywood movie was made about this tragedy several years ago.                      
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