As well as being one of America’s most beautiful cities, Savannah is also its most haunted. Its history of pirates and dangerous individuals has left many spirits unable to escape its buildings

Savannah is a haunted city. As the oldest city in Georgia, and one of the oldest in the United States, it is home to a wealth of history. The historic district was founded on Native American burial grounds, the city saw conflict during the Civil War, and was port to the pirates that pillaged the Eastern Seaboard. All of this has led to the beautiful Savannah being described as the most haunted city in the States.

When the colonists first arrived in Georgia on February 12, 1733, they landed on Native American land at Yamacraw Bluff. The Native Americans later moved inland as Savannah expanded and the colonists built over their burial sites. James Oglethorpe, the founder of the city, tried to turn one into a botanical garden, where they discovered that peaches were an excellent crop. However, it was soon decided to build a tavern on the same site.

This was to house, feed and water the sailors who put into port, and is now known as the Pirate’s House. Originally outside of the city limits, this was built in 1753 and is one of Savannah’s oldest buildings. It was a rough and ready place, and many drunkards were press-ganged into working one of the boats. The Pirate’s House became a den of pirates and a haunt of the infamous Blackbeard. Pirate’s House was a setting in RL Stevenson’s Treasure Island and is now a restaurant. It has many secrets waiting to be told.

The Garden of Good and Evil

The Savannah City Hall can be seen lit up at dusk. Streaks of car tail lights shoot past in the long exposure photograph
Savannah is not just famous for its ghosts. It holds many excellent examples of period architecture

Hunt the ghosts of Savannah

Another literary connection in Savannah can be found in the statues of Bonaventure Cemetery. One was used as the haunting cover of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and has been moved to a museum. However, it is another that is said to be possessed. Little Gracie Watson died of pneumonia at the age of six and a monument was erected in her name. It became tradition to leave presents at the monument and she has become one of Savannah’s most famous residents. Her ghost will silently play and run through Johnson Square and the statue has been seen to cry tears.

A local restaurant, the Olde Pink House is always neat and tidy. James Habersham Jr. liked to keep it clean. He was a “pin-neat gentleman”. The trader hanged himself after his wife’s death and his spirit never left. If one of the servers forgets to set a table, his ghost will straighten everything out. The building was also used as a hospital during the plagues of yellow fever. Children will run around the building locking doors and causing havoc. It is thought they were slave children who perished during the plagues.

While you’re trying a beer from the city, it might have been brewed in a haunted hotel. The premises of the Moon River Brewing Company was the first hotel in Savannah but shuttered before the Civil War. Before it closed, a local doctor escaped punishment for murdering the vagrant James Stark, who still walks through the building. Stark stays on the main floor and often throws liquor bottles. There are also reports of him harassing people. A Woman in White is said to stalk the third floor. The most famous ghost, Toby, lives in the basement. He is the nicest of the spirits that call the brewery home, but if you’re shooting some pool in the billiards room you might get in his way — and then he’ll give you a shove.

Discover the History of Savannah on land and from the sea

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