The phantoms of five of the most haunted places in Savannah are eager to tell their spooky stories. Here are our spine-chilling picks from the Hostess City of the South!
Hampton Lillibridge House
Built by Rhode Islander Hampton Lillibridge in 1796, the Cape Cod-style home has endured a lifetime of strife. Although it did survive the great fire of 1820, after Lillibridge’s death, it sustained a suicide by hanging when it was a boarding home. This tinged property abandoned for many decades, it passed through many hands until Jim Williams, the preservationist chronicled in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” purchased it in 1963. This is when strange things significantly started to happen, which are part of the house's cultural legend and folklore. The first was an accidental death of a worker that was crushed to death by the house’s fallen roof while it was physically being relocated. In addition, during the restoration, the crew upon digging up the house's foundation excavated a buried ancient crypt.
When the house was moved with the efforts of Jim Williams the supernatural activity heightened. It started a normal course of otherworldly experiences, such as disembodied laughter, voices, and footsteps. Even their equipment was not safe from uncanny interference, as tools and other construction materials moved inexplicably—or disappeared entirely. One laborer almost lost his life with an unseen entity attempting to drag him down a three-story chimney shaft. He was found desperately clutching the floorboards by his fellow workers, which saved his life. When someone suggested an exorcism was needed, a gut-wrenching scream from a woman was heard by all. Indeed one was done, the only documented one ever done in this mystical city of Savannah. Unfortunately, it failed.
Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.
This is one of the most significant historical homes in Savannah, made famous by the bestselling novel "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Samuel Pugh Hamilton built this home for his family in 1873. With exuberant wealth, he and his wife created a home that was the city’s social center for Savannah’s elite. The home was mostly spared from the fire that swept through Savannah in 1898.
Guests have heard children running, pitter-patting above on the third floor as they have spark child-like laughters. Small footsteps have been heard sneaking down the stairs. Some have heard and seen billiard balls rolling around on the upper floors (see the photo image on our second gallery below). Perhaps the spirits of these children are still wondering what their parents were up to so many years ago? According to historical accounts, most probably! When the Hamilton children were relegated to the upstairs during one of the Turner family’s many parties, they would get bored in the billiard room. Their boredom turned to curiosity as they wondered what the adults were doing downstairs. Together, the clever children devised a plan to check out what their parents were up to. The children would roll the billiard balls down the home’s soaring staircase. Of course, they would pretend that it was an accident when they had to scramble downstairs to retrieve the ball. However, that moment gave them an opportunity to peek at what the adults were doing. One evening, a little girl attempted to get close to the edge of the top stair to roll a ball down. She fell, tumbling down the flight of stairs. The young guest tragically died in the home that evening. There are also stories of the man smoking a cigar on the roof, and gunshots that were heard when it was once vacant. This house (as many in the area) was built over an old cemetery. Were these sounds created by the phantoms of Confederate soldiers still feeling the tragic effects of the Civil War?
The Marshall House
The Marshall House is the oldest hotel in Savannah. It was built in 1851, used as a hospital in the mid-1800s during yellow fever epidemics. It also housed Union soldiers during the American Civil War. The Marshall House closed in 1957, renovated, and reopened in 1999. During renovations, human remains were found under the floorboards. They are believed to be the original amputated limbs of soldiers that were injured during the Civil War. The doctors would be unable to bury the myriad of amputated arms and legs in the frozen ground. Their solution was grotesque in that it had them concealing the human remains underneath the floorboards throughout what is now the hotel.
Guests and staff have reported the traditional classical ghostly activity. Children have also been seen and heard running down the long narrow halls late at night. Sometimes they will sneak in your room and tickle your feet when you fall asleep. Faucets have turned on by unseen hands. The spirit of a woman is said to haunt the ladies' restroom in the lobby and lock herself in one of the stalls. A wide range of apparitions, including those of Union Soldiers, have been seen in the hallways and foyers. Many of these appear with amputated limbs, perhaps looking among the bones found during the renovations. Apparitions of nurses have been spotted to attempt to calculate a pulse rate from the living. TAPS has also been heard by a lonely phantom bugle as well. The phantom of Joel Chandler Harris, a recognized author, has also taken refuge at the Marshall Inn. Folks have heard the clacking of his typewriter coming from the room he used to stay in.
Moon River Brewing Company
This beerhouse is considered by many to be the most haunted place in Savannah. Before it was a trendy microbrewery, the building housing the famously haunted and often filmed Moon River Brewing Company was Savannah’s first hotel. Built in 1821, the City Hotel saw its share of violence from drunken shootings to lynch mob beatings.
No doubt that its dark and troubled history has much influence on the active hauntings these properties sustain. Many have witnessed the aggressive apparitions still lingering here. For instance, there’s “Toby,” who is a shadowy figure that enjoys pushing customers around in the billiards room. There is also the phantom of a gal who suddenly appeared at the bar to seemingly order a drink. Many guests have spotted another young lady wearing white at the top of the restaurant’s staircase. Ghosts have also been known to throw bottles, breeze by patrons, and play tricks on staff members. Guests of Moon River Brewing Co. have nothing to worry about as long as they stay away from the basement and upstairs, which are the two most active paranormal spots in the joint.
In 1892, this Queen Ann mansion was built on Columbia Square by Irishman William Kehoe, who moved his wife, Annie, and their ten children to their home celebrating their success in the iron trade. Sadly, that is where the happy story seemed to end. Legend states that their two (aged 5) twin boys were playing hide and seek, they attempted to climb into a fireplace to hide. Both boys climbed in and went higher and higher until they became stuck. As ash fell on them it filled their lungs and stopped them from calling for help. Both boys died. Their mother, Annie, gruesomely discovered them lifeless. As time moved on, the Kehoe’s themselves died and the remaining children took ownership of the home. They sold the home in 1930 after which it became a school, the Goette Funeral Home.
Although ownerships and usage have changed several times, the hauntings have remained very consistent. Many have spoken about the shadowy figures that creep around the corners, disappearing just as quickly as when they are found. There is also a residual haunting (spiritual replays) of Mr. and Mrs. Kehoe walking down the halls. It is said that Mr. William likes to turn on the lights and rings the front doorbell. He will also, on occasion, open the front door as any gentleman would do. Mrs. Annie continues to be a good mother. She will walk up and down the halls of the second and third floors, assumingly checking on her guests. Once in awhile, guests will feel a sweet good night kiss on their cheeks. The twin boys that died at the Kehoe House are the strongest and most frequently experienced phantoms at the Inn. Their sweet voices may be heard and toys brought in by visitors will move on their own. Lights will flicker on and off, and the gentle child-like footsteps will be heard throughout the night. Guests, as well as the owners, agree that this inn offers all great comfort while gently taking care of the living.
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