With so many haunted locations to choose from in Savannah, these 10 are among the best places to (maybe) see a ghost while visiting Georgia’s first city.
1. 17hundred90 Inn & Restaurant
Boasting one of the oldest establishments in Savannah, the Inn has what is perhaps Savannah’s most haunted room. Room 204, also know as Anna’s Room, is frequently requested by curious customers because of its eerie past and frequent ghostly activity. Guests requesting the room used to sign a waiver indicating they understood no refund would be issued if Anna frightened them into checking out early. Famous guests have included Miley Cyrus who, along with her mother, claims she had an encounter with Anna in 2009 while filming "The Last Song."
Sightings often include seeing Anna herself, a strange ethereal fog in the hallway, or having covers snatched off of the bed in the middle of the night. Request this room early, as reservations can be hard to get, particularly around Halloween. Remember... no refunds if Anna wants you to leave early.
2. Moon River Brewing Company
An iconic microbrewery and restaurant located on one of Savannah’s busiest streets, The Moon River Brewing Company actually got its start as the first hotel in Savannah, named City Hotel, which began service in 1821. Peter Wiltberger purchased the building in 1851 and he immediately put two live lions on display to draw attention to the hotel and it promptly became known as a meeting location for duels.
In 1999, it became Moon River Brewing Company with a first floor bar and restaurant, but the odd stories on the second floor continue to this day. Attempts to renovate the upstairs have been met with ghostly resistance for decades. Workers complain of being pushed by an unseen force, constant unexplained problems with equipment, eerie cold spots that linger no matter the room temperature, and unwavering feelings of being watched. Today, the upstairs can be visited on ghost tours and visitors frequently report their own supernatural experiences at the brewery.
3. The Abercorn House
The Abercorn House sits on Calhoun Square and is one of the most controversial haunted stops in Savannah. This particular home has many wild stories about its history that might explain the occurrences near the home, such as the remains of slaves unearthed just steps from the property.
The constant allure of the home remains for one very important reason: the number of ghostly sightings and unexplained experiences that people have when getting near it. While the historical fine points of the Abercorn house are debated, those who draw near post their own stories and photos online in numbers that rival or surpass any other stop on our list. Some of the more common reports are feeling ill when nearing the home and cameras batteries failing or completely refusing to photograph the home.
Please note the Abercorn house is private property and you should never trespass here. The home can be viewed and photographed from Calhoun Square.
4. The Pirates House
Built sometime between 1753 and 1794, this is one of the oldest buildings in Savannah and home to some of the city’s oldest ghost stories.
Long before eager visitors started coming to East Broad Street for southern fare, the building known as The Pirates House was a gathering spot for sea-worn sailors who had just dropped anchor in Savannah’s busy port. As you might suspect, the building was a place for drinking, brawling, and many unsavory activities. For instance, through privateering, many unsuspecting people woke up aboard ships hungover, kidnapped, and forced to adapt to slave labor on the high seas.
Present day, staff at The Pirates House claim to see the apparitions of stumbling sailors, particularly in the damp cellar area. Even workers have reported feeling dazed and out of sorts when venturing there, much like the drunken sailors and those seized by privateers hundreds of years earlier.
5. The Marshall House
Easily one of the most beautiful buildings in Savannah, The Marshall House was built in 1851. Major renovations in the late 1990’s not only transformed it into the luxury hotel it is today but also unearthed a shocking discovery: numerous severed limbs underneath the floorboards.
During General Sherman’s occupation, Union troops used part of the hotel as a hospital and one of the most common surgeries was cutting off injured arms and legs. These amputations were performed in little more than a minute, without pain medicine or anesthesia and often resulted in death from infection or blood loss. This rudimentary procedure first began in England and led to surgeons being called “Sawbones”. Their unfortunate patient would indeed be given a lead bullet in order to “bite the bullet” and endure the insufferable pain. As the limbs piled up, the Union soldiers tucked them away, hiding them quietly beneath the floorboards. They were left to decompose slowly in the record cold winter of 1864 and for the many years the hotel stood unoccupied after Sherman’s departure.
Present day guests and even a hotel manager report seeing expressionless figures roaming the halls, dressed in Union blue overcoats and missing an arm (or even both)... perhaps the very ones taken away by local police during the modern renovation.
6. Calhoun Square
Built in 1851 and located in the southern part of the Historic District, Calhoun Square is named for John C. Calhoun, Vice President of the United States. He was eloquently known as “The Great Orator of the South,” so perhaps it is only fitting that the square named for a great speaker is so well known for capturing recordings of ghostly sounds and supernatural voices, known as EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomena).
On many nights, paranormal investigators and the casually curious can be seen trying their luck in Calhoun Square, voice recorders and cameras in hand. The source of the EVP’s is a mystery, but among many enthusiasts, this square is known as one of the best places in the United States to capture messages from beyond. One reason may be the numerous slave burials that took place in and around the Calhoun Square area. Even in the late 20th century bodily remains, including a human skull, continued to be unearthed by utility workers and work crews.
7. The Olde Pink House
Sitting on Reynolds Square, the unmistakable ‘Pink House’ was originally the home of Revolutionary war hero James Habersham Jr. The Olde Pink House was completed in 1789 and has been featured nationally for its haunted activity.
The restaurant is a shining example of beautiful architecture and fine southern dining, and while it is known for the romantic atmosphere and creative cuisine, a bitter lifelong family dispute may be responsible for the number of ghostly sightings reported here. Most maintain the disagreements of the Habersham family originally started over which side to support during The Revolutionary War.
Both staff and guests are quick to share their experiences, particularly in the downstairs bar area known as Planters Tavern. Over the years, there have been reports of strange orbs darting through the dining rooms while silverware, plates, and even tablecloths have been upended and tossed into the air. Patrons to the restaurant and tavern have seen men and women in Colonial style dress and believe them to be costumed tour guides, street performers, or reenactors, only to watch them vanish before their eyes. Some might blame ‘spirits’ of another kind for these sightings, but the ever-sober staff maintains that The Olde Pink House is indeed haunted. Many visitors to this elegant location will agree.
8. The Savannah Theater
The Savannah Theater opened its doors in 1818 and is the oldest continuously operating theater in The United States. Many famous performers have graced the stage, including Fanny Davenport, W.C. Fields, and Edwin Booth - the brother of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Lincoln.
The theater has endured several fires since it opened, and currently sits on Chippewa Square adorned in the Art Deco style of its last major renovation. Fires and hauntings seem to go hand in hand at the theater, as one story involves performers seeing a ring of fire form in one of the dressing rooms and then put itself out just as suddenly as it started. Police officers have reported hearing strange noises coming from the theater only to find nothing upon investigation. Staff members have reported seeing shadowy figures disappear and hearing performances on stage long after the last show ended.
Could it be some of the legendary performers that played the Savannah Theater, occasionally returning for an encore performance? Many people who have spent time in the theater believe they have.
9. Bradley’s Lock and Key
Stepping into Bradley’s Lock and Key may be as close as you will come to stepping back in time while in Savannah. The building was completed in 1855 and the Bradley family has occupied it since 1883.
Bradley’s has stayed true to its mission and produced three generations of locksmiths. A few of the original features have slipped away, such as umbrella repair. Decades ago, it was cheaper to repair an umbrella than replace it! The current Bradley owner says it was once a big business, but locks have not been the only passion at Bradley’s. Aaron Bradley, the second Bradley to own the business, was an accomplished séance man and hypnotist. Between locks and spiritualism, it is no surprise they became friends with another family that included a lover of such things. The current owner, William Houdini Bradley, gained his middle name from the great escape artist and spiritualist, Harry Houdini. In the back corner of Bradley’s, you can still find an original photo of Harry and his wife dated in handwritten script, Nice 12-6-1, thirteen years before Harry’s death. Members of the family continue to visit Bradley’s, including Hardeen Harry Houdini, the great nephew of Harry who is a magician and performer himself.
Visitors and staff are very open about the ghostly activity at the shop. During the day, keys fly across the room and the front door bell rings as it opens on its own. At night, passersby claim to see strange mists and shadowy figures busily moving around the curious shop with the key covered walls. Could Aaron’s renowned talent for hypnotism and séances have attracted spectral visitors to Bradley’s? Perhaps even their old family friend Harry?
10. Colonial Park Cemetery
Founded in 1750, Colonial Cemetery is now a park, but the Revolutionary War heroes, yellow fever victims, and dueling rivals buried here continue to provide ample opportunities for ghostly sightings. The outer perimeter is a staple stop for nightly ghost tours and strange images and otherworldly encounters are frequently reported at this Savannah landmark.
The fence around Colonial park is but a fraction of the original cemetery. During the height of its use it contained over 10,000 burials, but less than a thousand are confined within the present day borders of the park. Where are the rest of the bodies? As any Savannah historian will tell you, they are now resting underneath modern day Savannah and have been discovered quite frequently during the city’s various expansions. This may explain why so many of Savannah’s departed are said to linger in a timeless state of unrest.
Sightings in the cemetery are usually young children in period dress roaming among the headstones, strange mists or an isolated fog, and even a "Grim Reaper" figure that often appears on the southern side of the park. One Italian historian noted that, after encountering the shadowy apparition one evening, it is not uncommon for the Grim Reaper figure to appear in and around cemeteries accommodating large numbers of people who have died tragically, such as the yellow fever epidemics.
When planning your own excursion, please note the cemetery closes at sunset and no one is allowed in the cemetery after hours.
These are just 10 of the many haunted locations to choose from in Savannah, Georgia. There are many ghost and history tours to choose from in Savannah, as well as books and maps to guide you through the rest of all that Savannah has to offer.