United States

Haunted Savannah

The undead are quite alive in Savannah. They live in Savannah’s centuries-old tales of unsettled Native American, slave and war-battered spirits. They knock about in big beautiful mansions, popular pubs and inns, sending chills down the spines of visitors taking moonlit tours by trolley, foot, or even by hearse. 

The “Hostess City” has carried dark secrets since its beginnings when it was built upon Native American burial grounds. Waves of tragic and violent events—bloody skirmishes, slavery, epidemics and hurricanes—have seemingly left an active population of apparitions, ghosts and poltergeists, and no shortage of chances to see dead people in one of America’s most haunted cities.

Photography By Britt Reints, Flickr

1. Bonaventure Cemetery

Spanish moss eerily hangs over the Gothic tombstones and mausoleums of Savannah’s well-known dead like songwriter Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken, but it’s the haunting statues of two little girls that have made Bonaventure Cemetery most famous. The first is the forlorn “Bird Girl” featured on the cover of the best-selling book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The statue, marked a family plot when it was photographed for the book cover, has since been moved to the Telfair Museum of Art because overzealous fans took pieces of the statue for posterity. The other statue is of cherubic Little Gracie Watson who died of pneumonia at the age of 6 in 1889, leaving behind a grief-stricken father. Her likeness is said to weep on occasion, crying real tears. Explore the markers on your own or join a tour likely to be packed with 1 to 2 hours of paranormal trivia.

Bonaventure Cemetery

330 Bonaventure Road Savannah, GA 31404

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Phone: (912) 651-6843

Photography By VisitSavannah.com

2. Olde Pink House Restaurant and Tavern

The Olde Pink House, a Savannah dining institution that serves low country cuisine like crispy flounder with grits and collard greens, is also haunted. James Habersham Jr. built the home in the late 1700s and hung himself there, distraught over his wife’s death. Servers at the restaurant say that the ghostly Habersham is a bit of a neat freak and likes to straighten table settings and put chairs in their proper place, while his children like to lock ladies in the downstairs bathroom, despite the removal of locks. The restaurant staff is happy to dish out more haunting details while serving up fried green tomatoes and hush puppies.

Olde Pink House Restaurant and Tavern

23 Abercorn Street Savannah, GA 31401

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Phone: (912) 232-4286

Photography By Ashley Roberson

3. 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant

It stands to reason that Savannah’s oldest inn would be haunted. Guests who’ve heard the story of Anna Powers ask to see room 204, the room she lived in when she was alive in the late 1700s and 1800s. Anna fell in love with an English sailor while staying at the inn. They married, but something went terribly wrong. The details are unclear but something drove Anna to jump to her death from one of the hotel windows. Today, she still haunts room 204 and, particularly, couples staying at the inn. Guests chronicle their encounters with Anna in a small pink notebook on the bedside table. If you manage to make it through the night with heartsick Anna, you may want to celebrate with one of the Inn’s signature cocktails like a Tybee Island iced tea or a Georgia peach martini.

17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant

307 East President St Savannah, GA 31401

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Phone: (912) 236-7122

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About the Author

Robin Bennefield is a freelance writer and author of the travel blog, Robins Have Wings. She has climbed a volcano in Nicaragua, shopped for knock-off designer handbags in the backroom of a Shanghai kitchen and watched camels meander through her tented camp in the Sahara. She is hoping that her sip from the fountain of youth in Itaparica will have lasting effects.

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