Do you believe in ghosts? We have taken a few ghost tours over time and I must say I do find them fascinating. We even spent a night in the Old Melbourne Gaol while they were filming an episode of Ghost Hunters, but that is a story for another time. Savannah, Georgia is known as one of the most haunted cities in the USA, so we knew we had to take a ghost tour and find out why!
Ghosts in Savannah
With a rather late start of 10 pm, our Zombie Tour with Blue Orb Ghost Tours promised us a fun filled night of learning the ghost stories and legends of Savannah. With these types of things, you always wonder if the guide actually believes in ghosts or not? Apparently so does everyone else because it was one of the first things, Joseph, our guide for the evening addressed. And yes, he was a believer and as the night wore on we found out lots more details of why!
Savannah itself is an old city and many old cities report hauntings. Wars, disease, natural disasters, fires and of course slavery mean many people would have died in unpleasant circumstances. A lot of modern-day Savannah is literally built atop old graveyards and cemeteries.
During the American Civil War, or the War of Northern Aggression as it is referred to in the South, (a reminder history is a matter of perspective much like the Vietnamese call the Vietnam War the American War) General Sherman did not burn Savannah on his ”March to the Sea”. The means unlike large parts of the South, homes in Savannah have stood for centuries. The Historic District of Savannah is somewhat unique in the number of old original homes. It also means they have had many inhabitants and seen a lot of history, not all of it pleasant!
There are lots of reported sightings and many stories of ghosts including many of the old hotels, inns and restaurants. You can explore many of these places on your own. The Blue Orb tours takes you to none of these places.
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Hags, Zombies and More
I won’t give away all the secrets, you need to take the tour yourself. However if you have wondered where such sayings as haggard, dead ringers, the graveyard shift, and saved by the bell originate, then this is the tour for you!
Joseph was a great storyteller, and the tour combines local history, local legends, a few audio visual aids and his own personal paranormal experiences with those from beyond to create a fun-filled entertaining evening.
We were encouraged to take pictures and/or film with a video camera as often “things” that don’t appear to the naked eye do appear on film. (We learned this in our night with the film crew in the Melbourne Gaol as well.) So, if you have a video or still camera bring it along. You never know what you might bring home!
We also learned the reason for the late start for the tour of 10 pm (it was winter and dark by 6:30 pm.- paranormal activity levels increase later in the evening!
In the Light of Day
I have to say walking by a couple of these buildings the next day, even in broad daylight, gave me the creeps after the stories we had heard the previous night.
One of the homes from the tour, reputed to be haunted, is still owned by the same family. They have boarded it up and refused to sell it or let others live in it less they experience the same “visitors” they encountered! They must believe this strongly as the property today is in the historic district of Savannah and would be worth well over a million dollars just for the land!
Two of the other homes you can tour during the day time. Having heard the stories, we did not. One of them features rather prominently in the story and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I haven’t seen the movie or read the book, but it’s now on my list.
So now you know why Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in America!
Thank you to the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce for their support. As always, the opinions expressed on Compass & Fork are our own.