Savannah is a city with more than its fair share of fascinating stories. From the Revolutionary War to today, this beautiful coastal Georgia town has been steeped in history, conflict, heartbreak, and beauty. The classic southern charm of the region can be felt in every inch of Savannah, inviting you to come in and sit down to sumptuous meals that are paired with the perfect cocktails. Be sure to keep an eye out for unexpected guests, though. Not all that dramatic past might have stayed in the past, and you may just be sharing a meal with spirits from days gone by.
Top 5 Haunted Places in Savannah, GA
1. Bonaventure Cemetery
As you make your way through the elaborate Gothic mausoleums and tombstones you may feel as though you’ve walked onto the set of a classic horror film. Spanish moss hangs from the trees and an unearthly hush surrounds the scene. Within this spooky setting, you will find the statue of 6-year-old Gracie Watson. She died of pneumonia in 1869, and her father had the statue carved to mark her grave. The little stone girl is said to weep actual tears sometimes, perhaps still mourning a life that was cut too short.
2. Hamilton-Turner Inn
This lovely inn was once the house of the Hamilton family, built in 1873. It was the center of much high society entertaining, as dinners and dances were held there regularly. As the story goes, the children of the house would be sent upstairs to play in the billiards room, but they did not want to be left out of the fun. They would roll billiard balls down the stairs to give them an excuse to go down and glimpse the party.
Today, guests report hearing billiard balls rattling down the stairs, and on some nights you may see a man standing on the roof, smoking a cigar. It’s the sign of a great party when the guest doesn’t want to leave — even almost a century and a half later.
3. The Moon River Brewing Company
The building was once the City Hotel, built in 1821. It was originally the site of glittering parties and celebrations, but the fortunes of the hotel didn’t last. It was seized and turned into a hospital during the yellow fever epidemic, and when the city was captured by General Sherman during the civil war, it was used as a military hospital.
So many people died in this building that it’s probably no surprise that people report seeing and feeling ghostly presences. There are troublesome spirits in the basement and upstairs that trick and torment people. A woman in period dress is often spotted at the top of the stairs, looking down. People describe the sensation of someone bumping into them, and hands clutching at their sleeves as they walk by.
4. The Haunted 17hundred90 Inn
Construction on this inn began in 1821, and its most long-staying guest checked in not long after it opened. Anne was a newlywed, freshly married to an English sailor. Anne received word that her husband had died, and she was so distraught that she threw herself off the second story balcony and died.
Anne’s spirit seems to have chosen room 204 as her permanent residence. Many people have reported strange events in the room that the inn keeps a notebook in the room for guests. They write down their experiences with Anne, who likes to move things around and knock small items over.
5. Colonial Park Cemetery
Opened in 1750, Colonial Park is the oldest remaining burial grounds in the city. Although more than 10,000 people are buried there, fewer than 1,000 grave markers remain. Mass graves explain some of the missing headstones, but many of them were destroyed by vandals. Perhaps this is why so many spirits there are restless.
One such specter is Rene Rondolier, from the late 1800s. Rene was a man who had grown up alone, having been orphaned at a young age. He was well known for his unusual height of seven feet tall, and rumors of violence followed him around. As the story goes, Rene murdered two girls and hid their bodies in tunnels below the cemetery. When the locals found out they hunted him down and killed him. His unusually large size makes him easily recognizable as his shadowy form wanders the grounds of the cemetery.
That said, history records no such person, so this story is just that, a story. And every tour guide has their own version of Rene. But if you think about hundreds of people telling this tale, decade after decade, it’s not so crazy to think that our words alone could have manifested some amalgamation of Rene Rondolier and he’s in there, right now, trudging past the broken graves, on the hunt.
Savannah is a city with many riches and the stories that come with them. At Nightly Spirits our knowledgeable guides love to walk people through the history and intrigue of the past. Join us for a riveting tour through some of the city’s premier haunted spots. We also have pub crawls and food tours, all with a side of the supernatural. Book your tour today!