Savannah is known for three things: its Antebellum architecture, for being home to the second largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the United States, and most importantly, ghosts. Lots and lots of ghosts. There are so many hauntings in Savannah that you might not know where to start exploring. Fortunately, this ghost guide will have you poking into all the creepiest corners of the Hostess City in the South.
At a whopping 100 acres, Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the biggest in the state, if not the country. If walking sounds too daunting, don’t worry: you can drive around the winding pathways and lanes. According to pretty much everyone who visits, it’s eerily quiet and still, but breathtakingly beautiful. It's also Savannah's most haunted cemetery.
The most common haunting associated with Bonaventure centers around the grave of Gracie Watson, a child whose ghost is often heard crying in the middle of the night. Even spookier? Her monument is said to cry tears of blood.
As if creepy, crying statues weren't enough, the cemetery is allegedly haunted by a pack of ghostly dogs as well. Paranormal investigators have reported actually being chased from the cemetery by the spectral canines! Better wear your running shoes, just in case.
Named after former Savannah Governor James Jackson, Old Fort Jackson isn't just Georgia's oldest standing brick fortification, it's one of the oldest on the entire East Coast. Ghosts are basically a given at a place like this.
Visitors have reported everything from the ghost of Patrick Garrity, who murdered his superior officer, to mysterious lights, to the sounds of phantom cannons firing from the walls.
Ghosts or not, Old Fort Jackson is absolutely worth a stop. Be sure to schedule your visit around one of their weekend cannon firings!
Since 1753, The Pirate's House has been a staple of Savannah's visitors... and some of them liked it so much they decided to stick around long after death.
When it first opened as an inn for sailors, it wasn't long before The Pirate's House was swarming with actual pirates. The salty sea dogs were infamous for drinking themselves into a frenzy, starting violent fights, and even killing fellow patrons. The unluckiest often woke up to find themselves on a ship miles at sea, forced into piracy after a bit too much grog at the Pirate's House.
Today, these rowdy seamen are still said to linger in the restaurant, causing many of the staff to refuse solitary work after closing hours. The sounds of ghostly footsteps echo through the restaurant on quiet nights, doors open and close by themselves, and passerby have even captured some compelling photographs of phantom sailors in the windows of the establishment.
Looking for the perfect place to stay in Savannah? Check out Laura's Cottage— it’s a beautiful old pine cabin dating to 1799, complete with “antiques, original regional artwork, and oriental carpets” and its very own ghost, because no visit to Savannah is complete without meeting at least one spooky spirit! Laura’s Cottage is a popular stop on many Savannah ghost tours.
The owners don’t have a whole ton of background on the cottage’s resident ghost beyond acknowledging her existence (and that Laura once lived in the cabin and was known for the lovely flowers she cared for) but they give plenty of info on the cabin itself. It’s 1,000 square feet, with three beds, a full kitchen, laundry on site, and off-street parking, plus it’s in an amazing central location within walking distance of many of downtown’s main attractions, like Forsyth Park, as well as countless historical sites and museums. Despite all this, it's still in a wooded area with a peaceful, secluded garden. Basically, you get the best of both worlds!
Built in 1892 by William Kehoe, the Kehoe House is a lovingly restored Renaissance Revival Mansion that sits in the middle of Savannah's Historic District. Thanks to its age and its stint as a funeral home, the Kehoe House is now home to a few ghosts... and get this: you can spend the night with them.
Now a four-star bed and breakfast, the Kehoe House is rumored to be haunted by William Kehoe's twin children. The phantom kids are often seen playing in the hall, only to disappear in an instant. Lights are seen flickering, the doorbell rings on its own, and the laughter of the ghostly twins can be heard in the middle of the night.
Rooms 201 and 203 are considered the most active in the mansion, with reports that an unseen entity has a habit of sitting on the bed while you're in it. Good luck catching some sleep here.
Once the home of Revolutionary war hero James Habersham Jr., the Olde Pink House now serves as a five-star restaurant where the spirits aren't just located behind the bar.
While you dine on a delicious serving of crispy scored flounder, keep your eyes out for Habersham himself, who has been reported to haunt the 18th-century mansion. Staff have reported being tapped with wine bottles and heard the sound of dice being tossed at the walls, remnants of the building's checkered past.
Be sure to visit the downstairs bar, where patrons tend to have the most encounters with the spirit of James Habersham, who likes to hang out near the piano.
Savannah’s Moon River Brewing Company isn't just one of the most-loved breweries in the city, it's also the most haunted. The spirits of the building are so active, in fact, that it's even been featured on Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures!
Employees of the Moon River Brewing Company have witnessed everything from ghostly apparitions wandering the property to levitating bottles of beer. The brewery has seen so much evidence of the paranormal that they've even dedicated a special brew to their resident spirits: their tasty Apparition Ale.
Be sure to pull up a chair in the restaurant for some great southern food and a tasty microbrew, but watch out for "Toby", a ghost that likes to push patrons around a bit.
While you can always visit each and every haunted locale in Savannah, there's nothing like hearing a spooky tale when it's coming from a world-class storyteller. Fortunately, Ghost City Tours loans them out one ghost walk at a time.
You can sign up for one of four creepy walks that cover everything from the hauntings of the Colonial Park Cemetery, to tales of voodoo and murder. They even have a Haunted Pub Crawl which will have you hitting all of Savannah's historic pubs and bars, so you know that spirits are guaranteed.
The Marshall House, built in 1851, is Savannah's oldest hotel, and for those who have spent the night inside its nearly-two-century-old walls, it's also one of the most haunted.
Guests at the hotel have witnessed faucets turning on by themselves, flickering lights, and even the voices calling their names... when no one is there.
The hauntings should come as no surprise, considering that the Marshall House has served as a Civil War hospital. Recent renovations have even turned up bones buried under the floorboards; historians say they're likely the amputated limbs of Confederate soldiers.
The Owens-Thomas House ranks high on ghost hunters' lists of Savannah's most haunted, but it's also an architectural beauty to behold. Tours of the building will take you through the entire house, including the opulent bedrooms (many with original furniture still intact) and the former slave quarters.
Before her death, Margaret Thomas, granddaughter of former Savannah mayor George Welshman Owens, donated the home to the Telfair Museum of Art, but guides say that they still see Margaret roaming the grounds, tending to her beloved garden.
Pay special attention to the house's parlor, where a ghost in a white dress has been spotted on more than a few occasions.
Often referred to as "the most haunted hotel in the most haunted city in America", the 17Hundred90 Inn was originally three separate residences that now make up one of the oldest hotels in Savannah.
Room 204 is the star of the show here, where legends say that a woman named Anna took her own life by leaping from an open window. The repercussions of that event are still felt in the room, where guests have reported startling wake-ups to the sound of shattering glass, items that mysteriously move on their own, and in some cases, even seeing the ghostly visage of Anna standing at the foot of their bed.
Let's be honest, you're not booking a room in a haunted hotel to catch any ZZZ's anyway.
Juliette Gordon Low is best known as the founder of the Girl Scouts, and they've honored her legacy by turning her former home into an incredible museum that celebrates her life and work. Today, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace hosts over 65,000 visitors a year, and a lot of them have seen some pretty strange things...
The overall feeling in the stately mansion is that Nelly Gordon, Low's mother, has decided to stick around to keep an eye on her home. Guests often see her staring out of windows, sitting quietly at the dining room table, and even playing the piano in the living room.
Maybe the Girl Scouts should consider offering a Ghost Hunting badge.
Madison Square already tops sightseeing lists, but there's a spookier side to this popular Savannah square. Once the sun sets, the spirits of the dead have a habit of coming out to play, treating many visitors to dark, mysterious shadows that dance in the street lights, cold chills, and the sounds of disembodied voices that echo through the streets.
Locals have long considered Madison Square one of the most haunted outdoor areas in Savannah, a distinction that many believe comes from the bodies of British soldiers found buried beneath the stately private homes surrounding the square.
Built in 1873 by Samuel Pugh Hamilton, the Hamilton-Turner Inn has served as a home for two prominent families, a gathering place for Savannah's elite, and even a boarding house for Marine Hospital Nurses. Today, the historic building is a bed & breakfast known for its Southern hospitality and luxurious accommodations, not to mention rumors of bumps in the night.
Those who've slept in the inn have come away with stories of phantom footsteps walking down the halls, cold chills moving throughout the room, and even sightings of full-body apparitions of Civil War soldiers.
Fun fact: The Hamilton-Turner Inn was the first home in Savannah to receive electricity! It was such a strange addition at the time that spectators feared the house might explode!
If you're having trouble getting the real ghosts to show themselves, you can always see a few on a technicality.
Escape Savannah offers a spooky take on the "Room Escape" craze, trapping you in a room with a Victorian ghost. You and your friends attempt to solve the mysterious death of Miss Charlotte Ann Pemberton.. with a little help from the afterlife, of course.
If you're already road-weary by the time you make it to Savannah, you might not be in the mood to drive to each and every spot on this list. Don't worry, you can always have someone else drive you. In a hearse.
Hearse Ghost Tours is the only tour in the city that will drive you to all of Savannah's creepiest haunts in a fleet of actual hearses that were in service for over fifteen years.
Consider it a sneak peek of your final road trip.
With its rich history, incredible architecture, and more than a few tragic tales, there's no wonder Savannah is referred to as the most haunted city in America.
Whether or not you find yourself in the presence of lingering spirits, you'll still come away from Georgia's oldest city with an appreciation for its haunting reputation. Who knows, you just might decide to stick around Savannah yourself.