Savannah has been called the most haunted city in America many times. There are centuries of southern drama embedded in the architecture and burial grounds of the Historic District. The stories behind the haunting’s are as intriguing as the events. Here are Savannah’s top 5 haunted places and their stories.
1. Wright Square and the ghost of Alice Ryley. Alice Ryley was a young Irish immigrant who worked as an indentured servant for a cruel aristocrat named William Wise. On March 16, 1734, Alice, tired of Mr. Wise’s abuse, murdered him with the help of her lover. A pregnant Alice Ryley was sentenced to death by hanging in the gallows of Wright Square, but not until after her baby was born. Just days after her son was born, Alice became the first woman in Georgia to be executed as she wailed for her new born child. Alice’s ghost has been seen many times wondering Wright Square and has been heard crying for her baby.
2. The Kehoe House on Columbia Square. While most associate haunting with tragedy and violence, the haunting at The Kehoe House seems to be more curious and friendly. The house was completed in 1892 when Mr. and Mrs. Kehoe and their ten children moved into their new home. Having changed hands a few times since, the house has been a boarding house, funeral parlor, and held for a time by football star, Joe Namath. In 1992 the house opened as a bed and breakfast and reviews from guests have regularly reported encounters since. Children in the hallways, a gentleman in the original study, laughing children where there are none, and guests objects being oddly placed.
3. The Marshall House was built and opened in 1851 as a hotel in Savannah’s premier shopping district of Brought Street. From 1865-1865 the hotel was occupied by General Sherman’s Union army and used as a hospital. Again in 1876 the hotel was used as a hospital during a yellow fever epidemic that killed over 1,000 people. The death in the building is blamed for frequent strange sightings and occurrences. Guests report figures that appear and disappear, running down hallways with no person in sight, and in particular, water faucets turning themselves on.
4. The Old Pink House. Now one of Savannah’s most popular restaurants, The Pink House was built in 1771 by James Habersham Jr. Mr Habersham is rumored to have hung himself in the basement of the building in 1799 distraught over his wife’s death. The building has been occupied by the Union Army, served as a bank, and eventually a tea room opened in the 1930’s. The restaurant has been open for over 50 years. Servers and patrons alike have experienced and seen strange things. A manly figure thought to be Mr. Habersham is seen in the winter months typically on quiet Sunday afternoons. Candles that are blown out are known to re-light. A woman sobbing has been heard on the second floor, many women have complained of someone holding the basement bathroom door so they couldn’t exit, and wine bottle frequently move in the basement tavern. A security camera captured what many think is a ghost in 2011.
5. 432 Abercorn Street on Calhoun Square. This is more of an UNSTORY with a creepy ending. Built in 1868 for General Benjamin J. Wilson, the house at 432 Abercorn has been a favorite stop for ghost tours in Savannah for years. Once one of the most grand homes of the city, the property now sits empty and dilapidated in the middle of the historic district. Stories of neglected children that died, murdered families, and disappearing persons are among the tales that ghost tours will tell. While none of those stories are true, the only historically relevant fact is that the area of Calhoun Square was a slave burial ground. What can’t be denied is the intensely ill feeling that many people have described that comes over them when venture around the property. Frequently electronics such as phones and cameras won’t work when near the house. In other words, bad juju around 432 Abercorn.
Azalea Inn and Gardens, a Savannah GA bed and breakfast inn, invites you to reserve a room today to begin enjoying the best experiences in our city, which Travel + Leisure Magazine acclaimed as a “World’s Best City.”