The most haunted places in Savannah are often quite beautiful by day, but they take on a more sinister aura by the light of the moon. Maybe it’s the Spanish moss swaying gently in the trees that causes the hair on the back of your neck to stand at attention? Or perhaps it’s the plethora of strange ghost tour guides wandering around dressed in creepy period attire?
Whatever the case, there are certain areas of the city that give me the heebie jeebies more than others, and today I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you!
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If you’re new around here, first of all…welcome! I’m Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. I love introducing visitors to the city, and I’m a huge fan of all things haunted. I live downtown near Forsyth Park, and I spend almost all of my free time exploring the city!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the pandemic, I currently advise against any unnecessary travel and hope you’ll stay home and stay safe. If you’re committed to traveling to Savannah, be advised that the city is under an active mask mandate and do your part to keep our residents — and yourself — safe and healthy.
Savannah Ghost Tour Map
To make things easier, I’ve added each of the locations to a handy map that you can download to your phone, tablet, or computer. Click on any ghost to get additional info for that location. All are within walking distance in the Historic District, but you’ll need a car to get to Bonaventure.
You can download the map here.
I always say the best way to see Savannah is to get out and explore it on your own two feet! If this is your first (or second, or third!) visit to the city, be sure to pick up a copy of my ebook about Savannah. It contains all of my best insider tips in one handy guide!
Most Haunted Places in Savannah
I feel like I should post a little disclaimer first:
In all my years of hunting ghosts, I’ve never actually seen any. I can feel ’em, though! I’m one of those super sensitive types who can sense others’ emotions before they ever vocalize them. I also sense the energy around me.
In fact…I’m often referred to as a SLIder, which is the nickname for a person who exhibits Street Light Interference phenomenon. It means that sometimes when I walk past streetlights, they’ll automatically turn off or on just by my presence.
It’s actually quite entertaining if you happen to spot me walking in Forsyth Park. There are certain lampposts I can touch and the lights will just cut right out. People tend to steer very clear of me when that happens.
Anyway, my point is…I can sense energy and am highly sensitive to places that have a weightier feel to them. With that in mind, here are some of the most haunted places in Savannah that you can see and — in some cases — even tour!
In the late 1700s to early 1800s, Savannah was one of the leading exporters of cotton. Men known as cotton “factors” worked along the bustling riverfront, and it’s where they set the prices for cotton worldwide.
The area soon came to be known as Factors Walk, and it’s one of my all-time favorite spots to explore in Savannah!
Today Factors Walk still looks very much like it did hundreds of years ago. If you explore the area, you’ll find the eerie Cluskey Vaults, the Cotton Exchange Building, the Stone Stairs of Death, and numerous sealed-off tunnels.
The tunnels once led into the basements of buildings located on nearby Bay Street. There’s been speculation that the tunnels were used to transport enslaved men and women from the river to the city’s slave auction blocks.
Even though the tunnels are bricked over now, there are a few places where the bricks have been knocked loose. You can even reach your cell phone inside to take a picture — if you’re brave enough. I’ve only done it once, but that’s mainly because I’m more scared of having bugs crawl on me than I am of catching a ghost.
Personally, I think Factors Walk is one of the spookiest places you can visit in the entire city! One of my favorite local businesses is there, too. If you’re into the weird and unusual, you should definitely check out Graveface Museum. It has an entire room dedicated to showcasing serial killer memorabilia, plus it’s loaded with all kinds of other oddities.
The many shadowy nooks and crannies on the lower two levels of Factors Walk are common resting spots for transient travelers, so that helps add to the spook factor. You never know who might be watching you as you explore!
If you decide to go, it’s definitely spookiest at night. However, I don’t recommend exploring Factors Walk on your own after dark. Take a group of friends with you, and make sure everyone stays alert.
One last tip: In my personal opinion, I find the western half of Factors Walk spookier the eastern side.
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. You can wander around on your own or go on a guided ghost tour. Check out all of my favorite Savannah tours here.
Factors Walk | Located between Bay & River Streets, Savannah, Georgia 31401
This home just can’t shake its haunted reputation, even though it’s currently undergoing an extensive multi-million dollar renovation.
It was originally constructed in 1869 for the Wilson family. In recent times, the home stood empty for roughly 40 years on one of the most sought-after lots in the entire city. The house actually had an owner for all those years…she just refused to live it!
Paying thousands of dollars per year in property taxes just to let a multi-million dollar house sit empty and unused definitely helped cement its standing as the most haunted home in Savannah.
The photos above show what 432 Abercorn looked like in 2018, before the new owners started on the renovation work.
The most persistent tale about this house is that the original owner, Benjamin Wilson, left his daughter tied to a chair in her room for days on end in the sweltering Savannah heat. He did this to punish her for playing with children he considered “beneath” the family’s standing.
After she (reportedly) died, Wilson became so distraught that he is said to have killed himself in the home.
Many ghost hunters claim you can still spot the girl’s face in a second-story window as she peers outside, watching children from the nearby Massie School at play without her in Calhoun Square across the street.
From there, additional stories about the home took on a life of their own…
There’s the wacky tale of a triple homicide in the home, plus rumors that Anton LaVey attempted to purchase the house to use it as the East Coast branch for his organization, the Church of Satan, and the long-standing rumor that your camera will break if you attempt to photograph the home.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a home in Savannah with more haunted stories surrounding it than this one!
I write in detail about the tales above, plus more theories, in my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. I also separate fact from fiction in the ebook and tell you what’s true vs. the rumors that have spread over time!
Q: Can you tour it? No. You can walk past to see it, and many of the ghost tours drive by it, but it’s a private residence and there are no tours of the interior.
432 Abercorn | 432 Abercorn, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Although many of Savannah’s peaceful squares are adorned with beautiful Southern live oaks draped in Spanish moss, you’ll find that Wright Square isn’t one of them.
It’s a stunning square, no doubt! But the moss refuses to grow on any of the trees in the square. Many claim that’s because the moss won’t grow where wicked spirits flow.
I just made that up. Ha! Some ghost tour guide is probably going to steal it from me as soon as they read this.
(Just remember, folks…you heard it here first. I’m the cheesiest.)
It really has been said that the moss won’t grow in any areas where ghosts linger. If that’s true, then Wright Square has good reason to be moss-free, since it’s also known as the Hanging Square.
It’s where some of Savannah’s earliest convicted criminals met their untimely death. Like Alice Riley, who was hanged there for committing the first murder on record in the city of Savannah — way back in the year 1735.
A few days before she died, Alice gave birth to a baby that was quickly taken from her. Now it’s said her spirit wanders Wright Square in search of a newborn baby to cuddle as her own.
The square is also home to the marker of Yamacraw Indian Chief Tomochichi — an ally to General Oglethorpe, who founded the colony of Georgia. Even though his marker is in the square, Tomochichi’s remains have been, shall we say “misplaced” with the passage of time.
Some brilliant ghost tour guide decided to start the rumor that if you circle his monument three times and ask, “Where is Tomochichi?,” he’ll respond with, “Nowhere” as his snarky whispered comeback.
Give it a try it if you want, and let me know what happens. (Most likely, you’ll just get some goofy looks from locals and no response from Tomochichi.)
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. You can explore it on your own 24-hours a day. Many of the guided ghost tours also include it as a stop.
Wright Square | Intersection of Bull & W York Streets, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Moon River Brewing
The Moon River Brewing Company is one of the older still-standing buildings in Savannah. It was constructed in 1821 and originally served as the City Hotel. Here’s a postcard from the Georgia Historical Society showing what it looked like in the year 1837.
In 1832, James Jones Stark and Dr. Phillip Minis participated in a duel near the hotel bar, where Stark then lost his life. Minis was tried for murder, but he was acquitted after claiming self-defense. Some people claim Stark’s spirit still roams the building.
Did You Know? In the early 1800s, dueling was considered a popular gentlemanly method for settling disputes. Politicians — and even presidents — were known to participate in duels! Here are a few of the more notorious duels in Savannah.
The Moon River Brewing Company purchased the building in the 1990s and began renovating it, and that’s when most of the ghost stories started.
The fourth floor and the basement are considered the two most haunted areas. In fact, the fourth level has such bad vibes that it’s still in near-original condition. That’s because construction crews refuse to work there!
To be honest, I think that’s a bunch of malarky. (I feel like that’s a very Southern phrase? If you use it and you’re not a Southerner, comment below and let me know!) People will build anything in Savannah if you throw enough money at them — ghosts or no ghosts.
The basement level has been featured on many ghost hunter shows, and film crews typically report finding signs of paranormal activity. Watch below as Ryan and Shane from Buzzfeed Unsolved set out to explore the property (all of their usual fun ensues).
One ghost in the basement appears to employees so frequently that Moon River crews have even given him a nickname. “Tony” is an angry apparition who is known for pushing people around. He sometimes knocks over bottles and grabs the ankles of frightened bar patrons.
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. Stop in during business hours for a drink! A few tours stop there, as well. Click here to see my favorite Savannah tours, including the haunted pub tour I recommend most.
Moon River Brewing | 21 West Bay Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
The Marshall House
This is easily one of the most haunted hotels in Savannah, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. Fortunately for my fellow ghost hunters, it currently operates as a hotel.
That means you can stay there as a guest!!
It consistently tops my list of the Best Accommodations in Savannah. The cheerful second-story veranda makes the perfect spot to relax in a rocking chair while sipping a glass of sweet tea.
The hotel was completed in 1851, but it also served as a makeshift Union Army hospital during the Civil War and again during multiple Yellow Fever outbreaks in Savannah.
It’s been rumored that when the building was being renovated in the late 1990s, construction workers discovered amputated human bones hidden beneath the floorboards.
As the story goes, construction was immediately halted, the hotel was marked as a crime scene, and the bones were sent out for further examination.
As it turns out, they dated back to the Civil War era and were likely placed there when injured soldiers had to have their limbs amputated.
Reportedly, much of the war-era hospital work occurred on the fourth floor of the hotel so people passing by at the street level wouldn’t hear screams as soldier’s body parts were amputated.
For that reason, the fourth floor is considered the most haunted, and Room 414 in particular is said to be the most active. Guests often mention an odd and persistent odor in that room. (Perhaps it’s the stench of death?)
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. You can wander through the lobby level. If you want to tour any other areas, you’d need to stay there as a guest. Click here to check current rates.
The Marshall House | 123 E. Broughton Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Related Post: Is The Marshall House in Savannah Really Haunted?
Bradley Lock and Key
This is one of the lesser-known of Savannah’s haunted businesses, but that doesn’t make it any less spooky! It certainly appears to be the most haunted from the exterior.
I love peeking through the windows of this shop! It’s filled with every type of key imaginable, as well as vintage safes and odd trinkets.
The shop was founded by the Bradley family in the 1800s. The founder’s son was friends with the famous illusionist, Harry Houdini, and even named his son after him: William Houdini “Dini” Bradley. (May he rest in peace; the beloved local passed in 2019.) The shop is currently in the hands of the fourth and fifth generation of Bradleys.
It’s been rumored that Houdini’s ghost might haunt the place.
I have no clue if that’s true, but I love this old building so much that I just had to include it on my list! If you’re doing a walking tour of all the spots I’ve included in this post, you’ll walk right past it when you’re headed from The Marshall House to Wright Square. Give it a peep, and let me know what you think!
Q: Can you tour it? No. You can walk by and explore the outside, and you can even peep in the windows, but it’s an active locksmith business, so I don’t suggest going in there to bug them about ghosts. If you need to have keys made or if you get locked out of your car, then by all means stop in for a visit!
Bradleys Lock and Key | 24 E State Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Colonial Park Cemetery
If I had to pick the one place in Savannah where ghosts are most frequently spotted, it would probably be Colonial Park Cemetery. Ghosts have reportedly been captured on camera and on video in the cemetery.
Colonial Park was established way back in 1750 and quickly tripled in size — which can partly be attributed to the Yellow Fever outbreaks I previously mentioned. The Great Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1820 killed as many as 700 people, and those bodies were often buried in mass graves. Colonial Park is the site of at least one such mass burial.
What many visitors don’t realize, is that the cemetery’s boundaries are much larger than the actual fence currently surrounding the area.
When you walk on the sidewalks and streets extending beyond the cemetery, you’re actually walking atop graves that have been paved or bricked over. Some say that’s why Savannah is considered America’s most haunted city…because so many of the dead have been displaced or disrespected. They’re probably wandering around in search of a peaceful final resting place!
The cemetery closes nightly at 8 pm (or 5 pm during the winter season). Back in earlier times when it was open all night, it was a popular spot for hoodoo practitioners to perform their ceremonies!
Q: Can you tour it? Yes, you can do a self-guided tour during the daytime hours. Most ghost tours don’t enter the actual cemetery, but instead skirt around the outer boundary, so know that before purchasing. No one can enter at night, so don’t even try it.
Colonial Park Cemetery | 200 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Related Post: Is 17Hundred90 Inn Haunted by the Ghost of Anna?
The Pirates’ House
If you’ve ever wanted to see the oldest surviving building in the state of Georgia, head on over to The Pirates’ House! The Herb House portion of the building was constructed in 1734 and is still standing today.
The house is even mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, “Treasure Island”. The Pirates’ House currently operates as a restaurant popular with many tourists, and you can find early edition pages of the manuscript in the restaurant’s Treasure Room.
Back in the mid-1800s, privateers reportedly targeted drunken men at the bar, knocked them over the head, and then hauled the unconscious men through tunnels below the restaurant and out to sea.
When the men awoke, they found themselves forced to work aboard pirate ships as imprisoned sailors. They were tossed overboard if they refused!
The spirits of many of those sailors are said to haunt the building today.
Multiple employees have reported feeling a sensation of being watched, only to turn around and see a man who then faded into thin air before them.
The employees also often hear moans originating from the tunnels and the sounds of boots echoing across wooden floorboards when the restaurant is nearly empty.
Q: Can you tour it? Yes, if you’re dining at the restaurant. You can even have someone dressed as a pirate take you on the tour! They also have a gift shop, so if you’re not dining, you can wander in to visit the store.
The Pirates’ House | 20 East Broad Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
The Olde Pink House
This famous building currently serves as another popular restaurant beloved by tourists and locals alike. The home dates back to 1771 and once served as the first bank in the state of Georgia.
It’s reported that the home’s original owner, James Habersham, Jr., commonly appears in uniform to raise his glass to fellow patrons in the downstairs tavern. He then fades away as you’re watching!
Employees have also reported hearing sounds of a woman sobbing in the upstairs level of the building and have experienced a mysterious tidy “helper” who straightens up behind them.
The scariest tale stems from the ladies restroom at the pub level, where so many women have reported being locked inside the stall that the owners opted to remove the door’s lock!
Even with the lock removed, many women still struggle with opening the door.
The photo above shows what the house looked like in 1936, before any of the pretty exterior landscaping was added. This photo was also taken before the area to the left of the front entry was excavated to add an entry to the downstairs tavern.
Q: Can you tour it? It’s an active restaurants, so tour groups aren’t allowed inside. You can dine there, though! I suggest making reservations well in advance.
The Olde Pink House | 23 Abercorn, Savannah, Georgia 31401
Related Post: What’s the Most Haunted Bed and Breakfast in Savannah, GA?
This home was built in the 1840s by Francis Sorrel, who lived there with his wife, Matilda.
Ghost tour operators will tell you Matilda discovered Francis being intimate with an enslaved laborer named Molly, with whom he’d had a long-time affair.
She then reportedly killed herself by leaping from the second story balcony. Weeks later, Molly hung herself from a noose in the carriage house.
It’s been said their spirits both still wander the home. Cell phone batteries are also said to drain abnormally fast inside, especially in the basement.
The Sorrel-Weed House has been highlighted by HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk,” The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), Conde Nast, and many others.
I always love seeing what these old houses looked like “back in the day,” don’t you? The photo above was taken in 1936 for a Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) for the National Park Service.
To see which stories are true and which are false, pick up a copy of my ebook, the Savannah First-Timer’s Guide. It includes a printable checklist of each of the sites mentioned here, plus at least 15 more haunted areas in Savannah!
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. You can pay to take a guided tour through the house. Here is the Sorrel-Weed website.
Sorrel-Weed | 6 West Harris Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401
This beautiful square is the only one in Savannah that still has all of the original structures surrounding it still intact. The most haunted house in Savannah, at 432 Abercorn (mentioned further above), sits facing Calhoun Square.
The square itself is allegedly the site of a massive unmarked slave burial ground. Visitors to the square often report feeling uneasy and say the air feels “heavy” there.
It’s estimated there are thousands of bodies buried in the area in and around Calhoun Square. That was further confirmed in 2004 when city workers uncovered a skull and various bones along the SE corner of the square.
Q: Can you tour it? Yes, you’re free to explore it on your own 24/7. Some of the walking ghost tours also stop by Calhoun Square.
Calhoun Square | Intersection of East Gordon and Abercorn Streets, Savannah, Georgia 31401
BONUS SPOT: Bonaventure Cemetery
Now, the folks out at Bonaventure don’t exactly bill it as a destination for ghost hunters, but I can’t write a list of the most haunted places in Savannah without mentioning one of the city’s most beautiful cemeteries.
Bonaventure Cemetery sits on the grounds of a former plantation and is located along the beautiful banks of the Wilmington River.
The cemetery is referenced multiple times in John Berendt’s book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. The photo of the bird girl statue that graces the cover was even taken in Bonaventure. (The statue is currently located inside Telfair Museum.)
In the movie adaptation of the popular book, Jim Williams is seen driving past Bonaventure on his way to meet Minerva the Voodoo Priestess (she was actually a “Root Lady” or Root Doctor), who often cast her spells in Savannah’s cemeteries late at night.
People often mistakenly think they’re in Bonaventure in the movie scene, but if you listen closely, Jim says they’re headed to the “colored cemetery down the road” — which is likely a reference to Laurel Grove South.
The half hour before midnight is for doin’ good. The half hour after midnight is for doin’ evil. Seems like we need a little of both tonight.Minerva the Voodoo Priestess, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”
While I don’t condone sneaking into any of Savannah’s cemeteries late at night to work your voodoo magic on anyone, I do recommend checking out Bonaventure during the daylight hours. It’s particularly beautiful in the springtime, when the plots are lined with thousands of pink azaleas.
If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating history of the cemetery, I suggest booking a tour with Bonaventure Don. He’s a Savannahian through and through — with parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all buried at Bonaventure.
Q: Can you tour it? Yes. You can drive or walk through the cemetery anytime it’s open. In addition Bonaventure Don’s incredible tour, you can also go on a nighttime tour hosted by Shannon Scott.
Bonaventure Cemetery | 330 Bonaventure Road, Thunderbolt, Savannah 31404
Related Post: Which Season is Best for Visiting Savannah, GA?
So…which of the most haunted spots in Savannah do you want to visit first? Let me know in the comments below!
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