If you’re looking for a haunted house in Savannah that you can actually tour, the Sorrel Weed House is probably your best bet. It’s one of only a handful of homes in the city that welcomes visitors inside to explore its paranormal activity.
While tour guides in the home don’t attempt to confirm (nor disprove) any ghostly presence, they do offer photos and potential evidence for anyone who would like to review it.
Even if you’re not interested in spooky spirits, the home is worth exploring just for its historic aspect alone! As I often say, it’s always a good idea to visit Savannah’s incredible homes while they’re open to the public, since you never know when they might revert back to private usage.
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If you’re new around here, first of all…allow me to extend a warm welcome!
My name is Erin, and I authored the Savannah First-TImer’s Guide. It combines all of my top Savannah travel tips from this website into one handy digital download.
You might also enjoy stories about these haunted Savannah homes:
🏚️ The Mercer Williams House: Savannah’s Most Notorious Home
🏚️ 432 Abercorn Street: Haunted Mansion…or Just a Rumor Mill?
Feel free to use this table of contents to skip to any particular section…
A Quick Note About Ghosts Stories in Savannah
Before I start on this post, you should know that I don’t make up stories for the sake of entertainment.
I strongly believe in the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction…especially in Savannah.
You’ll hear many variations of tall tales if you venture out on a ghost tour in Savannah, but just know that I always do my best to separate fact from fiction — at least as much as possible when dealing with the speculative topic of ghosts.
If I ever find contradictory information to something I’ve written about previously, I’ll go back and correct it. I try not to be a source of misinformation.
Savannah is interesting enough without any embellishment.
Now that you know that, let’s delve into the details behind the beautiful Sorrel Weed House!
Sorrel Weed House
Sorrel Weed House | 6 W Harris Street, Savannah, GA 31401
This spooky residence is filled with tales of ghosts reflected in mirrors, guests who have difficulty breathing in certain rooms, and a mysterious energy that zaps power from watches and cell phones whenever visitors are in the vicinity.
In fact, the house is so intriguing that it’s been featured on “Ghost Hunters”, HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk”, the History Channel, the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast, USA Today, and in my own Savannah First-Timer’s Guide.
Let’s see what makes it so intriguing…
History of the Sorrel Weed House
Construction began on the Sorrel Weed House in the late 1830s near present-day Madison Square. It was built for Francis Sorrel and designed by Charles Cluskey.
Sorrel was one of Savannah’s wealthiest shipping merchants at the time, so the home is quite a showpiece!
Douglass & Sorrel
Sorrel, along with his business partner, Henry Douglass, imported a variety of goods into the port of Savannah.
Like many Savannah businesses in the mid-1800s, the pair were also involved in the slave trade.
There are documented records of the two distributing slaves from the port of Savannah to areas along the East Coast.
Francis Sorrel’s Marriages
In 1827, Sorrel’s first wife, Lucinda, died of Yellow Fever. A few years later he married Lucinda’s sister, Matilda.
Side note: There were so many acceptable practices in the mid-1800s that are frowned upon today! For example, back then it was common for distant cousins to marry. Sometimes that was a transportation issue — since many families didn’t have the means to travel far beyond their home to seek out partners — but it was also a strategic method used to keep wealth within the family.
The Sorrels hosted large parties at their house with many well-known attendees. In fact, Confederate General Robert E. Lee visited the home on at least three different occasions.
Everything went well within the Sorrel family until 1859.
That’s when Sorrel decided to sell the home to Henry Davis Weed, and Sorrel moved his family into the house next door — at 12 W Harris Street.
⭐ Insider Tip: In my opinion, 12 W Harris looks much spookier than the Sorrel Weed House from the exterior. Stop by sometime to check out the sinister-looking ivy that’s overtaken its front porch!
Tragedy at the Sorrel Weed House
That same year, Matilda reportedly discovered Sorrel was having an affair with an enslaved girl named Molly.
Matilda was so distraught that she jumped to her death from the window of their new home.
Molly was distressed, as well, and was found hanging in the carriage house of one of the homes.
Francis Sorrel remained in the house at 12 W Harris Street until he died of a stroke in 1870 at age 77. He is buried in the northern section of beautiful Laurel Grove Cemetery.
The Weed Family
As mentioned above, Henry Davis Weed moved his family into the home in 1859.
He originally moved to Savannah from Connecticut in 1821. Through the years, the Weed family owned many businesses in the city — including a popular hardware store on Broughton Street.
Henry Davis Weed died on February 02, 1875 and is interred in plot #644 in Laurel Grove Cemetery (North).
After his death, members of the Weed family remained in the Sorrel Weed Mansion until 1914, at which time they lost the home due to bankruptcy.
Sorrel Weed House in the 1900s
The home sat vacant for many years, was altered to become a department store at one point, and then it was taken over by the Historic Savannah Foundation.
The foundation opened the home to the public in the 1940s, and in 1954 it was the first home designated as a state landmark in Georgia.
The Sorrel Weed House Today
These days, the home is owned by a corporation and is a money-making machine, thanks to all the tourists who flock to Savannah for its dark tourism attractions.
You can take history tours of the Sorrel Weed House during the day or go on a haunted tour after dark. As I mentioned earlier, it’s one of the few haunted homes in Savannah where guests are actually allowed inside the house.
They even offer an after-hours paranormal lock-in for those of you who prefer to use equipment to investigate the property in small groups.
Haunted Stories About the Sorrel Weed House
There are so many ghost stories about this house!
Many visitors claim to feel an evil energy within the home, particularly in the basement area.
Choking sensations and nausea are a few of the physical effects the home seems to have on visitors.
Some claim the mansion also has an odd effect on electronic equipment. It drains watch and cell phone batteries in a very short period of time, for example.
Visitors often report starting the tour with a fully charged cell phone that ends up dying by the time the tour ends.
Others have reported apparitions reflected in mirrors inside the home.
Visitors have taken photos of the decor, only to see a mysterious person dressed in Colonial garb reflected back at them.
The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth
Oh, how I love debunking ghost stories!
John McMasters, of the Better Savannah website, is probably one of the most well-known watchdogs in this city, and he claims I’m one of Savannah’s “truth-tellers”.
He’s right about that!
As I’ve said many times, Savannah is interesting enough on its own; there’s no need to make up stories.
With that in mind, let’s separate fact from fiction…
Rumor #1: Molly’s Existence
Was there an enslaved girl named Molly in Sorrel’s life?
Yes. In fact, there were at least two females named Molly in Sorrel’s nexus.
Slave manifests report a 28-year-old Black female named Molly aboard the Augusta, with Francis Sorrel listed as the owner.
Additionally, a 22-year-old female named Molly traveled between Savannah and Charleston aboard the Gordon. Sorrel’s close neighbor, Charles Green, of the Green-Meldrim House, was listed as the owner.
Rumor #2: Matilda Sorrel’s Suicide
Did Matilda Sorrel commit suicide?
Yes, but not in the Sorrel Weed Mansion.
She lived next door at 12 W Harris Street when she leapt from the second or third story window of the home. She cracked her skull on the stone courtyard below and died from related injuries.
…the sad news has reached the office that Mrs. Sorrel, probably in a fit of lunacy, sprang from the second — or third — story window of her residence on Harris Street, next door to the house which was the family mansion for so many years, falling upon the pavement of the yard, and by the concussion terminating her life…~Charles C. Jones, Jr. in a letter to Mrs. Mary Jones, dated March 07, 1860
Rumor #3: The Affair with Molly
Did Francis Sorrel have a relationship with an enslaved girl named Molly?
Relationship? Highly doubtful.
The word “relationship” itself implies consent. It’s much more likely that Molly — like many enslaved females of her time — was forced into intercourse with her owner.
At one point, Sorrel was listed as the caretaker of ten mixed race (Mulatto) children. There were two-thousand Mulattos listed in the 1860 census, indicating that forced encounters were common practice between slaveholders and the enslaved during that era.
Related Reading: If you aren’t familiar with the sexual exploitation of enslaved women in the South, I suggest reading “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Harriet Jacobs. It’s a first-hand account of the abuse Jacobs endured at the hands of her predatory enslaver and her subsequent escape to New York.
Rumor #4: The Carriage House
Did Molly commit suicide in the carriage house?
This one is possible — although it’s more likely that she was hanged (not by her own doing) after news of the illicit affair came to light.
Rumor #5: Dark Energy Within the Sorrel Weed House
Is there a strange energy within the home?
This one could possibly be true. I’m not one to discount what other people feel — especially since I tend to be sensitive towards shifts in energy myself.
Numerous visitors have reported feeling “off” within the home. Next time I visit, I’ll mark the battery levels on my cell at the beginning and end of the tour and will report back with my findings!
…we did a ghost tour at the Sorrel Weed Mansion. I went in with an open mind. I do believe in ghosts and had heard about the mansion but went to it not expecting anything. Although I did not catch anything on camera, there were definitely moments where I felt uncomfortable. I could smell cigar smoke in one room, I felt unsteady in the carriage house, and the basement just gave me the creeps. My daughter stated she was having a hard time breathing in the basement.~Edie R.T. via my Savannah First-Timer’s Guide Facebook group
Can you tour the interior? Yes, you can tour it, but you may see a bit more than you bargained for in the photos you take of the home!
The Biggest Mystery at the Sorrel Weed House
According to online realtor sites, if the Sorrel Weed House sold today it would be listed for more than 2 million dollars.
So why does the City of Savannah only have its tax valuation listed at $342,800 for the 2022 tax year? The total estimated tax payment due is only $5,973.36.
That’s a pretty significant tax break for this particular house. After all, similar homes are valued in the millions and owe estimated payments in the tens of thousands.
Take the Mercer Williams House, for example. It’s a 3-story home that also offers daily tours. The Mercer Williams home is valued at $2,977,700 for the 2022 tax year, and the total estimated tax due is $51,698.44.
Both are listed as residential properties, but the Mercer Williams House is still privately held by Jim Williams’ sister, Dr. Dorothy Kingery, while the Sorrel Weed House is owned by the Sorrel Weed House Corporation based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
The Mercer House even has a homestead exemption on it, since family members still reside in the home.
Hopefully someone local can shed some light on this mystery, since I can’t make any sense of it. (I’m betting many low-income locals who are at risk of losing their homes due to property tax increases would like to know, too. Can we all get a tax break if we start running ghost tours out of our homes?)
Related Reading: Interested in learning more about the widening gap between rich and poor? I suggest reading “The Vanishing Middle Class” by Peter Temin.
Savannah Travel Tips
Still need help figuring out what you’re going to do while you’re in Savannah? No problem! Here are some additional resources to check out…
- My Savannah First-Timer’s Guide is where you’ll find all of my most helpful tips from this website in one handy downloadable ebook.
- Join my email list to stay in touch and get a printable list of 50 Things To Do on Foot in the Historic District — No Car Necessary, plus lots of other helpful printables. I promise I won’t email too often and annoy you…I’m actually laughably bad at staying in touch!
- Head to my post about the best ghost tours in Savannah when you’re ready to start booking your tours.