Halloween might be months away, but who wants to wait until October to appreciate the spookier side of life, am I right? Savannah, Georgia
is considered one of America’s most haunted cities, and with its antebellum mansions, canopies of Spanish moss, and eerily beautiful cemeteries, you can enjoy the spook factor here all year long.
How can you enjoy this spooky, Southern town this summer? Take a horse-drawn carriage ride at night and learn about some of Savannah’s creepiest characters, enjoy a “frightseeing” tour around town, or join a waterfront party near one of the many haunted riverside mansions. Prepare to be petrified.
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This cemetery, though not Savannah’s oldest, became one of the city’s most famous and frequently visited after the movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” was filmed there. Originally a plantation with a private cemetery, the land changed hands shortly after the Civil War. It changed hands again when it was purchased by the City of Savannah in 1907, and became a public cemetery with meticulous, lush gardens. Bonaventure Cemetery Tours are very popular, and available only during the day. Many people come just to simply admire the craftsmanship of beautifully carved gravestones. Regional dignitaries, military officers, poets and Savannah’s wealthy are buried there. I’m excited already.
Dine at 1790
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Want to eat fried green tomatoes while sharing ghost stories? Head over to the 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant
on East President Street. Most of the ghost activity here reportedly takes place in room 204 of the inn, where the ghost of a girl named Anne Powell is said to make frequent appearances. Legend has it that Anne Powell was a lovelorn teenager who fell from the window to her death. Ouch! There have also been reports of an African-American girl in the kitchen who practices voodoo. Whether you’re brave enough to spend the night or not, the food is fantastic, so stopping by is a must!
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There are “Ghosts and Gravestones” tours
around historic Savannah that include a stop at the legendary Lucas Theater on Abercorn Street. First opened in 1921, Lucas Theater
was a popular entertainment venue throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The ornate theater combines a variety of architectural influences, including Greek revival and Art Deco, making it a truly notable building.
Haunted reports of the theater have ranged from folks seeing shadow people to hearing applause while the building is empty. Freaky! If you want to experience the ghost show for yourself, hop on a theater tour. You’ll have to book in advance, but they’re fairly low investment, coming in at less than $5 per person and taking less than a half hour in total. If you happen to be in town during October, the theater also shows scary movies, including Savannah’s infamous “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and blockbusters like “Silence of the Lambs.”
The Hampton Lillibridge House
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Eighteenth century boarding houses are bound to have their share of ghost stories, and the Hampton Lillibridge House on East Saint Julian Street is no exception. As the story goes, it was a successful boarding house until the 1960s, when it was purchased for restoration. Construction workers on the job started reporting strange experiences. Some claimed to have heard footsteps, voices, and witnessed strange shadows, all culminating in a suspicious roof collapsing and killing one of the workers. Paranormal investigators have toured the building, and rumor has it that exorcisms performed to cleanse the house have failed. Today, the house is privately owned and not open for tours, but visitors to Savannah still walk by the house to sneak a peek.