According to the American Institute of Parapsychology, Savannah is America’s most haunted city. Within its city limits are haunted houses, taverns, graveyards and places so odd that they inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write “Treasure Island” and John Berendt to pen “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” And since seeing is believing, this historic slice of the Old South abounds with a whole plethora of ghost tours to introduce you to all those “ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.”
Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Ectoplasm
One of Savannah’s most infamous locations is the Pirates' House in Old Fort, near the Savannah River. Built in 1753, this restaurant and inn was frequented by sailors, privateers and pirates. The brick-lined tunnel beneath the house that leads to the river was used to "shanghai" unwary patrons into impressment for sea duty. Savannah Tours offers dinner at this notorious eatery complete with a visit to the rum cellar to glimpse the secret passageway. Savannah Tours also has several narrated walking tours of the Bonadventure Cemetery, including an after hours tour where guests are locked inside the graveyard for two full hours.
Terror in Stages
You can take on the ghosts in stages with Ghost Tours of Savannah, which offers tours that are family friendly, spooky and mysterious or just plain frightening. The family friendly "Grave Tales" tour visits ghosts in residence at the Kehoe House followed by a trip to the Pink House, an eatery plagued by troublesome spooks. The "Beyond Good and Evil" tour visits the Hampton-Turner Inn along with the Mercer House which was made famous in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” For the especially brave, the "Dead of Night" tour slips down Savannah's alleyways to the darkest trails in town.
All Aboard the Trolley of the Doomed
The Ghosts and Gravestones tour group takes guests past ancient cemeteries and antebellum mansions aboard a “trolley of the doomed” to visit two haunted locations exclusive to the company: the Gribble House and Perkins and Sons Ship Chandlery. The Gribble House was the scene of a triple murder in 1909, described by the Savannah Morning News as the most diabolical crime ever committed in town. And if the vivid orbs and electric pulses regularly felt there aren’t enough, the tour continues to Perkins and Sons, said to be the paranormal epicenter of the city. If you think your heart can take it, these fully narrated tours are over an hour in length.
One for the Road
For something a little more novel, Hearse Ghost Tours cruises the cemeteries in otherworldly style by packing guests aboard its fleet of real hearses. Each vehicle was in service for at least 15 years before being refitted to carry living passengers. Another quirky option is the adults only “Boos and Brews” tour. Offered by Tara Tours, “Boos and Brews” is a narrated excursion through the haunted Moon River Brewing Company building, established in 1821 and “notoriously haunted” by a plethora of angry ghosts. If that’s a little hard to swallow, adult beverages are available for purchase on site in special cups so that guests can carry their own "spirits" along with them.