Halloween is next week, and you know what that means … candy. OK, candy AND getting the heebie jeebies! Let’s face it, Georgia is a scary place. Besides Atlanta’s traffic, which would make anyone scream in horror, we’ve got some seriously spooky things going on here. Zombies and vampires (albeit actors from “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries“) wandering through Senoia and Atlanta, gory monsters awaiting guests at Netherworld, and the annual pilgrimage of aliens, villains and killer robots to Dragon Con just to name a few. And again, we can’t emphasize the blood-curdling traffic enough.
In fact, Georgia is home to “America’s most haunted city” — Savannah. This paranormal hotspot is the place where ghosts come to party. Let’s take a look at the creepiest, most haunted places in Georgia sure to elicit a few screams upon entry!
The Most Haunted Places in Georgia
6 W. Harris St., Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 257-2223
We start this list with a bang, or rather a boo, when it comes to Savannah’s Sorrel Weed House. The historical landmark not only has far-reaching connections to the Civil War (it was the childhood home of a brigadier general who served under General Robert E. Lee), but it’s also become a perfect example of Greek revival architecture. And this gorgeous mansion is also a hotbed for paranormal activity. There’s rumor that Matilda Sorrel, the owner’s wife, threw herself off the balcony, dying right there on the property. Some believe that’s it’s the plot of ground itself that’s haunted — the same ground where the Siege of Savannah, one of the bloodiest hours of the entire American Revolution, took place.
Regardless of the background, many visitors report feelings of panic, nausea and asphyxiation, especially in the basement. Also people report that camera and phone batteries seem to completely drain by the end of the tour. The Sorrel Weed House has been included at the top of “The Most Haunted Places in America” lists from publications like USA Today, Babble.com, The Wall Street Journal and many more. In fact, it’s been known as the most haunted building in Savannah — and that’s saying a lot since the city is a top 10 spot to get a taste of paranormal activity.
20 E Broad St., Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 233-5757
Who doesn’t like a haunted house that offers heaping sides of mashed potatoes?! The Pirates’ House is a historic restaurant and tavern that dates all the way back to 1753, making it the oldest standing building in Georgia. This working restaurant serves chicken gumbo, crab cake sandwiches and a whole lot of spooky history. It began as a gathering place for drunken sailors, nefarious captains and criminals up to no good. In fact some drunken sailors would wake up the next morning aboard a ship against their will, forced to work or be thrown overboard.
Savannah had many underground tunnels built throughout the city, created at different times for different purposes. One opened up right under The Pirates’ House and is thought to be the way sailors were kidnapped to the boats and a way to smuggle liquor into the city. It’s also rumored the city’s tunnels helped hide dead bodies during the yellow fever epidemic and were hideouts in the underground railroad system. Guests and restaurant staff have reported seeing ghostly shadows and figures wandering the dining room, hearing footsteps and boots across the floor and seeing odd reflections through the windows. Or perhaps all those grumblings you hear are coming from your stomach, waiting for the entrées to be served!
23 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 232-4286
The Olde Pink House pretty much sells itself — it’s old, pink and was once a house. Oh! And by the way, some believe it’s haunted! Originally built in 1771 for one of Savannah’s founding family members, the Olde Pink House served as a family house for many different owners throughout the years. Eventually, it was transformed into an elegant restaurant and tavern. This working, and quite popular, restaurant does have a slight case of the heebie jeebies as guests and employees alike have claimed to have seen ghostly figures haunt the halls on quiet nights, specifically the original owner, James Habersham, Jr.
123 East Broughton St., Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 644-7896
The Marshall House is a working hotel that offers visitors a taste of Savannah history, Southern charm and some crazy haunted s$#t. Opened in 1851, Marshall House has had various uses besides lodging — it was used as a hospital three separate times (once during the Civil War and twice for yellow fever epidemics in the 1800s). Perhaps there have been a few hotel guests that eternally refused to leave as living ones have reported hearing children running down the hall at night, faucets turning on by themselves, the sight of ghosts and other other-worldly experiences.
In fact, Marshall House has been featured several times on the Travel Channel’s haunted hotel programs, as well as at the top of haunted lists from Yahoo!, the “Today” show, The Huffington Post, USA Today and many more. So just remember, the rapping on your hotel door may not be housekeeping after all …
125 W. Lamar St., Americus, GA 31709 • (229) 924-1555
You didn’t think we could let Savannah have all the fun, did you?! Welcome to Americus, Georgia — home to approximately 17,500 residents and located about 150 miles south of Atlanta. Now known as Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel, the business was originally built in 1892 to attract winter visitors from the north. The Victorian hotel has become somewhat of a local celebrity, hosting former President Jimmy Carter and being featured on a slew of local and national television programs, magazines, newspapers and websites.
Perhaps what beckons the attention is the many strange sightings that have been reported at the Windsor. Legend says there’s a ghost of a little girl, the daughter of a former housekeeper, who runs laughing at night. She and her mother, who lived at the hotel at the time, were pushed down the elevator shaft in the early 1900s. The hallway, and other areas of the hotel, have been examined by ghost hunters, and the readings of the area were off the charts, as well as the overall feeling of ickiness the ghost trackers felt while analyzing the establishment.
Located on Bull Street, between East Harris and East Charlton streets, in Savannah
You may find houses that are haunted in certain regions, but it’s rare to have an entire haunted city. That’s Savannah for you. Case in point? Madison Square, named after our fourth president, is a hotbed of paranormal activity that you don’t even have to tiptoe down a creepy hallway to experience. At the heart of this square, designed in 1837, is the bronze monument of Sergeant William Jasper, who died during the Siege of Savannah. Obviously Sgt. Jasper wasn’t the only soldier to have lost his life in this area, and it’s said that some mortally wounded men may have been thrown into the mass graves (still alive) around this location. Another indicator of its spook factor is that a few historic homes that are reportedly haunted are located right off Madison Square, including the Sorrel Weed House.
21 W. Bay St. Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 447-0943
We know we’ve been haunted by some terribly drunken nights, but not sure it’s the bar that’s been doing the haunting. That theory is shot to hell when it comes to Moon River Brewing Company. The restaurant/brewery is located in one of the oldest buildings, constructed in 1821 as the City Hotel. This establishment hosted a variety of violent incidents, including a shooting and a lynching. Though more than a century passed between the City Hotel’s colorful past and the opening of Moon River, staff and customers report odd occurrences like bottles being thrown by invisible forces, people being touched or pushed by a being, and the sighting of a figure who hangs out in the billiard room.
102 W. Mimosa Drive, Jonesboro, GA 30326 • (678) 685-1821
Guy L. Warren, an employee of Macon & Western Railroad, built The Warren House in 1840. It served as a field hospital for the Confederate troops until Union infantries took it over for the same use. While renovating the home nearly a century later, builders removed wallpaper and discovered the names of Union soldiers who had signed their signatures onto the walls. Perhaps those signatures aren’t the only remnant of past residents you will find upon visiting this manor.
934 Georgia Ave., Macon, GA 31201 • (478) 742-8155
Georgia has such a rich history of distinguished homes, it’s hard to make a dent in the pack. But Hay House, located in Macon and declared a national historic landmark in 1974, has done just that. The 18,000-square-foot mansion has been home to just two families in its entire existence, but its existence isn’t so rosy. Staff, workmen and visitors have reported hearing odd sounds, problems with lights and doors and seeing odd figures. In fact, Architectural Digest included Hay House as one of the “13 Most Beautiful Haunted Destinations Around the World.” Whether you love Italian Renaissance Revival architecture or spotting a ghost or two, make sure to visit this gorgeously chilling estate.
Honorable Mentions: Churchill’s, Old Candler Hospital, Kehoe House, 17 Hundred 90 Inn & Restaurant
There are so many more places we need to include on this list (like pretty much everywhere in Savannah), including famed cemeteries like Oakland Cemetery, Bonaventure Cemetery and Colonial Park Cemetery. However, I’m getting skeeved out just writing this, so the easiest way to scratch off the haunted houses on your Georgia to-visit list is book a seat on one of our many ghost tours. In fact, there are so many tours in Savannah that the genre has sub-themes and you can choose whether you want to do a haunted pub crawl, a walking tour, travel around in a hearse and much more.
Prefer your houses fabulously designed instead of haunted? Check out our gorgeous gorgeous homes here!