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Questions & Answers
Frequently asked questions about Savannah’s ghost history and our answers.
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This turn-of-the-century postcard shows Colonial Park Cemetery as it appeared when noted author Conrad Aiken lived across the street as a boy and later recalled prying out loose bricks and entering the vaults.
Savannah's city plan may have certain occult elements, according to an article in a recent issue of the Georgia Historical Quarterly which remarked on the possible significance of certain elements of the plan including its similarity to popular conceptions at the time of the layout of Solomon's temple.
Some spirits are said to be malevolent. There are stories of persons being drawn into danger by such ghosts but for the most part the city's spectres are at least neutral in nature.
At least one curse on the city has been recorded in history. In the early 19th Century disgruntled published James M. Harney wrote: "I leave you, Savannah, a curse that is far The worst of all curses - to remain as you are!"
There has been no census of spirits but author Margaret Wayt DeBolt collected hundreds of ghost stories while doing research for her book, Savannah Spectres, and more tales surface each year.
The book, Drums & Shadows, compiled during the 1930s, recounts many stories of belief in that sort of magic among resident African Americans at that time. The stories were linked to African customs and beliefs.
Some ghosts reportedly have agendas. The shade of Mary Telfair is said to enforce her prohibition against eating and drinking in Savannah's Telfair art museum, once her home.
Some people are apparently more sensitive to psychic phenomena than others. It is often reported that a chill can be felt when a spirit is present. Some homes have rooms that are unnaturally cold.
Savannah antique dealer Jim Williams whose murder trials are recounted in the best seller once restored a haunted house on East St. Julian Street.