The former home, now museum, is said to be haunted by none other than Mary Telfair herself! As the last Telfair (a very wealthy Georgian family) she left much of her family’s estate to the city of Savannah to start the Telfair Academy, including her former home. While she may have donated her home, her spirit is said to be a little particular of how things are kept in the house. For example, I read one story where part of the ceiling caved in when they moved her portrait. I was told on a ghost tour that if you’re in the museum and you’re rude and say something like, “Wow, these paintings are ugly,” you’ll come down with a sudden migraine. Because it is a museum there is a lot of old furnishings in the home, many marked “Do Not Sit.” If you do sit on them, you’ll supposedly hear footsteps coming down the hall quickly to come tell you to get out of the chair. Hearing ghostly footsteps would have me falling off the chair, for sure!
The Davenport House, located on Columbia Square was built in 1820, this home has been shown as a museum since the 60s. Isaiah Davenport purchased the lot the home sits on for $900 which would be over $18,000 today. The house/museum is now home to at least 2 spirits that have been repeatedly seen. The first is that of a young girl who has been seen looking from the windows, playing in the attic, or running through the garden. Some think she could be one of the Davenport children as four of their ten children passed away as children. Others think she could have been the victim of yellow fever while the home was being used as a boarding house. The other spirit has also yet to be identified but that’s going to be nearly impossible because…it’s a cat. Yes, the Davenport house is haunted by a ghostly cat who is often seen running between rooms on the tour. Guests will mention the cat to the tour guide who will always say “…we don’t have a cat on the grounds.” Someone told me that they do have a cat but from what I’ve seen it lives outside. And, also, when you have a house museum with all those old furnishings I wouldn’t think you would just allow a cat loose in there (our one cat will scratch just about anything). Just my thoughts on that…
Built in 1816 and witnessing the Civil War, fires & yellow fever outbreaks, it’s really not a surprise that this home has more than one spirit. There’s one man with black hair who’s said to watch people in the house from the parlor. I think that I’ve heard he’s a former butler in the home but I can’t be sure. This house also has my least favorite thing: shadow figures. They’re said to be in the upstairs, moving between rooms. There is also the Lady in Gray who is believed to be Margaret Thomas. She is often seen walking the garden with her large gray hat and shawl.
This home is where the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon-Low, was born. Both of her parents lived here until their deaths and this ghost story is about them. Her mother, Nellie, passed away in 1917 and is still often seen in the home. On the day she died, her daughter in law was waiting in the hallway when she saw Nellie’s husband come out of the room. Moments later her own husband came out of the room to say that his mother passed away. When he saw his wife white as a sheet he asked her what was the matter. You see, Mr. Gordon had already been dead for five years. The family butler came to them to tell them that he saw the parents together, arms linked as they walked out the door, forever joined in the afterlife.
This home was made famous by the book and later movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The book is the true story about Jim Williams’s trial for the murder of Danny Lewis Hansford. Danny was shot and killed in the home in 1981 at the age of 21. After four trials, Jim was acquitted 8 years later in 1989. Six months after that though he was found dead in the home having suffered a heart attack. He was found in his office where Danny had been killed. People think came came back and scared him to death, angry that his killer was free. I’ve been told that some nights the only light on in the house is in that bottom left window, which you guessed it, is the study.
This is the most haunted home in Savannah and maybe one of the most haunted in the country. The home itself is built where the Battle of Savannah took place during the American Revolution. It’s long been said that Madison Square just outside the home is a mass grave from that battle; it’s also been said that during renovations of the basement they found red cloth, buttons, and skeletal remains. The basement was also used by original owner Francis Sorrel’s son (also named Francis) who was a doctor. He would perform surgeries in the basement and we all know how well surgeries in the 1800’s went. So, that house already has both of those things going for it. There are said to be shadow figures that lurk in the home, particularly in the basement. This house is also home to one of Savannah’s most tragic legends.
Francis Sorrel was a terrible person. The legend is told by guides that his wife Matilda killed herself after she discovered he was having an affair with a slave named Molly. A few days later, Molly was found dead from an apparent suicide. A few notes here. One: Matilda was his second wife, he had married her after his first wife (her sister) passed away. Two: Many believe Molly was actually murdered by Francis to keep the secret of why Matilda killed herself. Three (and most important): It would not have been an affair, he would have been forcing himself on her and using his power/authority over her. Matilda and Molly both haunt the home now, in the garden and carriage house respectively.
Maybe because this home is said to be the most haunted is why it comes under a lot of speculation. Matilda really did kill herself, but a lot of people say she suffered from depression (which would be why Francis killed Molly??). Then, there is a lot of questions around whether or not Molly ever existed. Unfortunately, Molly lived during a time where she wasn’t treated like a person. And if Francis (a wealthy merchant) wanted to make it look like she didn’t exist, he could have.
I hope you enjoyed this post about Savannah’s haunted homes! Many are open for tours if you’re ever interested in visiting!
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