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The city of Savannah dates back centuries and is steeped in history, ancient architecture, old homes turned museums and lovely natural scenery. By day, it’s hard to imagine that such a lovely, welcoming city could have a dark past, filled with death and mayhem; but Savannah didn’t earn its reputation as America’s most haunted city by accident. Throughout the years, tragedy, sickness, war and murder have been the cause of tortured souls lingering in the streets, haunting the buildings and cemeteries. If you visit, beware, because some of the city’s most infamous ghosts could be lurking right behind you. Read on to learn more about Savannah’s most infamous ghosts.
The 17Hundred90, a lovely historic hotel located on President Street, is home to one of the city’s most tortured souls, Anne Powell. Although there are several variations of the story, the common thread is that Anne Powell was a young girl who became pregnant and was rejected by the father of her baby. Some say he was a sailor who promised to return and marry her; others say he was a married man who promptly left her when he found out she was pregnant. The truth, more likely, lies somewhere in between. Either way, Anne Powell was desperate and depressed and ended her life by jumping out the window of what is now room #204.
One of the most haunted spots in Savannah, the Colonial Park Cemetery was first opened in 1750. Thousands of people have been laid to rest in this historic burial ground, yet there are only about 1,000 grave markers since many people were buried in mass graves during that era. Out of those 100,000 people, many suffered great illness, tragedy and pain, including victims of yellow fever, live burials, voodoo rituals, the Revolutionary War and more. Sometime around 1896, the borders of the cemetery were pushed back to make room for the sidewalks and streets – a move that included paving over numerous graves.
One of the cemetery’s most famous ghosts is Rene Rondolier. Many have claimed to see him wandering about and hanging from a tree that was once used for executions many hundreds of years ago. Rene’s story is a frightening one – he was known to be a serial killer who was caught and hung in the cemetery. At nearly 7 feet tall, Rene was an imposing sight and today those who report seeing his spirit say he is just as scary in death as he was in life.
Inside this elegant Georgian-style mansion built in 1771, the ghost of John Habersham has been seen by many guests. He appears most often during the months of October and March and has spooked many by appearing at the end of the bar dressed in Revolutionary style clothing. Other well-known apparitions at the Olde Pink House are those of the slave children that have caused quite a stir. Known for their naughty behavior, these juvenile spirits have been blamed for locking patrons in the downstairs bathroom.
Tragically killed in an unfortunate accident, the Kehoe Twins were the children of William Kehoe, a Savannah resident who owned an ironworks foundry. His six-year-old twins were playing inside a chimney in the house when an accident killed them both. Guests to the house, which is now a bed and breakfast, often complain that noisy children are running down the hallways – yet no children are ever seen when these complaints come in.