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Haunted Guide To The Mercer Williams House

Mercer-Williams House Haunted Guide

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The Mercer-Williams House is located on Monterey Square in Savannah, Georgia. Built in 1860 for General Hugh W. Mercer and his family, the historic Mercer-Williams House didn’t gain public attention until 1969 when Jim Williams purchased it and began restoration efforts.

The Mercer-Williams House Museum is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The three-story brick mansion boasts cast-iron balconies, intricate ironwork, and elaborate stained-glass windows.

In addition to its beautiful architectural style, the house is also famous for being featured in the film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Today, the Mercer-Williams House is open for public tours, allowing visitors to step back in time and explore the rich and untold history of the Mercer-Williams House.

History of the Mercer-Williams House

Savannah sheds light on the Mercer-Williams House Museum’s captivating history, which extends beyond its haunting spectral lore. Constructed for General Hugh Mercer in the 1860s by architect John S. Norris, the opulent mansion showcases a remarkable blend of Italianate architecture, characterized by its cast-iron balconies, intricate ironwork, and stained-glass windows. However, the general never lived in the house, and it changed hands multiple times before being completed around 1868 by its new owner, John Wilder, as General Mercer was unable to finish his dream home.

During a period in the 20th century, the home served as Savannah’s Shriners Alee Temple. In 1969, Jim Williams, a renowned antique dealer and preservationist, purchased the home. Dedicated to meticulously restoring the mansion, Williams utilized original furnishings, artwork, and décor, transforming it into a reflection of Savannah’s rich cultural history. The house’s historical significance, coupled with the stories surrounding it, cements the Mercer-Williams House Museum’s position as a vital piece of Savannah’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Deaths at the Mercer Home

Among the spectral stories that pervade the Mercer House, two infamous incidents stand out, each shrouded in mystery and tragedy. The first story involves Tommy Downs, a boy who died in the house during the late 1960s. He was reportedly playing in the house with his sister when he fell from the iron balcony, a mishap that ultimately resulted in his death. The house was vacant at the time, further contributing to the mystery of the incident.

The second event occurred about a decade later when Jim Williams, a prominent Savannah antique dealer and restorer who owned the house, shot his assistant, Danny Hansford, in the study. This incident led to one of the most notorious murder cases in Georgia history, with Williams being tried four times before being acquitted.

Both of these deaths have made the stories and legends about the Mercer-Williams House Museum even more spooky. It is now considered one of the scariest and most haunted places in Savannah.

Ghosts of the Mercer-Williams House

Ghost of Jim Williams

Delving deeper into the haunting tales, the ghostly figure of Jim Williams, an enigmatic antique dealer and restorer, casts an ominous pall over the Mercer House. Visitors and staff alike have recounted chilling experiences, suggesting that Williams’ spectral presence may be genuine. Unexplained sounds, sudden cold spots, and peculiar object movements comprise the paranormal occurrences within the house. Some even claim to have witnessed the apparition of Williams, particularly in the room where he was implicated in the tragic incident involving Danny Hansford. Currently, Dr. Dorothy Kingery, Williams’ sister, resides in and oversees the Mercer House, opening it to the public as a museum. This decision preserves both the captivating reputation of this Savannah landmark and its haunting past.

The Ghost of the Young Boy

The tragic tale of Tommy Downs, a young boy who lost his life at the Mercer-Williams House, forms a significant part of the ghostly lore surrounding the mansion. In the late 1960s, while playing in the vacant mansion with his sister, Tommy met with a fatal accident. The story recounts his fall from a balcony, resulting in fatal injuries. Ever since, Tommy’s spirit is said to reside within the house, adding to its mystique and allure.

Visitors and staff alike often recount peculiar occurrences linked to Tommy’s presence. Eerie sounds, such as a child’s laughter and chatter, echo through the grand halls. Unexplained chills permeate the air, leaving an inexplicable sensation of coldness. Tommy’s ghostly presence has cemented the Mercer-Williams House Museum’s reputation as a haunted landmark. Despite his tragic fate, Tommy’s spirit lingers, serving as a poignant reminder of the house’s chilling history.


If you’re a seeker of hidden paranormal secrets and a collector of ghost stories, consider embarking on a guided ghost tour. Complete your tour of Savannah’s spectral wonders with the Ghost Hunters of Savannah Paranormal Investigation at 416 W. Liberty Street. This historic site, steeped in Revolutionary War echoes and the aftermath of a triple-axe murder invites you to delve into its mysterious past. As Savannah claims its title as the Most Haunted City in America, join our seasoned paranormal investigators in exploring the eerie secrets concealed within 416 W. Liberty. From a brooding presence above the bar to haunting whispers in the restrooms and an elusive spirit on the third floor, the choice is yours to uncover the chilling truth of this haunted locale. Brace yourself for an immersive journey that may leave you with a spine-tingling belief in the otherworldly.

Savannah 416 W. Liberty Street


Who built the Mercer-Williams House?

The Mercer-Williams House, an iconic Savannah landmark, was commissioned by General Hugh Weedon Mercer, the great-grandfather of famed songwriter Johnny Mercer, in 1860. Due to financial difficulties, General Mercer never had the opportunity to reside in the house. The property was later completed by John Wilder, showcasing an impressive blend of Italianate and Victorian Regency styles. The Mercer-Williams House has since gained a reputation for its dark history shrouded in mystery.

What can I see inside the Mercer-Williams House?

Inside the Mercer-Williams House, visitors can marvel at an extensive collection of furniture and art from the 18th and 19th centuries, gathered from around the world by the house’s last owner, Jim Williams. Key highlights include a beautiful Chippendale sofa, ornate Italian mirrors, and a collection of Chinese porcelain. As you walk through the house, you can also see stunning architectural features, such as ornamental plasterwork, intricate woodwork, and an impressive flying staircase. Described as one of the most beautifully furnished houses in Savannah, the Mercer-Williams House offers a glimpse into the past, draped in mystery and elegance.

Is there a gift shop at the Mercer-Williams House?

Yes, the Mercer-Williams House features a gift shop where visitors can purchase a variety of historical artifacts and ghostly souvenirs commemorating the house’s history and haunted lore. The shop offers a wide range of items, including books, art prints, and home décor items. It’s the perfect place to pick up a memorable souvenir of your visit or a thoughtful gift for a history or ghost story enthusiast. Visitors can visit the gift shop during the house’s normal operating hours.