Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Well? Do you believe in ghosts?

I sure do, and my love of all things paranormal was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to take this quick trip to Savannah. A planned city founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe, of England, Savannah is a city ripe with history. Tales of piracy, murder, suicides and debauchery are prevalent. What better place for me to do some ghost hunting?

General Oglethorpe

Our first night in Savannah Jimmy wanted to eat somewhere nice and we settled on The Olde Pink House, first owned by James Habersham Jr. In 1771 construction of the mansion began, but was interrupted by the the British military during the Revolutionary war. They thought the mansion was a great place to camp. Construction on the house was not complete until 1789.

Although I took a couple of pictures while we dined in one of the 11 formal dining rooms, I didn't pick up any ghosties. It was a gorgeous place though and the food was beyond incredible.

My view from where I sat.

The furnishings of this room are not original, as you can tell by some of the mirrors and such, but the woodwork was still done beautifully.

Jimmy loved his dinner of barbecued grouper over creamy grits.

My dinner was unlike anything I have ever tasted before. Red snapper over roasted tomatoes, pureed corn and baby zucchini. Three gorgeous tortellini were stuffed with goat cheese. The flavors were so complex that every time I took a bite I tasted something different.
After dinner, Mikayla and Jimmy went exploring and found the old tavern in the basement. It's much as it was in the 1700s with very low ceilings, all the original beams and paneling, etc. A very close, intimate space. As I walked in the room for a look, the barmaid told me to take a seat if I'd like. Jokingly, I said, "Only if I can meet a ghost or two." She said, "I can't promise you'll see one tonight, but there is a lot of activity in this part of the house, things I have experienced over and over. I even have a picture to show you."

OMG, my heart rate kicked up at the thought of what she would show me. She brought out a picture which had been sent to the restaurant from a patron. It was a picture of a good looking guy, hanging out in the tavern. The unusual thing is that right next to his head was another head, that of a pirate! Although not solidly there, the image of the pirate was clear enough that I could make out his hair, his eyes, nose, mouth and even his teeth! The barmaid then told me that since that picture was taken, two more separate patrons have emailed the restaurant with pictures very similar to that, only in each successive one, the pirate's face becomes clearer. She had many more tales to tell, but it was getting late and time for us to walk back to our hotel.

The next day we ate lunch at The Pirate House Restaurant, which was built in 1753 as a saloon, restaurant and boarding house. It got its name because pirates sailing into the Savannah river would often stay there, wreaking havoc in their wake.

Our waitress was wonderful, told us to wander the rooms and take as many pictures as we'd like, and she'd tell us her personal experiences after we'd been served. First, let me tell you that between me and Mikayla, we took over 200 pictures. I did not get any apparitions or even any mists in my pics. But what I did get in a few were orbs. Now yes, you can say, "It's a dust particle" or "It's a bug". Much of the time that's just what I think. It's just kind of interesting that out of over 200 pictures, the only ones that have orbs in them are taken in places known to be very haunted. Mikayla took tons of pictures when she, Jimmy and Madison visited the Catholic Cathedral. She also took a whole bunch of herself inside the hotel. All of them using the flash too. No orbs.

Anyway, the oldest part of the Pirate House is the old herb room, where a 10-year-old boy died of yellow fever. These days this room holds one table, seating for 8, and a stairway that's been blocked off at the top, where a storage room used to be. The waitress told us that the boy is sometimes seen, but only in this room, usually on or under the stairs.

The room was empty that afternoon, so Mikayla and I wandered in there, took a seat, and starting talking to the boy. I know that sounds silly, but this is what they do on Ghost Hunters, so we figured we'd give it a try. It went something like this:

Me: Hello little boy. You can come out and see me if you'd like. I'm not here to harm you.

Mikayla: Hi there. We're nearly the same age. I bet we could play a game or something.

Me: If you come sit right here next to me on the stairs I'll give you a sweet.

Unfortunately, the boy didn't want to play, but I think someone else may have.

We ate in the Captain's Room.


Please ignore my sweaty, lip-biting self, k?
But please take notice of this next picture that I took of the fireplace. There was no one seated over there to kick up dust, I hadn't seen any bugs flying around the room, and really? This is the oddest orb I've seen to date. There's sort of an orb within an orb.

Please click to enlarge.
Our waitress told us one story that was really kind of funny. She had been standing on our side of the room, looking toward a couple who had been in a heated argument for some time. She said the woman was being a total bitch to the man and just would not stop. The waitress was actually starting to get annoyed because this couple was disturbing other diners. Well, someone else was getting ticked off too, because she said the next thing she knew, the coffee ground basket came flying out of the machine (which was about 4 feet behind and to the side of the woman) and smacked her square in the back, leaving grounds all down her shirt.

The woman finally shut up.

Another time she overheard a patron saying adamantly to his wife, "There are no such things as ghosts!" Just then the picture above the table fell straight onto his head.

He shut up too.

That night, we took what would turn out to be a humorous ghost tour of the city, Colonial Cemetery and The Sorrel-Weed House.

First we sat on a trolley for 45 minutes or so, crawling along the city streets in the sweltering heat with nary a breeze coming through the open windows. Miss Violet was our undead guide for the evening. Whereas the stories she told were done very theatrically, they were all based in truth, which for me, made up for the silliness of the rest of it.

First stop, the Sorrel-Weed House, built in 1839. This house was investigated by TAPS, (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) founded by my boys Jason and Grant from Sci-Fi's Ghost Hunters. Their conclusion? HAUNTED. Do they always come up with that conclusion? Absolutely not!

I was almost as excited to be stepping where they had stepped as I was with the hope of seeing an entity!

First we stood in a circle around this room where our hostess for the house tour told us some ghastly tales of things that have happened in the house. We only got to see two rooms, plus the slave quarters in the basement because believe it or not, this house is occupied by a family!

This room is lovely, but didn't feel at all spooky to me.
It was only when we stepped into the room adjacent to this that things changed for me. My heart started racing, I was sweating and felt the need to run. Panic attack! But why? Just after I leaned over to whisper in Mikayla's ear that I was having a panic attack, our hostess told us that many people feel a sense of dread or depression in this room. I was feeling something, that's for sure!

Do you see those cardboard fans being held? I later found out that at this time, Mikayla felt one being slid down her cheek. She turned in that direction and Jimmy was the only one there. He swears he did not touch her.

Here, our hostess tells us of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself from the third- floor balcony above us, down to the garden below.
Just after this picture was taken, the lady in the orange shirt's cell phone rang. We all turned our phones off at the beginning of the tour.

Next it was down into the nearly pitch-black basement where the slaves were housed. These fake candles you see below were the only light source in the room. It was dark people!

I was the first person to enter the room and got this shot. Orb!

Funny how my camera takes better shots in the pitch black than it does in dim light.
More orbs! (Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge!)

Orb! Orb!! Orb!!!

Orb! Orb!!

Orb! This one seems to be following Jimmy around.

Next, we stepped out into the garden. Here, looking up to the 3rd-floor balcony where the lady plunged to her death.

Interesting, don't you think?

Next, we stood outside the gates of Colonial Cemetery. I did not capture anything paranormal here, but I did get eaten alive by skeeters and have a baby spider or two crawl on me. That's creepy, no?

Although there area over 10,000 remains buried here, only a little over 600 grave markers remain. Opened in 1750, the last body was buried in the year 1853.

Miss Violet felt there was an aura of danger around Jimmy, so she reached inside her cleavage and brought out a vial of graveyard dirt and crushed bones. She then proceded to blow it all over Jimmy for protection.

There! Now he's completely safe from any restless spirits!

So what do you think? Are these orbs I caught simply dust? Or do you believe they are the energy of souls departed trying to manifest themselves?

Do you believe in ghosts?

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

37 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • bj

    OMGosh, Tiney...it's 10:40 in the morning here, bright sunlight just a'shining and reading this has my hair on the back of the neck standing straight out!!
    Now, girl...I have to say that I DO NOT believe in ghosts. (ANITA over at PRAIRIE DREAMS does, tho)..I love the stories...I love the 'getting scared out of my mind"...but, nope, I think there is no such thing as ghosts. You go right ahead and believe, tho...cause it's just plain FUN to think there MIGHT be a lost soul, trying to find his/her way to Heaven...
    Thanks for all these great photos...and the interesting info you supplied us with. Loved reading this post. I would dearly love to go there someday. If I get to, I'll call ya so you can meet me there.
    Orbs...?? are these the little ghosts?

  • Secondary Roads

    That food looks fabulous! I'm hungry!

    I spent a stormy weekend in Savannah. No ghosts, but good food.

  • Grand Pooba

    Hell yeah I believe in ghosts! That sounds like the best vacation ever! I've decided I'm going to become a ghost hunter. There's no ghosts in accounting, where's the fun in that?

    I've always loved scary movies and spooky stories and just love scarying myself silly! I had no idea there were places you could visit that were actually haunted! And they even have cleavage bone dirt? SOLD!

  • imjacobsmom

    Hey Justine, This was spooky freaky. What an interesting vacation. In 1985 I stayed at Chico Hot Springs in Butte, Montana in their old historic bathhouse. In the middle of the night we were startled awake by a metal ice bucket full of half melted ice and water that was thrust to the floor - I shit you not. I didn't sleep a wink the rest of that night. I am glad we only stayed one evening. I'm getting shivers just thinking about it now.....Robyn

  • Chris

    Great job here posting about Savannah. NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GHOSTS. We ate in the very room you talked about the little boy dying in. I didn't hear about that story while there. The kids, Norm and Dana went on that ghost tour you went on and Kristen took so many pictures trying to get a ghost image in the shot. She said she got nothing, now I'm going to tell her to go back and look at them again, maybe she did. Those are pretty small signs. You did a great job on this post, enjoyed it lots. Thanks, for taking me back to Savannah.

    Love Ya,

  • Bird Shit and Baby Caca

    That looks awesome!

  • Cathy

    Wow,, what a great time. I would love to do this. I don't know if, well I do know that I wouldn't take the kids. They would be in our room for months. They actually woke me up today cause they thought someone was in the house. They are freaks.. Anywho, great time. And not to be,,well cause I want to see but the very first picture with the white brick wall. I enlarged it and for some reason I see white swirls on the brick.. maybe it's just my sleep deprived eyes but maybe? I will look again.

  • Cathy

    Oh shit, it's not the first picture.. it's the dining room at the pirate house.. Okay, I need sleep.

  • Shelia

    Oh, Justiney! I believe in ghosts, I do, I do, I do believe in ghosts! (from The Wizard of Oz). Truly, I don't really know what I think about ghosts. I do know the subject is very interesting to me though. I love ghost stories and I love to watch the Haunted Places and Haunted History shows. So I guess I really do want to believe. What a fun time you must have had on your trip. Great food and lots of excitement! I would have been sitting right there with you on the ghost tour! We took one in New Orleans once and took the one here in Galveston a few years back! I love them.
    I don't know about your orbs! I had to strain my tiny eyes to see some of them. Who knows! If you say they're orbs - then they're orbs!
    Great post!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;

  • Justine

    Donna Marie said:

    I tired to leave a message on your post but the comment link is not visible on my Computer. Anyway, Wow... that first Orb looked like a little face inside of it! Aslo... that dark basement shot where the slaves were kept... if it was dusty. (I am sure it was) more dust orbs would have showed up in the shot. There was only one!

    You were really Ghost hunting huh? (Way cool)

    I do believe in ghosts... Looks like you picked up a little activity!!! (Way to go!!!)


  • Amandasaurus

    I know where I'm going on my next vacation. I'm such a sucker for this stuff, though admittedly I've never actually experienced anything weird because all the "haunted" places around here are abandoned and condemned or heavily patrolled. So, I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts. I would if I met one. Sorry but the orbs aren't enough to convince me.... maybe that pirate fellow would do it.

  • roy/elisabeth dean

    YES!!! I def believe in ghosts. I grew up in a house that was 175 years old and 3 ghosts resided there. The author, Kathryn Windham (13 Alabama Ghosts) did an assembly at my elementary school. After the program, I told her that ghosts lived in our house and she asked if she could come home with me. I walked in that afternoon with her (my sweet Mom didn't blink an eye) and she walked through the entire house...all 3 floors. She described the ghosts to us...exactly the ones I would see! It was just a way of life for us.
    Last year, I had to stay at the St. James Hotel in Selma, AL for business. I woke to a horrible stench, turned on my lamp to see what was causing it and a MAN was sitting in my room. He was dirty, holding a hat and had beautiful blue eyes. I screamed, he smiled and disappeared. When I told the desk clerk about him she asked me to describe him. She told me that it was Frank James (sometimes Jesse would show up to). I saw him twice more and didn't scream. I did tell him to get lost while I took my shower!
    I'm always chasing ghosts. I'm going to Savannah in 2 weeks with friends and intend to visit as many ghost houses as possible.
    Let's meet at the St. Augustine Lighthouse sometime!!!

  • Jill

    I so wish I could have went with you. I would have loved that. The restaurants you ate at looked like so much fun and the food.... mmmmm! and do I believe in ghosts.. you betchya!

  • Ginger

    No, I don't believe in ghosts but I love the stories., I'm one of those gals that doesn't believe anything unless I see it with my own eyes.
    Great post and good story telling. Loved seeing all the pictures.

  • Ronda's Rants

    I haven't ever seen a ghost...but I do love looking for them!
    I haven't ever been to Savannah but I want to go...love this post!!
    Have you ever been to the ghost tour in St. Augustine...so much fun!
    I am in Jax for tomorrow...
    If you want to meet me in St. Augustine...I will take you out to eat!

  • blueviolet

    That was the most fun I've had all day. I didn't know Savannah had such a rich history of ghosts. I must go now. I really enjoyed this post.

    And I did see those orbs. This was so cool. Thank you for sharing!

  • Diane @ Four Paws and Co

    Great post Justine! Loved all the pictures & hearing the stories! I've had orbs in pictures but it never occurred to me that it may have been a ghost! I'll pay more attention now!
    Oh yes, I believe in ghosts & we had one/some in our old house. I've heard them, but Steve was the only one that ever saw one. It scared him to death too! ☺ diane

  • Melissa

    Wow, thanks for sharing all of that!! I do believe in ghosts also- and I would love to visit savannah. I loved all of your pictures and background info on where you where. We've been to St Augustine a couple of times and I ALWAYS get orbs in my pictures. And I totally know the panic attack/anxiety feeling you were talking about. I feel that way whenever walk by the cemetary, go to the fort, or cross over the lion bridge in St Augustine. Some places are stronger than others. Last summer when we were there we left 2 days earlie because I couldnt get rid of the feeling. Thought I was going nuts!! Thanks for posting about what your guide said about people feeling that way.

  • Laila Of Course!

    oh my goodness gracious, Justine, haven't YOU been busy! hehe. and at the first part i was kind of like ehhh come ON ghosts?! and then the cell phone creeped me out. ahahahhah. OH WELL.

    And I'm glad you liked the youtube video! Of course, I have a post on Ramadan from last Friday sooo you should read that if you're interested. or not, hehe.

  • Tootsie

    I wish I could go there too!!! I believe...whole heartedly...I love the photos and the story of your trip!!!
    glad you are back!!!

  • squawmama

    Hey Justiney... I am so glad that you guys had so much fun in Savannah... I just love that town soooo much and all the eerie ghost stories which I believe 100%... I love that cemetery that you went too it has so many old headstones... Did they tell you about all the people that they buried (some alive) under the streets during the yellow fever outbreak? It was horrifying and made all the hairs stand up on my entire body... ☺☺☺ There spirits are suppose to be roaming the streets... Glad you had so much fun there.

    Love YA

  • Tami

    Of course I do silly rabbit! LOVED YOUR POST TODAY! I admit I love watching Ghost Hunters with my son LOL.

    Would loved to have gone on an adventure!

  • xinex

    Interesting ghost stories, Justine! I am always fascinated by them and I like to take ghost tours but I am not as brave as you. But yes, I believe in ghost but I do not want to see one. I have a lot of orbs when I take pictures too, some of them really large. If you want more ghost stories, you should visit me and I promise to take you on a ghost tour, including the King's Tavern. Google it!...Christine

  • Kristen

    OMG! I so wanna go there! And I absolutely believe. I have seen them. They have spoken to me. Woken up my daughter. And I'm not sure about the orbs. I have seen them in real life shooting across my bedroom. Wouldn't it be fun to be that graveyard tour guide?

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    I dont believe in ghosts, but i enjoyed your trip, and i Love Jimmy's smile in that last pic!!

  • cindy

    Great post! I went to Savannah and never saw the Olde Pink House restaurant..and I didnt get to go on a ghost tour.....now I have a good reason to go back! I did however eat at the Pirate House...my B.F. ordered chicken fettucini and there was a piece of fish in it...maybe a ghost put it in there...??

  • Shelia

    Justiney! Oh, I've just watched the video of Strudel eating! How precious! I can't believe how fast he's grown.
    Shh...don't tell anyone, but we leave on Friday to fly to Seattle and be with our daughter a couple of days and then she and her hubby, Mr. Precious' sister and hubby will join us on an Alaskan cruise! I'm so excited!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Mrs. B. Silly

    Pretty place, pretty food, pretty girls, crazy orb mom! lol

  • angie

    I do believe in ghosts. Even more now. I enjoyed every word today! What an incredible vacation, photos and memories. Oh, And orbs. :)

  • Elizabeth

    WOW! This could have been 5 posts. Yes, I believe in ghosts. I used to babysit in a home from colonial times that was also part of the Underground RR. I always felt a presence there.
    Aren't you and Jimmy Mr. & Mrs. Top Chef with those fancy meals!

  • Shelia

    Hi Justiney! Thanks for popping in to see my Roosters. Now you must know, I do have more...I just didn't have time to get them all out and ready!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  • Cole

    I definitely believe in ghosts... but I'm still a little freaked out by them too.

    Your food looks great! I'm glad you all had so much fun. :-)

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    Wow, spooky ooky! I have to say that I believe in ghosts though I have never seen one. I have lived in two houses that others sworn were haunted, but never saw anything. My daughter did though and it scared the crap out of her!

    Anyhow, my teen client lives in a very old house and he said it is haunted with some friendly spirits and that they have seen some. I was a bit skeptical, but then he told me that the little boy spirit liked to sit in the tiny rocking chair there in the living room. Later that night, I picked up his little brother's stuffed toys and put them in the rocking chair. Shortly after, the cell phone alarm clock went off in my purse. I didn't even have it set! It has NEVER done that. Then a half hour later, my cell phone called home! The phone was not in any place where it could have been bumped or anything. I didn't even know it had called until my son called me and asked why I had called home so late. WEIRD! I still think it was their spooks!


  • bj

    SHELIA...SHEILA...alright already...
    you just sit and watch my spelling, don't cha? Nothing in the whole world better to do...right?
    and I don't believe in ghost and...orbs..whatever THOSE are!!
    HOWEVER...I am pretty sure I believe the story of THE LADY OF THE LAKE...booooooooooooooo

  • Rachelle

    Wow - what an awesome trip you had! Great pictures! I do believe in ghosts but don't have any hair raising spooky encounters to talk about so far in my life. Thanks for sharing all the great information!

  • mrsben

    Verrrrry cool post Justine and the 'orbs' are truly interesting.

    To answer your question; YES I do believe in them. I've been in places where I have strongly felt their presence/essence (as you did) but must honestly say, I've only seen one full apparition. The latter gave me a warning to which I listened to and quite possibly saved my life.

    Briefly, I would have been a passenger in a car that was involved in a fatal accident. Three died and the driver lost both his legs. I was eighteen at the time. IF you wish to know the whole story, I'd be happy to share it with you. Just let me know.

  • Lavender Chick

    Without a doubt - you know my answer: Yes, I believe in ghosts...

    I have always wanted to visit Savannah. Now I really want to go just so I can eat that same red snapper that you had. Yummm!

    Okay, question: How do you make those little arrows on your photos? So cool. The arrows and the orbs.