Exploring One of America's Most Haunted Cities' Ghost Tours
By Michelle da Silva Richmond
Travel and Cruise Expert
What could be more eerie than exploring the Historic District's ghoulish side? Considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the US, Savannah is teeming with ghost tours and deciding which one you're brave enough to try might be a challenge. One of the best ghost tour companies in the city is Blue Orb, which offers bone-chilling tours, which are guaranteed to terrify you. Another favorite - Ghosts and Gravestones - will transport you into the macabre via the "Trolley of the Doomed. If you’ve ever had a yen to visit a cemetery after hours, book an evening tour with Shannon Scott, an expert storyteller who scares guests with stories about Bonaventure Cemetery's "dark side," after the gates close. Savannah Ghost Walks, Sixth Sense Savannah and Ghost Talk Ghost Walk offer tours, which are geared for families traveling with older children. If you’d like to fortify yourself with a few adult beverages along your spooky adventure, then check out Tara Haunted Tours’ Boos and Brews tour and Savannah Tours by Foot’s Creepy Crawl. For the ultimate terrifying adventure book a tour with Hearse Ghost Tours, where you’ll have the unique opportunity to tour the city aboard an actual hearse.
9 Ghost Talk Ghost Walk
This popular and reasonably priced walking tour, which was featured on the History Channel's show Haunted Savannah, takes a lighthearted and original look at the Historic District's most haunted spots. Using stories from Margaret DeBolt's book Savannah Spectres and Other Strange Tales and incorporating studies from Duke University and actual interviews with Savannah residents, Ghost Talk Ghost Walk introduces guests to they city's haunted history and offers proof from the great beyond. The tour departs nightly from the John Wesley's monument in Reynolds Square on Abercorn Street and times vary; call ahead to find out times and reserve a spot. (912-233-3896, 800-563-3896)
8 Savannah Tours by Foot
Savannah Tours By Foot's Creepy Crawl, a walking tour of Savannah's most haunted pubs, is a must for tour-goers who like to wash down their ghost stories with a glass of ale. During the two-and-a-half-hour guided tour, guests visit between five and seven of the Historic District's most haunted bars and pubs, where they have the opportunity to enjoy libations while hearing about the establishments' spooky pasts. For a more family-friendly tour, check out the Creepy Stroll, a one-and-a-half-hour walk through Savannah's haunted streets. Reservations for both tours can be made online on the Savannah Tours by Foot's website. (912-238-3843)
7 Savannah Ghost Walks
Savannah Ghost Walks takes a multicultural approach to haunted Savannah, teaching guests about African Hoodoo, Irish and Native American beliefs and practices while giving them an in-depth, informative ghost tour of the Historic District. The company offers two tours of the city: a daily Ghosts of Savannah tour for mature children and adults and a daily 10:30 p.m. G.H.O.S.T. Ghost Hunters of Savannah adults-only tour. Savannah Ghost Walks is owned and operated by Chase Anderson, a ghost-hunting veteran and founding member of the Savannah Paranormal Foundation, who boasts more than 30 years of ghostly encounters and has done an extensive amount of historical and paranormal research. ((912) 508-1234)
6 Hearse Ghost Tours
Savannah offers some two dozen ghost tours, but only one transports passengers around town in an actual hearse. Hearse Ghost Tours take place in a real hearse--one that is guaranteed to have been in service for at least 15 years. With the bodies and caskets long gone, the hearse proves the perfect vehicle to tour Savannah's haunted Historic District. The hearse has been tricked out and converted into an open-air vehicle, complete with a canopy to protect tour-goers from the elements. Throughout the guided hour-and-a-half tour, guests pass by cemeteries and haunted buildings, learning about Savannah's grisly and eerie history. Reservations are required. (912-695-1578)
5 Southern Strolls Walking Tours
Southern Strolls Walking Tour's Savannah Ghost Stroll, a popular and affordable paranormal tour, is a great choice for visitors interested in the city's haunted history. The guided tour, which is held once a night Monday through Saturday depending on the season, includes entertaining ghost stories, anecdotes about Savannah's bloody history and stops at some of the Historic District's most haunted spots. Spooky locales on the walking tour include Colonial Park Cemetery, a final resting place for numerous historical local figures, and a haunted house on West Oglethorpe Street, where many tour-goers have reported ghost sightings. Reservations are required. (912-480-4477)
4 Tara Haunted Tours
If you'd like some spirits to go along with your spirits, then check out Tara Haunted Tours' signature Boos and Brews Walking Ghost Tour. The popular tour is a favorite among tour-goers for its spooky yet lighthearted stories and pit stops at the city's most haunted pubs. The adults-only walking tour departs nightly at 8 p.m., and drinks must be purchased separately at each stop. Tara Haunted Tours also offers a guided Scenic Haunted Savannah Tour for groups of 10 or more. Customized walking tours are available, including a birthday tour, family-friendly tour, haunted wedding tour and pub crawl tour. Owner and operator Tara Ryan, whose family history in Savannah dates back to the 1840s, is the seventh generation in her family to experience ghostly encounters. She has been featured on several paranormal TV shows, including TLC's Ghost Intervention, A&E's My Ghost Story and Syfy's Ghost Hunters International. (912-897-1973)
3 Sixth Sense Savannah
This popular ghost tour has been sending chills up the spines of tour-goers since 1995. Sixth Sense offers several tours of Savannah's haunted Historic District, including a family-friendly tour that departs at 7 p.m. and an 18-and-up tour that begins at 9:30 p.m. Both tours depart from Clary's Café on 404 Abercorn Street, and parking is free. During the two-hour walking tour, participants cover about half a mile, exploring the city's haunted history and learning about poltergeists, shadow people, orbs, exorcisms, tunnels, root doctors, voodoo and more. Sixth Sense also offers a tour of Savannah's famed Bonaventure Cemetery. Advanced reservations are required, and tickets can be purchased online via the Sixth Sense website or by phone. (866-666-3323)
2 Shannon Scott Journeys
A tour of legendary Bonaventure Cemetery is always worth a visit, but one of the best ways of learning about the cemetery's haunted past is by signing up for a tour with Shannon Scott. Scott's Journeys tours include a Bonaventure By Day tour and a Bonaventure: After Hours tour. The evening tour is a unique experience, which allows participants a rare peek into the cemetery when the gates are locked. Scott's engaging storytelling and detailed knowledge of Bonaventure and Savannah's colorful history lend another dimension to the spooky tour. For another one-of-a-kind experience, check out Scott's Paranormalist Tour, a customized haunted tour of the city. Reservations for all tours are required. (912-604-4423)
1 Blue Orb Ghost Tours
Blue Orb is touted as one of the most credible and bone chilling ghost tours in town, thanks in part to owner and guide Tobias McGriff's authentic documentation and captivating delivery. Their newest, Modern Hauntings Tour, delivers is quickly becoming one of the most popular ghost tours in Savannah and is already spawning imitators. This unique adventure features homes and stories never before talked about and obtained from real estate agents, caretakers, renovation crews, past and current tenants and the property owners who have been willing to go on record with their chilling encounters. This is an 18 and older tour. This tour leaves rain or shine and participants are advised to bring bug spray and bottled water during the summer months. Reservations are recommended for all tours. (912-665-4258)
Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. She has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, consumer and trade magazines and in-flight publications. In addition, she has co- authored and contributed to many guide books and was a weekly travel columnist for a metropolitan Connecticut daily newspaper. Growing up abroad, combined with a colorful career as a Pan Am flight attendant fueled her wanderlust and passion for travel. She lived in Mexico City for nearly 20 years and has visited nearly 100 countries. Her bags are always packed.
Read more about Michelle da Silva Richmond here.