Recently, the Three Notch Paranormal Investigations Team was privileged to visit the most haunted city in the United States – Savannah, GA. Two of our members arrived with high hopes of catching paranormal evidence but weren’t quite prepared for what would actually happen in the City Build on Her Dead.
The Haunted Marshall House Hotel
The 3 Notch team decided to go all in and stay at one of the most reportedly haunted locations in the historic district – The Marshall House Hotel. This beautiful hotel was built in the mid eighteen hundreds by a woman named Mary Marshall. She had acquired the land from her father and decided to built this hotel…but she had no idea what the future would have in store for it! During the Civil War, the hotel was used as a hospital by the Union. Following this tragic time in history, the hotel was also used to house yellow fever victims. There’s no doubt this hotel has seen its share of the dying and dead over the years. Because of the sad history of the hotel, there seems to be active ghosts OR residual energy. Maybe both.
Upon arrival to the room, the team members noticed a strange, sour-sweet odor. We couldn’t quite place what it was or where it was coming from, so we simply brushed it off as the “paper mill” down the street (as researched online). However, more research would turn up more than one person has complained of the bad aromas in the hotel that seem to come and go at random. In addition, when first entering the room, the team turned on the spirit box and were immediately greeted by a man named Charles’ voice and a girl who we believes name is Emily. Despite the spirit box sounds, the first night at the hotel was quiet and peaceful.
The second and third nights in the haunted Marshall House Hotel turned out to be less than comfortable for the team members. The second night, around 4:45 AM, one team member was awoken by the sound of something heavy bouncing down the hallway. There were no other guests staying down this particular hallway, no cleaning ladies are there that early, and we were unable to re-create the sound the next morning with heavy steps, jumps, etc. In all honesty, the team member who heard the noise likened it to a heavy rubber ball bouncing slowly up and down the hallway, right by the hotel room door! The third night, one team member had nightmares and the other swore her toe was pinched hard by an unseen force.
Colonial Park Cemetery – EMF Readings and Orbs
The Marshall House Hotel was just the tip of the iceberg for the team’s visit to Haunted Savannah. Probably our most active paranormal spot was a place called the Colonial Park Cemetery, also located in the historic district. This particular cemetery is known around town to be THE most haunted place in the city – which is saying a lot because nearly every building in the historic district is said to be haunted! The Colonial Park Cemetery is home to at least ten thousand bodies, unfortunately only one thousand actual gravemarkers are still in existence. Also, the name given to Savannah “The City Built on Her Dead” comes in reference to the fact that when the city was expanded, Colonial Park Cemetery was basically built over. That’s right! Instead of moving the bodies to expand the city, the locals decided to leave the bodies and just move the gravemarkers. Sound a little Poltergeist-ish, does it? We thought so too.
We caught flying green orbs in front of a grave one night, in addition to a team member finding a potential ancestor in Colonial Park Cemetery. While talking to her potential ancestor, the EMF reader was spiking to red as she got closer and closer to his gravestone. When we tested it out, our other team member talked to him and got close to his grave with the EMF reader staying at green. We believe she did indeed find an ancestor – his name is a very rare French name.
On Saturday night, our team’s adventures included a fun, informational ghost tour by Skippy Spiral called the Grave Tales Tour. We highly recommend this tour guide and his quirky, confident take on story-telling. During the ghost tour walk, the team snapped hundreds of pictures of the haunted locations including photos outside of the Colonial Park Cemetery. In one set of photos, a team member noticed two strange orbs (which vaguely remind us of male faces) floating up out of a dark cloud from the road itself. This road, keep in mind, was built over bodies many years ago. See the photos below with the 2 orbs/faces below AND an orb photo in the cemetery followed by the EMF reader spiking to red just outside the cemetery!
Heavy Feelings and Haint Blue Paint at The Owens-Thomas House
The team took an educational tour through one of Haunted Savannah’s many house museums – the Owen-Thomas House. Not only did the team get to tour the house, but we also did an impromptu paranormal investigation while most of the others weren’t watching ;). The first part of the tour was rather sad and took the team through the slave quarters – a two floor building with two large rooms once used to house upwards of fifteen slaves at one time. An interesting thing to note is the “haint blue” paint on the ceiling of the slave quarters’ first floor. The tour guide pointed it out and mentioned that haint blue paint was used by the slaves to ward off evil spirits from entering the home. As a team member walked across a slab of the original floorboards, the EMF reader spiked to red.
Touring the actual Owens-Thomas house proved little paranormal evidence except for some heavy-in-the-chest feelings by one of the team members in the butler’s pantry. Oddly, the tour guide mentioned a slave named Peter who was required to sleep in the butler’s pantry (directly following our team member’s mention of strange feelings while walking through the pantry). All-in-all, the house is a beautiful yet tragic piece of Savannah’s rich history. A slideshow showing the haint blue ceiling, slave quarters and shots of the Owens-Thomas House are below.
Bizarre Ghostly Aromas
Both team members consider themselves sensitive to spirits but not necessarily “psychic”. However, more than once during the stay, both team members experienced strange scents in various parts of Haunted Savannah. One was mentioned earlier about the strange, sickening smell in the Marshall House. One other time, the team members got a lingering whiff of freshly-blown-out candles…in the hotel room. No explanation was found and the air wasn’t on, etc. Another clairsalient (clear-smelling) moment happened during a stroll along a historic row of buildings on the river called Factor’s Walk. The aroma of horses and hay hit hard – the team members stopped in their tracks and one said, “do you smell horses? This is where they kept the horses.” The team knew immediately that this one particular part of the haunted Factor’s Walk once housed the cotton importers’ horses in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. Photos of Factor’s Walk are below.
Conclusion: Is Savannah Haunted? PLUS How We Brought Ghosts Home!
These are truly just a FEW of the paranormal experiences the 3 Notch Paranormal Investigation Team had while visiting the haunted city of Savannah. We shall conclude that the City Built on Her Dead may indeed be haunted by its past and restless dead, backed with paranormal evidence AND personal paranormal experiences. Now for the scariest part – local Savannahian legend says if you walk through Colonial Park Cemetery you’ll be haunted for a week. BOTH team members experienced frightening things after returning to their homes far from the haunted city. Both of their experiences were nearly the same and it was confirmed that a good ol-fashioned smudging ritual was necessary to rid their homes of any “traveling spirits” that might have attached to them while in the haunted city. Yes, terrifying, however, after cleansing rituals, the ghosts were gone…hopefully they flew back to their home in the City Built on Her Dead.
Check out the next installment where we share our EXCLUSIVE videos taken in Haunted Savannah!