Adventures

Savannah Adventures: the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

As I mentioned in last week’s post, Savannah is know for being one of America’s most haunted cities.  Which means, in Savannah, Ghost tours abound. It can be a little overwhelming deciding which one to take. I wish I could have taken all of the tours and told you about every last one of them, but alas! My stay was hardly long enough for such adventures. *dramatic sigh* The two I did have the pleasure of going on I’m going to tell you all about though! And about time, right? I’ve been teasing you with this for a while now. Today you lucky devils, I’m talking about the first of the two ghost tours I went on, The Ghosts and Gravestones Haunted Trolley Tour.

I have been on the Trolley tour in the past during the daytime and had a delightful time, learning about the history of Savannah, its architecture and how the School of Art and Design (SCAD) has been helping to revitalize the area. It was fascinating for sure. But if you’re anything like me it’s the grizzled past and the ancient bloodstains you’ll want to hear about. And that is what you get on the evening shift.

Now, I could just tell you about how awesome this tour was, but that would be doing you a great disservice, because the tour managed to be awesome with Alexander and I make a big ridiculous commotion.

Imagine this, if you will. It was a chilly evening on River Street, The sun had set and only a handful of college students are wandering down to some bar or another. You can hear a busker singing from further down the pier and the street lights glint off of the slightly wet cobbled street. The peacefulness of the night is shattered when Alexander and I bumble our way over to the the trolley stop weighed down with all of our YouTubing gear. I’m all wired up with our massive H4N zoom for capturing audio, sporting our jimmy-rigged night-vision camera with infrared light on the top while Alexander has a bulky shoulder rig with our camera and brick lights attached to the top of it and a backpack filled with extra batteries hanging off him to boot. We clatter up to the Trolley booth and are warmly greeted by Mike Harris, the night shift supervisor.

Shift supervisor Mike

Mike was so helpful, and even let us get an impromptu interview with him right there on the spot. Mike is actually the co-author with Linda Sickler for a book that recently came out called Historic Haunts of Savannah. The two of them researched some of Savannah’s most infamous ghost stories to figure out which ones had a basis in history and brought their findings to you. So with that micro interview I wished Mike a fond good-night, added his book to my “read it” list. Then Alexander and I akwardly clambered aboard the black trolley.

After much jostling of the poor patrons already seated, we got to know our ghost host for the evening. The lovely Miss Katarina all dressed in petticoats and a top hat was to be our guide for the night and she didn’t even bat an eye at our bizarre get-up. I’m sure we’re not the strangest tourists to join her. Side note: the driver (forgive me, but I didn’t write down her name) was dressed up like a grim reaper. Love it.

Myself  and Katarina

The trolley wound it’s way through the quiet streets and as we passed through the city Katarina pointed out the historic houses and told the group all sorts of macabre stories. People going mad, lynch mobs killing people, and unmarked graves beneath the streets to name a few. She also shared the tales of ghosts that people have experienced in the city. These stories were told with such a carefree ease that you felt like you were listening to a friend well-versed in local lore instead of a tour guide.

“Johnny” played by Travis

One of the great things that this tour offers is a visit inside of  of Judith Gordon Low birthplace. (She was the founder of the girl scouts). This stop alone is worth the tour if you happen to be a history or architecture buff because you’re actually allowed to take photos and videos while inside the building. During daylight hours you can only look with your eyeballs.  And my goodness, this house is so beautifully maintained. The contents of the house are all either from the early 1900s or original to  the Low family. The set designer in me was having a fit of happiness the whole time we were guided through the house with our second ghost host, “Johnny.” Johnny, who was played by Travis, was also a great story teller. He shared with us the sightings of spirits in the home as well as some of the weird occurrences that staff experienced while working there. What impressed me beyond his performance was his knowledge of the building and it’s history. Guests kept throwing him curve-balls and he kept knocking the out of the park.

Painting from the Wayne Gordon House Parlor

After this little side quest, the group returned to the black trolley and made our way to the final stop. The River Street Perkins and Sons Chandlery. And I’m totally going to leave you with only some tantalizing images from that stop because what I experienced there was just too fantastic to express through words here. You’ll have to wait for the video from the tour to come out on Haunting TV.

River Street Perkins and Sons Chandlery

Yeah, I know, I’m such a tease 😉

This was such a fun tour and I can’t recommend it enough. The staff was knowledgeable and fun. The stories were engaging, the trolley itself is incredibly charming and that craziness that happened at the last stop…  Best surprise ever.

River Street Perkins and Sons Chandlery

So if you get the chance, please do go experience the Ghost and Gravestones Trolley tour.  It made for a very memorable Savannah night.

The total length of tour is about 1hr 15min

Where can you get tickets and more information?

Why, from their website of course:

ghostsandgravestones.com

And if you’d like to purchase a copy of Mike’s book you can do so by clicking HERE.

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