A short time ago I went on a trip down to Savannah Georgia. It was nice to get away from the growing snow-fortress of solitude that was my CT home. Even through Georgia was also having a cold spell, so it felt more like a crisp New England fall than anything close to tropical. But I enjoyed the heck out of it. And my main thought was, “There’s no snow!!!”
While visiting the oldest city in the state of GA I quickly realized that anyone you talk to has some sort of ghost story. Which really intrigued me. Shop owners would talk about the weird things that go bump in the night and there seemed to be ghost tours around every corner. How could there not be? Savannah is considered a necropolis. A necropolis according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is, “A large cemetery, especially of an ancient city.” Although colloquially, in Savannah, the term means that they live on top of their dead. At first glance it doesn’t seem to be such an apparent characteristic. The city is beautifully laid out with massive living oaks stretching their limbs dripping with spanish moss over perfect little squares, parks, and streets. And the graveyards aren’t too frequent, in fact it’s most famous one, the Bonadvanture Cemetery is a little ways off from the city’s center. So it must a bit of a misnomer, right? Nope. Savannah is truly a city built upon its dead.
Savannah apparently made a habit of creating, and not keeping track of, mass graves. Some have been tracked down by historians and today you can walk around the historic district and find signs telling you about them. I only (knowingly) visited the mass grave of yellow fever victims in Colonial Park cemetery. It’s pretty scary thinking that not long ago an illness like that wiped out almost 700 people in such a short amount of time.
Not disturbing enough for you? (Oh I like you, you’re a wonderfully twisted sort.) Well how about this little tid-bit? While strolling down scenic streets, your feet happily tapping along the beautiful bricked sidewalks, you notice how the surface of the sidewalk seems to have irregular low points in it. Well, my twisted friend, these undulations in the sidewalk’s surface are said to be where a paved-over grave has caved in.
Image from a great collection on indberglce.com
I’ll leave you for now with this little taste of the Savannah flavor. But in my next couple posts I’ll be bringing you my experiences from two of the coolest ghost tours Savannah has to offer.
If you would like to read a little bit more about Savannah’s grisly past I recommend checking out the Colonial Park Cemetery section on the Savannah Tourism Site. And if you’d like a quick, but informative history of the city click on over to HERE.