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A Spirited Hike

A Spirited Hike

A ghost story for the story teller

No trip to Savannah, Georgia is complete without checking out some of what the city is famous for.  We absolutely love visiting Savannah for lots of reasons. It is a quaint but bustling old city. Who doesn’t love the old oak trees with draping Spanish Moss that line the streets?  Let us not forget about the food-oh my goodness the food! We also love the beach nearby-we really love love love Tybee Island. If we ever go missing, look for us there. On second thought, don’t look for us-we will be just fine.  What we really enjoy is the history of this old city, so getting out and about to explore is something we always try to plan. We are always looking for a spirited hike!

The Sheriff, being a professional historian, fashions himself as somewhat of a tour guide too so he figured he could hone his own skills by taking a city tour and listening to professionals tell stories.    So we set out to find a tour of our liking. Savannah has multiple tours to offer, but we thought taking a ghost tour might be fun. Now with Savannah being one of, if not the most, haunted cities in American, one can find hundreds of ways and hundreds of people to take you on a ghost tour. You might  take a trolley with a very dramatic guide telling you about the many murders of the city. You can ride in an old reconditioned hearse or even take a horse drawn buggy ride. But since we needed to get in a hike for our 52 Hike Challenge, we chose to take a city hike and joined a walking ghost tour.

We met our wonderful tourguide, Abby, of Cobblestone Tours, outside of a building on Bay Street just down from our hotel.  Our tour started off on the second floor of a building that Abby informed us that paranormal experts say is the “most haunted” place in the city.  Abby warned us it would be the most creepy place we’d visit on this tour. And she was right.

A narrow stair case led us up creaky old floors into a large open room.  The second floor of the building was a dreadful room that was dark and felt very empty. You could cut the dread that hung in the air with knife.  There were very large windows, but just enough street light seeped in to illumnate how abandoned the upper floor was. As if that were not enough,the walls of the unfinished loft were adorned with several signs warning the guides not to turn out the lights. The worst part of this second floor room was several  dark, open doorways on each side of the empty room that seemed like just black spaces into nowhere. After Abby told the history of the place and a few stories about the inhabitants of the second and third floors, I was certain that one of the previous inhabitants would walk out of one of those doors right behind me!  I was ready to get out of there. The rest of our stops were safe, a lot less creepy and fairly uneventful with a lot of fun people. Abby was a great tour guide who told some great ghost stories. We ended our night with some pizza and headed off to our hotel which also was on Bay St, not too many blocks from the creepy loft..

Two women, one holding a lantern and one man taking a ghost tour
This is Abby. She is a wonderful guide. Take her tour!

Now before I tell the rest of our story, let me say I’m mostly scared of live people, not dead ones.  The Sheriff and I have seen more than our fair share of evil in the living. And it’s not that I don’t believe in ghosts, it’s just that I don’t NOT believe in ghosts.  I’ve just never actually experienced a ghost…., at least, I don’t think I have. However, I love ghost stories, weird abandoned places, and strange happenings. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.  My love for scary stories goes back to my grandmother who scared the heck out my cousins, my siblings and me since we were old enough to sit still-which we didn’t do for long when she got to the ending.

Back in our hotel room, after our late night out with the spirits of Savannah, we drifted off to sleep on the second floor of an old building renovated into a beautiful boutique hotel.  This hotel was once a department store where people shopped in the port city of Savannah. People who visited that store were shopping, so…..they should have been happy people out for a beautiful day in Savannah gathering their wares.  I would like to think nothing sinister happens and nobody dies shopping so no ghosts would hang around the second floor of this hotel. No need to be on edge, no possible reason for haunting or ghosts, right? That’s what I told myself as as I drifted off to sleep.

That night, at around 3am, I was awakened by an extremely loud sound. I swear it was like a gun went off inside our room. It was so loud, and I quickly realized it did not come from the hallway outside. There were no  party people reveling in the late night, nor was it kids running up and down the hallway. It was clearly a very loud clap somewhere to the right of me…..INSIDE the room.

I immediately look over to my right to my husband, my rock, my protector, knight in shining armor, to whom I yell in my most whispering voice, “what was that?” only to find my illustrious superhero of a husband had turned into a comatose lumberjack sawing logs. Are you serious?? He really slept through that? HOW IN THE WORLD??? He probably couldn’t hear it for his own snoring.

Now I’ve seen those paranormal shows where somebody staying in an old bed and breakfast wakes up to see a civil war soldier standing at the foot of their bed.  And I know Civil War soldiers carry guns. But because I’m married to a history buff and sometimes re-enactor, I know they had old guns. Surely, I would have heard all the commotion and noise that goes into a civil war soldier loading a black powder gun. That ramrod thingy makes a lot of noise just jamming the powder and ball into the gun.  Also, from all the reenactments I’ve seen, they usually drop the powder or the ball at least once. And the spitting! I know I would’ve heard the spitting. You don’t load a black powder gun and not spit something.  It’s a pretty noisy process. It’s safe to say they weren’t sneaking up on anybody so I felt safe from a ghostly civil war soldier and his gun. I tried to think of what else it could be. I’ve seen other scary motel movies so I know it could’ve been a mobster from the roaring ’20s.  They carried guns! Was I going to wake up to a dapper man in a zoot suit and fedora with a flapper on his side? I didn’t smell any cigar smoke. They are always smoking cigars. And in the movies, there’s always swing music that accompanies the mobster and the flapper. I didn’t hear anything like that so I wasn’t going to be facing a mob boss and his goomah so I felt it was safe to look around.

As I opened my eyes and peered around the room, I looked to the end of the bed first since that’s where they are always standing-except in my grandmother’s stories, they were always in the corner, so I checked there too. I allowed my eyes to get adjusted to the dark, and I still couldn’t see a thing!

There was no civil war soldier, no mobster, no flapper. No other sights or sounds.  Well two other sounds……I heard the slow, methodical SNORING of my husband and the loud thumping of my own heart.  As I fought the urge to roll my husband off his side of the bed because he was, again, sleeping through something I felt was of utmost importance, (He used to sleep through crying babies many years ago, I still hold that against him) I slowly drifted off back to sleep.  

The next morning, I was telling the Sheriff about my late night experiences. He was characteristically his most sensitive self (insert eye roll) when he said: “I’m sure you were dreaming because I would have woke up if that had happened”. So I ignored him and investigated myself, and I discovered the source of the sound. My hard plastic toiletry bag had been hurled (yes, I said hurled as if someone besides me did it!) from the back of shower into the middle of the tiled floor in the bathroom.  It had been in that shower, in the same place, for two days. If it had fallen, common sense says it would’ve fallen into the shower floor, not all the way out of the shower into the middle of the bathroom floor. All I can figure is that some sales lady from the old store did not like my choice good smelling products and thought maybe I should be using her brand of talcum powder or fancy perfume imported from France. I’m sure there is a more plausible explanation that is plain and boring, but what fun is that. Remember, I’m a sucker for a good ghost story so hopefully this will always be a good story for us to tell about one of our city hike. Hike 15 of 52 will forever be the ghost hike with the ghost story in the end. It has certainly motivated us to plan our next trip to Savannah for more stories!

Follow me on Instagram @whinyhiker to see some interesting photos from other Savannah trips and some abandoned places we’ve encountered  Subscribe to my blog to hear more fun stories. Stay tuned for information on the Sheriff’s historical tours and storytelling. Join us for one of those walking tours, I’ll be the one in the back pointing out where it all goes wrong. I doubt this story will work its way into any of his tours but the tours will probably be good anyway. Wink wink.

This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure here.

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