Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Final Gasp

Magnet # 382:  Haunted Savannah

Material:  Rubber

Purchased By:  Me

I hope you're all having a Happy Halloween!  Let's face it, how could I not finish up my month of creepy posts in my own city of Savannah, which has been dubbed "America's Most Haunted?"  And with a magnet like this, you know we take that title seriously!  I was so excited when I came upon it during a trip to the Savannah History Museum earlier this year with my family.  I think the fountain featured on here is supposed to be the city's most prominent one, in Forsyth Park.  And while I've never heard of it being haunted - particularly by a host of skeletons - the nearby Mansion on Forsyth Park is located in a former funeral home and the ghost of a teenager named Lottie who once lived there supposedly haunts it.  The restaurant there is kind of pricey, but I've eaten dinner there a couple of times and seen the haunted hearse tours pull up and stop outside on the street.   It's funny to watch them out there, but I've never noticed anything unusual in my limited time at the restaurant.  But this is hardly the only eatery in town that is said to be home to the supernatural, nor is it the most notorious.

Moon River Brewing Company opened in 1999 at what was once Savannah's first hotel, the City Hotel. It was built back in 1821 and saw a great deal of people pass through its halls over the years, including the Marquis de Lafeyette and James Audubon.  But perhaps its most dubious resident was James Jones Stark, a man who loved to gamble and drink and had a pretty poor reputation.  He didn't care much for the city's physician, Dr. Philip Minus, perhaps because the other man was Jewish, and when Starke lost to him in a game of horseshoes, the situation only worsened.  He disparaged Minus so much that the two of them scheduled a duel, but it failed to happen.  But the pair continued to argue and finally Minus showed up at the City Hotel to confront Stark, who was in his room, writing a letter.  Stark started down the stairs to meet the doctor, but before he could reach the bottom, Minus shot him in front of everyone in the room.  Stark died from his wound, but when Minus was arrested and tried for murder, but he maintained that he was afraid Stark would harm him.  The jury acquitted him for his actions - after all, he was an important member of the community.  Now that his murderer has gone free, it's believed that J.J. Stark has only gotten angrier.  He's been terrorizing the third floor and people on the stairs heading to it.  The wife of a foreman repairing the building in the 1990s was apparently pushed down them by an unseen force.  Others have been slapped and touched, and bottles have been broken, and this violent behavior is usually attributed to Stark's ghost.  But he's not the only one around Moon River.  Another that's been dubbed Tony is said to frequent the billiard room, where he also pushes anyone he perceives to be an intruder.  Some have even claimed to spot a woman in white throughout the structure.  With all of this unusual activity, Moon River has received plenty of attention from paranormal investigators.  The Ghost Hunters visited in 2005, Ghost Adventures guys later spent a night there.  Both were a little unnerved by the place.  One fact that's interesting about Moon River is that much of it is unchanged since the 1800s.  Of course, that's mainly because bad, unusual things tend to happen whenever renovation attempts are made.

It's funny that Moon River is considered to be one of the most haunted spots in Savannah, because it's also one of the restaurants here where I've spent the most time.  One of my classmates really liked their Buffalo Wings and the fact that it's the only local bar that brews their own beer, so we used to hang out there between classes.  We got to know the staff pretty well, and one bartender told once us just how haunted it is and that she didn't like to be there alone at night.  I had even attended a couple of private parties in the basement over the years, but I never realized that it was one of the most reportedly haunted spots in the building at the time.  But a couple of months ago, my friend Lindsay came to Savannah with her family for a visit and we stopped by Moon River for dinner.  She's an avid fan of Ghost Adventures and the hostess actually told us one of the guys from the show had been in the night before.  Well, we were too late to meet him, but we did get permission to check out the rest of the place.  The second floor was a bit dilapidated, but we didn't get any bad vibes there.  They warned us not to go to the third floor and judging by the condition of the stairs, I wouldn't have wanted to.  And no, we didn't see the spectre of J.J. Stark heading down them toward us.  But once we had reached the basement, Lindsay said she started to have a creepy feeling.  It did seem a bit more ominous down there.  She even said that she felt warmth coming out from one spot on the wall, but I didn't get the same sensation when I held my hand there.  Still, it was fun to check out a place I'd been many times, but from a rather different perspective.

Well, once again we've come to an end of the creepy posts.  This really is my favorite time of the year to do this blog, and I've already made a list of all of the magnets I have left to post next year - so far, I have 13.  That's not a bad sign, right?  Anyway, I hope you've all had a great Halloween and my posts have helped you get into the mood for the season!


  1. I have enjoyed this month's postings. It will be hard to wait an entire year to hear about the 13 magnets you already have plus the few more you will probably get.

  2. It'll be hard to wait that long to post them! But I know I'll have lots of fun getting more before then and it gives me something to look forward to.