Stories at the Sorrel-Weed House

To listen to the accompanying podcast episode: Click Here!

The great thing about visiting Savannah, Georgia is that the city seems to welcome its own paranormal history and evidence. Such is the case with the Sorrel-Weed House. It is said to be one of the most haunted locations in Savannah. April, Byron and I took the haunted tour with a great guide by the name of Graham.

The History

From the feature picture of the historical marker, you can read that the house was built in 1840 and was influenced by the French background of the original owner, Francis Sorrel. The story of his wife, Matilda and his slave mistress, Molly is what makes this location so interesting.

Molly, who had her own bedroom in the carriage house, was the mistress of Francis. After Francis’s wife was unable to find him one night, Matilda decided to ask the slaves if any of them had seen her husband. What she found was her husband in Molly’s private bedroom above the carriage house. Matilda ran away from the carriage house and into the main house. From the second-story balcony, Matilda argued with Francis while he was standing in the courtyard. Matilda fell to her death from that balcony.

It is also alleged that Molly, through all the turmoil of being discovered with Francis, that she hung herself in her bedroom. However, in today’s world and looking at the forensic evidence, a 4’11” woman was unable to reach the 8′ beams in her bedroom where she was found, nor did she have tall enough furniture to aid in her suicide. What logic also tells us about this death, is that hanging wasn’t necessarily a form of suicide in the mid-1800s, but more a way of the white man’s homicide as a form of punishment sentence. To this day, Molly’s death remains a mystery.

Multiple Haunted Rooms

Throughout the main home and carriage house, Graham was able to tell us the history of each room and some of the paranormal activity in each room. Although, after listening to the recording of the tour, I couldn’t truly put my finger on all the evidence to tie it together. Each room also had photographic or audible evidence that Graham presented.

There is a gathering room in the main house that has a giant mirror over a fireplace. Our guide was able to show us a photo of apparitions in the reflection of the mirror.

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Although we couldn’t capture any apparitions in the reflection, it’s difficult not to stare into this stunning mirror. Photo by April McGirr

The room was also decorated with ornate furniture that could’ve probably told more stories of the happenings during the prime of this gorgeous home.

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An old desk urging us to look for clues to the mystery of the deaths in the home. Photo by April McGirr

The basement we found most interesting. According to Graham, the home was bought in the 1950s and turned into an old dress shop. The shop changed out the old black slate tiles in the basement and cemented over them, ruining the originality of the home. However, when repurchased for restoration, the slate was too far ruined to be restored. Instead, the restoration turned into digging up the flooring to be renewed and artifacts from the Revolutionary War were found: buttons, red cloth, and a French Cannonball. Interestingly enough along with these artifacts, the bone capacity of 12 bodies was also found. Instead of spending restoration funds to further research the bones, the bones were returned into the earth. So, in the event, you ever visit this home, know that you are walking over the remains of human skeletons while in the basement.

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An old wheelchair found in the basement of the Sorrel-Weed House. Photo by April McGirr

There was an eerie feeling when walking into the “laundry room”. A heavy feeling came over me as I passed through the door and my depth perception began to waver. I don’t normally discuss my personal emotions and feelings from my investigations, but Graham told us later in the Carriage House that these types of feelings were normal while in the Carriage House. Odd that I felt them so much earlier in the tour.

There are claims of a “Shadow Man” in the basement as well. The staff at the Sorrel-Weed House have even given him his own breezeway since his tall shadow is often seen there. In the breezeway is one creepy old chair.

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Shadow Man’s chair. Photo by April McGirr

Other claims in the basement are that of clothes being tugged, jewelry and metals being pulled and purses being unbuckled. None of these things happened on our tour, at least no one confessed, but we found one interesting anomaly that we caught on camera. When we started looking at it again, another tourist said she captured three anomalies coming together in one of the other segments of the basement.

At first glance, it looks like the anomaly is on the camera lens, but it begins to move quicker than the motion of the camera towards the end.

A friend of ours, also showed me similar footage from his visit to the Sorrel-Weed house basement, proving the validity of this video.

I will also mention that Byron (my dappled dachshund) was also with us on this tour. He could not take his gaze off the fireplace area while Graham was speaking and telling us the history. The video above was taken after realizing that Byron was a bit uncomfortable with the fireplace.

The Carriage House

The history portion of this location is mentioned above and I’ll say again that Graham warned us that during most of his tours, at least one guest becomes nauseated, disoriented or hears footsteps while in the Carriage House. During our tour of Molly’s bedroom and the Carriage House, I did not feel any of these emotions and there were no footsteps being heard over the audio.

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Molly’s private bedroom in the Carriage House. Photo by April McGirr

However, the TAPS team of Ghost Hunters was able to capture a very distinctive yelling that lasted for several seconds. In the evidence of EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon), it is rare that an audible piece of evidence is broken up into clear audio of screaming over a time span of a second or two. The TAPS team captured this audio without anyone in the Carriage or nearby to manipulate a different sound. Your guide will be proud to honor this audio evidence while on your tour.

As I said earlier, Savannah welcomes its haunted history. Graham later took us on a walking tour throughout the city and was able to tell us more of the haunted history. The Sorrel-Weed House welcomes paranormal groups to investigate and Graham even offered up a direct email in the event any guest captures photographic or audio evidence while on the tour.

While looking for more evidence on the Sorrel-Weed House, I discovered this video on YouTube: (pay close attention around the 2-minute mark)

Could this video be actual evidence of Matilda walking around? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this video. Feel free to leave comments below.

In future visits to Savannah, GA, I’m hoping to book a lockdown night in the Sorrel-Weed House and use my own equipment for a full investigation. There seems to be enough evidence here to last a lifetime and well, let’s face it, the Sorrel-Weed House staff will actually appreciate what paranormal investigators can bring to light.

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Stories in the Cemetery Tours

Whether you’re a local or someone on vacation, you can take an Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience tour with me through downtown Charleston. Even though we won’t trek to Savannah, GA, we’ll visit many haunted locations using real ghost hunting equipment and possibly discover new activity! What will you discover on your tour?

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Links to references used for this post:

All photos were taken by April McGirr and cannot be used without permission.

Paranormal

Foley House Inn: Romantically Haunted?

You can listen to the podcast episode right here!

https://anchor.fm/storiesinthecemetery/episodes/E6-Foley-House-Inn-Romantically-Haunted-e3p97b

Our Haunted Weekend

So April and I decided that we needed a weekend away and what better way to enjoy each other’s company than through haunted Savannah, GA? A friend of mine told me “Nick, that’s not very romantic!” but to us, it was one of the best getaways we had in a long time.

We visited haunted locations like the Sorrel-Weed house and took a haunted tour around downtown Savannah, and we even stayed overnight in a haunted inn: the Foley House Inn.

The History of the Foley House

So, the stories go a little something like this:

From www.hauntedrooms.com, it reads:

The Foley House Inn was built in 1896 by Honoria Foley.  Honoria was the widow of an irish immigrant.  The Foley House Inn was undergoing renovations in 1987 the owners found a skeleton not in the closet, but behind a wall they had just knocked down.

The Skeleton was thought to be that of a rich lodger that was murdered for his money.  This discovery has led to the ghost of a man in top hat being seen walking in the gardens at night.  The ghost has been nicknamed Wally by staff at the hotel.  There have also been reports of strange noises and rushes of air at the hotel.”

No matter where I looked via the internet, this was the story. So, I felt like there was some justification to it, or…Foley House Inn is really controlling what media is portrayed. Regardless, the Inn was beautiful and I wanted a room, so I booked it. We stayed in Room 304.

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This Place is Stunning

Once we finally arrived at the Inn, we realized there were going to be quite a few steps in the process. The amazing staff checked us in, told us about parking and someone else took us to our room. We passed by the gorgeous dining room and made our way through a number of up and down staircases.

Winded from the steps we realized what part of the house we were in by the view from the balcony.

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We had access through the bathroom ceiling to the attic but April wouldn’t allow me to push through for EVP’s. Go figure.

More of the story goes to the garden that’s behind the old building, so we took plenty of pictures, of course. Although we didn’t see or hear any of the proclaimed hauntings in this area, we found it to be a serene area where one could enjoy breakfast after staying in a haunted room.

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A haunted night on the town

So, part of the legend from the Foley House Inn’s website states that guests will see someone in the garden wearing a top hat. This claim is that this person is the boarder that was buried in the walls of the Foley House.

During our haunted walking tour of downtown Savannah, our tour guide also mentioned this as we were walking through one of the many squares. His claim is that some people/tourists mistake a person wearing a top hat and costume as one of the many actors that provide a similar walking tour. If you haven’t been on one of these tours, some of the guides dress in costume for the effect of the ghost stories they’ll tell.

The tour guide also proclaimed that these sightings of a man in a top hat were in the early morning hours. The significance of this is that the tours don’t usually start until the afternoon into the evening.

With that said, I didn’t experience anything while in the Foley House itself, other than a magnificent breakfast and the noisy drinkers outside our balcony.

Byron needs to go outside

The next morning however, I took Byron out for his morning walk. I walked the many staircases down to the street before my morning coffee and out we went. I’m a writer, so morning coffee is a lifeblood first thing in the morning. Without it, I second guess anything.

We walked out to the square so he could do his business and we were the only beings on the bright sunny Sunday morning. Then someone walked by across the square wearing a white shirt, suspenders and a derby hat. He was walking pretty briskly. Then he was gone.

It didn’t dawn on me right away, again, I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet, the things I heard and read about this area with the man walking around in a top hat and that of the tour guide that mentioned tourists making the mistake that these people were tour guides dressing up the part.

I’ll first point out that the hat was wrong. The man I saw was definitely wearing a derby hat. A derby hat is completely different than a top other than color preferences. A derby hat is rounded, where a top hat is pipe shaped.

I tried to follow the man after I realized what was happening. He was originally across the square from where Byron and I were and it is possible that he turned a corner and simply was no longer in my sight. But I never kept my eye away from him until he was gone. I moved towards the tree he disappeared behind and looked down every road. He was nowhere to be seen.

So to give a much clearer picture of where Byron and I were, I want you to remember the movie, Forrest Gump. C’mon, we’ve all seen it. The multiple scenes where Forrest is waiting for the bus telling his story to all the strangers…Yep, the very same square. If you remember, there are roads and sidewalks all around this square and I can guarantee you that I peered down every one of them looking for the derby hat guy. Vanished.

Did I actually see one of these men that other tourists proclaim to see? I can’t be certain, but I want to say “Why yes, yes I did.” I’d like to know your thoughts on my experience. Do you think I saw a ghostly figure walking through the square in downtown Savannah on a bright Sunday morning? Leave your comments below and share this post. I love telling stories, especially from real experiences.

April thinks I’m a zombie

I don’t know whether April believes me or not. If she were to go off my reaction once I climbed the staircases back up to our room, she would say yes, that I absolutely saw a ghost before I had my morning coffee.

But then again, she claims I’m a zombie before that first sip as well.

Tell me your thoughts and I’ll keep writing about haunted locations that I visit for the research for my books. It’s instances like this that keep me writing and now you know where I get the ideas for my books. Feel free to check them out on Amazon.

To read more about the Foley House Inn, be sure to check out their page on the hauntings here: Foley House Hauntings

Thanks for reading,

Nick.

If you’d like to support this blog/podcast, you can always Buy Me A Coffee to keep me fueled and ready for more investigations. Your contributions to my craft are always appreciated!

References

Forrest Gump. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. 1994.