Savannah, Georgia, is one of the top tourist destinations on the Eastern seaboard. In 2003, it has been voted the most haunted city in America by the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology. This is because ghosts, apparitions, or paranormal activities have been reported at many of Savannah’s inns, restaurants, private residences, and, of course, cemeteries. So what is it about Savannah that makes it so attractive to ghosts and ghost stories?
Many people start with the fact that Savannah is literally built on its dead. Savannah was the first city to be founded in Georgia. It was established in 1733 in the same location as the Creek and Choctaw maintained their burial grounds. As the colony began to grow and thrive, it needed more room; buildings were erected on the burial plots of the original colonists. Tombstones in cemeteries were moved to make room for sidewalks and roads. Places of worship were erected on the graves of slaves.
Second, Savannah has a very violent history. Many bloody battles and skirmishes were fought in Savannah. One of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution, the Siege of Savannah, where about 1200 men lost their lives in one hour, was fought in Savannah. Moreover, the city has been victim to many city-wide fires, at least two yellow-fever epidemics, and several hurricanes. Third, Savannah has been a major port city since the days of King Cotton, so many a sailor has ventured through Savannah spinning a romantic tale or two. Fourth, Savannahians are an eccentric bunch, as were their ancestors, which add history and volume to the ghost stories. Lastly, some blame the large amounts of Spanish moss hanging from the majestic oak trees. The blankets of moss look like ghostly shrouds, and they give the entire region an eerie look.
In the moonlight and fog of Savannah, Georgia, people claim to see everything, from the ghosts of black cats to the spirit of ghost riding a motorcycle and wearing a leather jacket. The ghost has tattoos all over its arms and neck, and the tattoos are claimed to glow in the dark. In fact, Savannah’s reputation for being the most haunted city in America has made ghost tourism in major component of its appeal.
There are different levels of paranormal tourism: some simply wish to take a haunted tour and hear tales of tragedy from years gone by. Also, there are those brave souls who wish to make their ghosts experience a little more personal, and actually stay in a haunted hotel. Still others seek to actively hunt ghosts via an expedition, complete with scientific equipment.