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The Sorrel-Weed House

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Found on Madison Square, the Sorrel-Weed House has gained a reputation as the most haunted spot in a city known for ghouls. The house has been the subject of just about every sort of “Ghost Hunting” reality show that exists, and even offers visitors the chance to take a spooky nighttime tour. But Jürgen and I decided to check it out during the day, on an architectural tour.

Haunted Sorrel Weed House

This house was built by the shipping merchant Frances Sorrel in 1837. Sorrel had acquired a fortune while living in Haiti, but fled the island nation after its successful slave rebellion. He installed himself in Savannah, a city which still believed in the honorable institution of slavery, and proceeded to extend his fortune.

It seems safe to assume that Mr. Sorrel was a jerk, and this theory is supported by his amorous affair with the beautiful Molly, one of the slaves under his command. Soon after the tryst came to life, his wife Matilda fell from the house’s third-story window to her death in the courtyard. Her family claimed she fainted, while society believed she had committed suicide. But there were also whispers that she was pushed. And when Sorrel’s lover Molly was found hanged in the carriage house, the whispers grew louder. Was it another suicide, or was Mr. Sorrel cleaning up his mess? Today, the ghosts of both Matilda and Molly are said to haunt the Sorrel-Weed House.

We met in the ground-floor salon, where we learned about the house’s history, and then followed our guide through the various rooms. The tour wasn’t as comprehensive as we would have liked, as much of the Sorrel-Weed House is still under renovation, but the rooms we were able to see were beautiful. This is one of Savannah’s most sterling examples of Greek Revival architecture, and was one of the first homes in the city to be protected as a State Landmark.

Haunted Sorrel Weed House

We went to the second floor to see the family’s private quarters, and then out to the carriage house where the slaves lived, and where Molly either committed suicide or was murdered. Did I detect any paranormal reverberations while standing in this famously haunted spot? Well, of course not, but others have claimed to.

Many of Savannah’s classic mansions have been around for so long, and have such unique histories, that they seem to have taken on characters of their own. The Sorrel-Weed House is no exception. You get a sense that the house itself is just as alive as its former residents. Perhaps there’s something to this idea of ghosts… not that they’re roaming the halls, rattling chains and spooking visitors, but that the people who lived and died here have somehow seeped into the walls and the floors; that their vital essence has been transferred.

Or maybe it’s just an old house. We’ll let you decide.

Location on our Map
Sorrel-Weed House – Website

More: Haunted Savannah

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April 6, 2016 at 11:41 am Comments (0)

Laurel Grove Cemeter(ies)

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Less heralded than Bonaventure Cemetery on Whitemarsh Island, but nearly as beautiful and free from almost any tourist presence, the twin cemeteries of Laurel Grove North and Laurel Grove South are nice places to spend a quiet afternoon among the dead.

Gate Laurel Grove

Laurel Grove was established in 1853, after the more central Colonial Park Cemetery was deemed too full and closed to further burials. With plenty of room on Savannah’s western side, the city fathers split their new cemetery into two separate sections: north for whites, south for blacks.

They’re really two separate cemeteries, with different entrances. We didn’t know that, and spent a long time walking around Laurel Grove North, looking for a southern section. But we never found anything, and instead spent the afternoon admiring the gorgeous tombstones clearly erected for rich families. There was nobody there, save for one group of Girl Scouts hovering around the grave of Juliette Gordon Low.

The next day, having being corrected by amused friends, we drove to Laurel Grove South. Just as haunting and beautiful as its twin to the north, but completely different in feeling, without nearly as many glorious, towering monuments. Nor as many Girl Scouts. We might have preferred the southern section, though, for the melancholy and humble vibe of its anonymous slave section.

If you’re looking for a lovely, desolate place to spend a few hours in Savannah, Laurel Grove might fit the bill. I’m not sure why, but visiting cemeteries always brings me a sense of solace.

Locations on our Savannah Map: Laurel Grove North | Laurel Grove South

The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism
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Pictures of Laurel Grove North:

Dead Girl Scout
Aisle 9 Cemetery
Angel Face
Cage Grave
Bling Grave
Cemetery Savannah
Cemetery Gate
Eypt Grave
Juliette-Gordon-Low-Grave
Grave-Juliette-Gordon-Low
Sad Girl Scouts
Grave Yard
Handle Grave
Open Grave
Hang in there Angel
Laurel-Grove-Cemetery
Little Grave
Marines Cemetery
My Wife
My Husband
Savannah Cemetery
Real Angel
Very First Web Url
Soldier-Confederate-Uniform
Grave Unknown Soldier
Confederate-Graves-Savannah
Baby Land
Baby Land Savannah

Now pictures from Laurel Grove Cemetery South:

Savannah Obelisk
Slaves Burial
Slave Cemetery
Laurel-Cemetery-South
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Three Graves Savannah
Stone Roeses
Cemetery
Gates Savannah
Fake Flowers
Little Roots Guys
Speed Smart Funeral
Strange Grave
No Strangers in Savannah
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January 26, 2011 at 10:31 am Comments (7)
The Sorrel-Weed House Found on Madison Square, the Sorrel-Weed House has gained a reputation as the most haunted spot in a city known for ghouls. The house has been the subject of just about every sort of "Ghost Hunting" reality show that exists, and even offers visitors the chance to take a spooky nighttime tour. But Jrgen and I decided to check it out during the day, on an architectural tour.
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