Friday, April 28, 2006

Savannah Haints

This is the Hampton Lillibridge House, at 507 E. St. Julian St., supposedly the most haunted house in Savannah, built in 1796. The house was moved from its previous location in the 1960s. Workers restoring the home and the home's owner experienced unusual things like noises, voices, singing, a woman's scream, and footsteps. It was even exorcised (the ghosts came back anyway, lol.) It is now a private residence.

This is the 17Hundred90 Inn & Restaurant at President & Lincoln Sts. Their resident ghost is a young woman named Anna, who naively fell in love with a sailor who didn't love her back, so she committed suicide by jumping from the 3rd floor.

This is the Kehoe House--now a luxury B&B--on Habersham St. It is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of the Kehoe children who like to run and play in the hallway. It was also once used as a funeral home.

This is The Pirate's House Restaurant (Arr...mateys!) on E. Broad St. made famous in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Built in 1743, there are supposedly tunnels down to the river for smuggling and shanghai-ing folks. Employees and customers have had experiences and have even seen apparitions over the years.

I took one of those ghost tours. Do I hear a sigh or groan out there? LOL. This is the first time I've ever done one, and as a ghosthunter, I feared hokeyness and corny-ness the entire time. I was pleased that it was an easygoing trolley and straight to the facts accounts as we rode through the streets of this historic town with its park squares and live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. An interesting thing that was pointed out was many of the house were painted in this pale blue-green color called "haint blue." Acc. to African American/Gullah belief, haint blue was supposed to deter ghosts.

As I've said before, historic buildings + proximity to water = high chance of a haunting, and Savannah isn't an exception to that rule. Supposedly it's one of the most haunted cities in America, but aren't they all?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ireland: Portlick Castle

Ireland was an amazing trip for me. It was my first visit to Europe and I enjoyed every minute of it. Imagine, 3 DCMAG members, 4 non-ghosthunting loved ones; Bev, a ghosthunter from GA, and Barry, our host and guide. We all got along very well as a group and had no idea of the adventures we were about to get into.

Ireland is more green than any photo or TV show can realistically portray. The color is almost electric with its vibrance. Driving on the wrong side of the narrow roads was very unnerving--esp. the way Barry was hurtling us through time and space. As we turned into the long driveway, nothing quite prepared us for the grandeur that was Portlick Castle in Co. Westmeath. Privately owned and operated as a B&B, its original tower (above) was built in the 13th c. and the great house section later. Barry gave us a tour of its many rooms, great room and even the roof--with its amazing view of Lough (Lake) Ree and the rolling hillsides. Some of us took a walk down to the lake through the woods and it was eerily silent. No birds. No bugs. No critters moving. Just silence and the sound of the wind and water. I had noticed a "fairy ring" and Barry told me later that he had steered us away from it.

While at dinner that night I saw a shadow, a mist, and this faint ribbon of blue light. Castles are just as drafty as you can imagine, but the inside had beautiful furnishings. Remember, it's really someone's mansion. The next morning at breakfast, everyone was swapping stories. The GA couple heard furniture dragging and the "swoosh" of fabric like a dress. Barry thought someone was in his room and Alvin & D. heard furniture dragging and the feeling of a cat walking across their pillows and jumping off. Personally, me and my husband were out cold so we experienced nothing. Alvin's a gifted medium who's very humble about his gift. He'd never tell you if you didn't know. He saw a woman with pulled-back hair int he office next to our room and the moving arms and legs of a spirit on the stairs.

Another time we all had been hanging out in the great room talking and laughing in front of the fire. I love the smell of peat moss. There was a balcony overhead that leads to the stairs and the roof. As I was sitting there I looked up the the balcony and kept seeing glimpses of something up there and thought I saw a shadow go back and forth from the doorway to the middle. There was nothing that could have caused that. I look over at Alvin and nod towards the balcony. I see him watching it and he tells the room that there is a man in the middle leaning on the railing watching us. Remember, I said nothing to him about what I saw.

Bev had gone to lie down and rushed in, nervous. She and Alvin checked out her room and Bev told us that she heard a man's voice say "Whatever you want." No one was with her as we were all together. Later, Barry comes into the room and asks, "Did anyone call me?" We all said "No" as we were all together again. He explained that he heard a man's voice ask "Hello?"

Portlick was quite an experience, but next week, I'll share with you our experiences at the very famous Leap Castle.