Monday, October 31, 2011

A Ghost Story

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Skene Manor -- Whitehall, NY

Happy Halloween!!!!

Sadly, today is the final day the 7 Days of Halloween unless you are sick of it.  I apologize if you are.  I also apologize for the over sharing I did this week.  Now you know I’m a strange, slightly neurotic writer.  What writer isn’t?

I’m not going to write about a creature of lore today.  I’m going to write about an experience I had back in May.  I know, I’m talking about myself again.  Deal with it.

I’m from the land of old farmhouses, country cemeteries, animals that make strange noises in the night, and Big Foot.  (Yes, Big Foot.  Google Big Foot & Whitehall, NY if you don’t believe me.  Abair road is in my childhood neighborhood and I’m not going to say I didn’t hear weird stuff when I was growing up.)  There’s even an Italian Gothic mansion that lords over my home town and you can bet there is a ghost story or two associated with it.   The Skene Manor is pictured above.

With all of that I had to go to Savannah for an actual haunting experience. 

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The Marshall House -- Savannah, GA

We stayed at the Marshall House which has been named Spookiest Haunted Hotel on Trip Advisor.  I love ghost stories so when we were looking for a place to stay, I wanted to stay in the Marshall House in the worst way.  I love ghost stories but I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts.  Weird, I know.  When we go to Baltimore, I like to stay in the Admiral Fell, another haunted hotel.

The Marshall house is Savannah’s oldest hotel and it served as a Union hospital during the Civil War.  The stories from the Marshall House involve phantom Union officers, ghostly children, and severed limbs.  You know, the usual creepies and ghosties.

My husband and I took a Ghost walking tour of Savannah.  We met a gentleman with a top hat and a nifty tapestry vest in one of the squares at 8:00 to begin the tour.  He carried a walking stick.  It was dark and creepy already and the moss covered trees added to the atmosphere.  Did I mention that Savannah doesn’t have an open container law? I’ve never been asked if I wanted a cocktail to go before.  I love Savannah. 

Our first stop was at the Marshall House where we heard all about our hotel.  I had read quite a bit about it before we left so it didn’t surprise me, but I found myself staring up at our room as the guide talked.  The maid had shut the curtains and a dim light shown through from the lamp on the bedside table. Our guide had a real talent for telling a story and I will admit that I was sufficiently creeped out.

We continued along our tour which was fabulous and we retired to the hotel bar.  I was going through a vodka tonic phase.  We sucked a few back and went up to bed.  We laughed on our way about the ghosts and probably because we were a little tipsy.  

I must have been asleep for a few hours when something woke me from my sleep.  Our room was pitch black with the exception of an illumination at the bottom of the bed.  Something was there.  I can’t see anything without my glasses so everything was blurry.  I tried to move but I was frozen.  We were in a king size bed so my husband might as well have been a mile away.  I tried to yell for him, but I couldn’t speak.  I panicked.  I wanted to cry.  I couldn’t speak or move for what seemed like hours. 

Finally, the light faded and I was able to yell out.  My husband jumped up and I launched myself at him.  I wouldn’t let go.  I told him I had a bad dream so that I didn’t have to go into it with him.  I had to go to the bathroom, but I was too scared to get of bed.  Buffy’s poor bladder. The too-scared-to-go-to-the-bathroom-in-the-middle-of-the-night thing followed me the rest of the trip.

It could have easily been a dream and it probably was, but I know three things: 1) I see perfectly well in all of my dreams.  The ghost could have been carrying a sign that read, “I’m a ghost.  Be afraid. Be very afraid,” and I wouldn’t have seen it.  2) I’ve never been so scared in all of my life and 3) Contrary to what you might think from my previous posts, I’m really quite sensible and not prone to hysteria.  I still think about that night.  Was it a dream or a ghost?  I have no idea and I’ll never know.

When I told my husband I was writing this post, he laughed and said, “You got haunted.”  He thinks it’s funny.  Maybe it is.

Have you ever been haunted?  Please share your stories.  I’d love to hear.

Link to the ghost tour we had in Savannah:

The Marshall House


  1. Thank you for the 7 days of Halloween! I loved every single one.

    I've never been haunted, as far as I can tell, but I've definitely had moments where I was afraid to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

  2. Ha-ha! Yes, I've been haunted and prior to the "experiences" I never, ever believed in ghosts. I thought anyone who did was completely nuts, in fact. Now I know something funky is going on that we don't understand.
    PS vodka tonics are tasty. You've made me want to go to Savannah to check this hotel out!

  3. Nina -- I'm so glad that you enjoyed the 7 Days of Halloween!

    Melanie -- The great thing about the Marshall House besides the ghosts was the staff. They were wonderful and friendly. Just how I pictured southern hospitality.