I’ve got to give credit to the planners who designed Savannah’s historic district. Every few blocks, running parallel to the Savannah River, are pretty little squares — like a string of pearls running through town.
Each square is a little patch of peacefulness, with its own distinctive features. Some have fountains, some have statues, some have huge live oak trees — and one has a basketball court and another is a concrete slab. I like the green, shady, mossy ones best.
If you lived in the old town part of Savannah, I expect you would have a favorite square — one where you might go to drink a cup of coffee and read a book and do some people-watching on a warm spring day. You would enjoy the deep shade and the wet smell of the earth and appreciate the far-sighted city planners who graced Savannah with its lovely squares in the first place.
Has there ever been any city dweller, in the history of the world, who has been heard to complain that their city has too many parks or green spaces? I’d love it if sprawling Columbus had more of Savannah’s squares.
Halloween is nearly upon us, and Savannah is a town with a rich ghostly past. So, the choice was clear: take a haunted house tour in hopes of seeing a spectre or two.
In our case, the destination was the Sorrel Weed house, which has been featured on those ghost-hunting shows where every scene shows guys in dim red lighting overreacting to sounds and smells and chills. It’s a creep old house, all right, with a creepy past. It’s built on the location of an old British fort, and remains of soldiers have been found beneath its basement. A doctor performed unsuccessful surgeries in the basement before the Civil War. Children died there, and a love triangle involving husband, wife, and servant ended with the wife throwing herself off a third-floor balcony to land head first onto the slate courtyard and the servant hanging herself from the rafters of the carriage house.
Alas, the apparitions were quiet last night.
We watched a video of the house’s history and appearances on the ghost-hunting shows, saw a few of the upstairs rooms, were trained on using EMF devices that are supposed to detect paranormal activity, and then were set free to roam the basement and the upper floor of the carriage house in search of spooks. It actually was pretty hilarious to see people crowding into dark rooms, carefully holding their Ghostbusters-like devices and wondering if they would get a reading or feel a chill. Then, they would be momentarily blinded when one of the true believers on the tour took a flash photograph.
And there were some true believers in our tour group, earnestly speaking to the air or insisting they had captured “energy spheres” on their cell phone cameras. They seemed thrilled by their ghost-hunting adventure. Me? I thought the house was interesting.