(Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
You’ll never lack for a wingman on a Thursday night in Savannah. Even if you’re rolling solo, you’ve still got the ghosts. This Southern Gothic treasure is neck and neck with New Orleans for most haunted city in America — is it a coincidence they both allow drinking on the street? — and even skeptics have walked away from an evening here feeling a chill down their spines.
How to enjoy Savannah on Thursday, if you dare:
5 p.m.: It’s almost summer, so start your evening in a most unhaunted place: Tybee Island, about a 15-minute drive from Savannah’s Historic District. The beach and its surroundings aren’t just laid back — they’re layyyyyyyyd back.
(Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
The best post-beach hangout on the island is Huca Poos. They have it all here: eclectic junkyard décor, giant pizzas, cheap beer, and cornhole games on the patio. You’ll be so relaxed here that you might have a tough time going back to the mainland.
Alternate plan: If you’d rather commune with the dead right away, take a 5:30 tour of Bonaventure Cemetery. This is truly a bucket-list destination as cemeteries go, and the only evening tour is offered by Shannon Scott Journeys— it lasts 2 ½ hours and costs $35.
Eyeless statues of dead people? Yes please! (Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
Here, you don’t just see the gravestones of the dead — you see their eerily lifelike statues — and the stories behind the people buried in this Confederate cemetery are worth the price of admission. If you take the tour, don’t ask your guide about ghosts: ironically, a city law prohibits mentioning anything paranormal at its cemeteries. Maybe it’s a Beetlejuice moment.
7 p.m.: Walk through Forsyth Park for dinner at the nearby Local 11 Ten. You’re best off making a reservation here, but even if you don’t, you can wait for your table while watching the sun go down on the restaurant’s rooftop bar. When you do get to your table, you’ll be treated to some fresh, delicious takes on Southern cuisine in a modern setting frequented by the locals. If pub food is more your thing, go for dinner at The Distillery on West Liberty Street. Burgers start at $8, and you’ve got 21 craft beers to wash it down with.
Heed the warning outside Pinkie Masters. (Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
9 p.m.: No bar crawl is complete in Savannah without stopping by Pinkie Masters. You’ll probably be the only tourist here, and for good reason — this bar is a capital-D dive, populated by locals who all look about six beers deep. But this is also where Jimmy Carter declared his presidential candidacy, the drinks are strong and cheap, and you can tell this bar has looked the same for decades.
10 p.m.: Take a to-go beer cup for your haunted tour of the city. There are many ghost tours offered in Savannah, but two popular ones are offered by Blue Orb and Sixth Sense. We suggest taking a walking tour so you can be properly immersed in the dark, Spanish-moss-inspired atmosphere. I took the Blue Orb tour, which starts at 10 p.m. and lasts for two hours. The cost is $30.
The very creepy house in 432 Abercorn. (Photo: Greg Keraghosian)
If you’ve read or seen “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” you’ll definitely want to walk past the Mercer-Williams House, scene of the infamous Danny Hansford murder in 1981. You’ll also pass Colonial Park Cemetery, where the unmarked graves greatly outnumber the marked ones. And although its history is hotly debated, the house on 432 Abercorn near Calhoun Square, which has been vacant for decades because no one will buy it, gives off some undeniably creepy vibes. So ask your guide to take you there. If your camera malfunctions, as has been reported here, blame it on the ghosts.
12 p.m.: Shake off those ghostly spirits by drinking $5 pitchers and singing karaoke at the Rail Pub, a former brothel that, of course, is said to be haunted. Bonus points if you sing “Ghostbusters.”