The Ghosts of the Pirates' House

On the east side of Savannah’s historic district sits on of the oldest, and reportedly most haunted, buildings in Savannah. This building houses the Pirates' House restaurant. For many years, ghost stories have been told around Savannah regarding all of the hauntings which take place at the Pirates' House Restaurant. The building which houses the Pirate’s House is over 250 years old.  The small building beside what many people see as the ‘main building’ is called the Herb House. This little building dates back to 1754 and is considered to be the oldest building in Georgia. Since that time it has accumulated more than its share of ghost stories and a very haunted reputation. However, what stories told about the Pirates’ House are true and which are not? lends to a lot of history and a lot of leftover ghostly energy.

The Pirate House Tunnels

In its early days, the building which houses the Pirates’ House was a gathering place for seamen, criminals and other unsavory characters. It was looked upon as a place that most people did not want to go into because of its raucous reputation. Many a men walked into the bar which was in the building that is the Pirates’ House today looking for a stiff drink and woke up on a ship a few hundreds miles off of shore. These men were shanghaied, with no choice of working on the ship or being thrown overboard.  

Leading from the Rum Cellar in the basement of the Pirates' House to River Street is a tunnel.  Though it has since been covered over, the tunnel was used as a portal to carry the men through.  One of the most intriguing stories is the story of people shanghaied through the tunnels. Men would drink at the bar, get drunk, pass out and wake up on a ship a few miles off of shore. They were forced into work, and sold to the sea captians.  

Murders, fights, brawls…you name it and I am sure it has happened in this building. It seems that some of the people who visited the Pirates’ House, or the building that houses it anyways, had such a great time that they decided to stay even beyond death.  Before the tunnels were closed off people reported hearing voices and moans coming from the tunnel. A new twist on this story, thanks to James Caskey of Cobblestone Tours…this ‘tunnel’ might not even be a real tunnel. Very interesting indeed.  

The Ghosts of the Old Sailors

Shadow people and other ghostly apparitions have been seen walking through the dining rooms of the present day Pirates’ House. When staff are working all alone in the building they report having the sensation of having someone watching them. On more than one occasion they turned around to see a seaman from long ago standing there, looking right into their eyes..and slowing drifting into nothing. Footsteps can be heard echoing through the restaurant on quiet evenings. The distinct sound of boots on the plank floors can send the chills up the spine of someone not expected it..but then again, nobody ever really is expecting it.  People walking past the Pirate’s House have also posted a lot of photographs of supposed ghosts through the windows of the haunted house. However, after looking at them, they can almost all be explained by the type of glass, reflections, and other totally natural explanations.

One of the popular ghost stories which has no basis in reality is the ghost of Captain Flint, from Treasure Island fame. As the story goes, Captain Flint died in the house and people have said they have had run ins with Captain Flint. In the book, Treasure Island, it does make mention of Captain Flint being in this building and that he died in Savannah. The problem with this...Captain Flint was a fictional character.

Where is the Pirates’ House?

The Pirates’ House Restaurant is located at 20 East Broad Street in the Historic District of Savannah Georgia. They are open for dining for lunch and dinner.  Their great food and even better atmosphere will not disappoint. You never know, you may have an encounter with one of the Pirates’ House’s famous ghosts.

For more information about dining at the Pirates’ House please visit their website.