The Haunted House at 12 West Oglethorpe
On certain nights on the Dead of Night Ghost Tour we make a stop at the house at 12 West Oglethorpe, here in the historic district of Savannah. This is one of those haunted houses which is rich in stories about the ghastly events that happened at the house, producing one of the most haunted houses in Savannah. Like many other haunted houses in Savannah, many of the stories you hear about the house at 12 West Oglethorpe are completely made-up. This isn't to say the house isn't haunted. I believe it to be as I have had my own experiences at the house. So, what is the truth about the house at 12 West Oglethorpe?
The Truth about 12 West Oglethorpe
Well, let's start by telling you what never happened at this house. One of the common stories that is told about this house is the story of a Doctor who lived at 12 West Oglethorpe with his family. During one of the yellow fever outbreaks that happened in Savannah some of his family members died from the disease. One variation of the story says that he brought Yellow Fever home to his family, infecting them. Well, this is non-sense because Yellow Fever is not spread from person to person. It is spread by mosquitos. The second variation of this story is that this Doctor locked himself away in the bedroom of 12 West Oglethorpe after members of his family died from Yellow Fever. He was soo distraught that he essentially let himself die in the house. Well, this story is a little more believable, but it is still completely made-up. Anyone can do a check to see who lived in 12 West Oglethorpe since it was built in 1898. A Doctor has never lived at 12 West Oglethorpe. So, enough with the Doctor stories.
Another story that is commonly told about 12 West Oglethorpe is the story of the Church of Satan performing rituals in the house. This story is remarkably similar to a story that is told about the house at 432 Abercorn. However, it is not true. The story goes on to tell about a man who was murdered in the house and the Church of Satan members used his blood to paint Satanic symbols all over the walls. False, False and False.
So, what is true about the house at 12 West Oglethorpe? Well, for one, the house is thought to be built on top of one of the first burial grounds in Savannah. The burial ground is thought to extend from the southwest corner of Wright Square to Oglethorpe Avenue. If this is true then the house at 12 West Oglethorpe would have been built on top of this burial ground. Once again, this is very similar to the actual truth about the house at 432 Abercorn. Could this be the reason for the hauntings and ghost stories at 12 West Oglethorpe?
One night I was taking photographs around 12 West Oglethorpe. I was on the east side of the house, where the 'plain' brick wall is. Out of the corner of my eye, to my right, I watched a shadow person quickly step out from behind the house and then step back to behind the house. I have no doubt in my mind what I witnessed. I quickly jogged over to the spot to make sure it wasn't a real person who was hiding out behind the house. There was nobody there. Considering I only had to go about 25 feet before I got a clear view of the back of 12 West Oglethorpe, there was no way it could have been a real person. Shadow people are a common type of paranormal phenomena reported here in Savannah. During a tour one of the guides who used to work for us was shown a photograph that a tour guest had taken. It clearly showed a shadow figure standing on the east side of the house, where nobody was.
Visiting 12 West Oglethorpe
Finding the house at 12 West Oglethorpe is easy to do. The address is well...12 West Oglethorpe. Once you get to the house you will notice that the house is boarded up. Well, the doorways and lower windows anyways. The house has been abandoned for many years. I am certain that at this point in time the structure would be unsafe to enter. On top of that, you are likely to have the Police called on you, so don't even think about trying to get into the house. Just enjoy the house from the outside. If you head to the rear of 12 West Oglethorpe you can see the many windows which are now broken. You can even see evidence of one of the fires which have destroyed part of the house at one point or another.
The bottom line....
I do believe the house at 12 West Oglethorpe to be haunted. Too many people have had experiences around the house. If the house itself isn't haunted the ground it sits upon surely is. This is why we include the house at 12 West Oglethorpe on our Dead Of Night Ghost Tour on certain nights. So, don't believe everything you hear about all of the houses and places in Savannah. Savannah is a very haunted town, we shouldn't have to make things up. Get out to 12 West Oglethorpe, check out the house, take some pictures and watch out for those shadow people. You never know what you'll experience when meandering around one of the haunted locations in Savannah Georgia.