Although Savannah is known for its hauntings, paranormal activity and other logically unexplainable events, the owner of Ghost City Tours has always remained skeptical. The reason why? Anywhere can be deemed "haunted," but unless there is recorded evidence then we can't just say any place is haunted.
When Savannah's Colonial Park Cemetery reached max capacity in the late 1840s, it was time to establish a new primary burial ground for local Savannahians. Laurel Grove Cemetery was the answer to that, and it became the main cemetery until the end of the Victorian period. During the midst of the Civil War, over 1,500 Confederate soldiers were laid to rest here at Laurel Grove.
But even the CEO of Ghost City experienced something quite strange at this cemetery--in the middle of the day. While taking a photograph, he watched as what looked to be the part of a hand snake out from behind one of the tombstones and begin to crawl toward him. One minute the vision was there, and next it was gone. But for an experienced paranormal investigator, that scene was one for the books and also why we at Ghost City recommend a trip to this haunted cemetery.
It was mid-afternoon and hot like only the Low Country is capable of getting. I had recently decided to try my hand at photography and believed that Laurel Grove was an excellent place to try and capture some beginner shots.
Maybe it was the bright sunniness of the day that accentuated the Spanish moss and made the greens in the foliage simply pop out at me, but it was certainly a breathtakingly beautiful scene that could not be ignored.
Having never been there before, I decided to walk around a bit before committing to an area to photograph. As soon as I started walking, I noticed a rustle behind me that was unmistakably someone, a heavy-footed someone, walking in sequence with me.
I turned expecting to see my counterpart that was there shooting video. He was not behind me. I did, however, notice the ground covered with leaves, and the slight breeze that would have made them rustle. I giggled at myself for being such a scaredy cat, in broad daylight especially, and then continued walking.
As I took those first few steps again, the same heavy footsteps in the leaves behind me began again.
This time I looked back, slightly annoyed that I may be falling victim to some sort of joke, but yet again there was no one there. As I took just a few more steps, it started again and in an explanation that can only be fully understood by knowing my personality, I turn and without thinking audibly say, "Will you cut that out!?!" to no one in particular.
Now strikes my moment of lucidity where I realize I have literally commanded something I can not see and don't even truly believe in, to stop "something." I huffed at my own ridiculousness and set forth on my photography mission, and was not once more disturbed by the noise of rustling leaves nor the footsteps crunching them that was previously making the hair on my arms stand straight up. There was suddenly a calm in the breeze and I walked around for the next hour or so without another single disturbance.
I'm still not certain about my experience, what could have caused it and I'm not sure I deserve credit for making it stop. What it did do though was completely heighten my senses in every aspect.
I suddenly felt an enormous sense of pride, appreciation, and the utmost respect for those laid to rest at Laurel Grove. I now clearly saw the beauty in not only the scenery but in the history to be learned of there. Husbands and wives still together even in death, children taken from this earth way too soon, and many war heroes that gave their lives fighting for this amazing country that I am so fortunate to call home.
I feel that because of my experience just moments into my visit to Laurel Grove, that I was inevitably awoken to the fact that graveyards are much more than simply headstones and plots. They are home to mothers, fathers, children, legends, and their stories as well as their remains.
Maybe the leaves and footsteps were simply a huge coincidence. Maybe there is some other logical explanation for my experience or maybe I merely needed an eye opener as to the level of respect that much history and beauty that it deserves. That is exactly what I gained from my afternoon at Laurel Grove and am honored at the privilege to have photographed it, and will never forget the lesson that I obtained that sunny afternoon.
Are you hoping to visit this haunted cemetery and to hopefully have a paranormal experience for yourself? Laurel Grove is open every day of the week and is free to the public. While there, keep watch for the spirits which may haunt your every turn--or, perhaps even those who use Laurel Grove to practice witchcraft and Voodoo rites. Don't say that we didn't warn you!