The Haunted South


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Savannah's Ghostbuster

Savannah Ghost Research Society founder Ryan Dunn might just know more about Savannah’s spooks than any other human being, living or dead. He and his team have conducted more than 100 different cases in and around Savannah, with highlights eventually making their way onto his Afterlife Tours. Thoroughly researched and fact-based, each of his hauntings speaks to the often terrifying history of Savannah.

 

South magazine contributor Barry Kaufman is participating in a “lock in” at Moon River, overnighting among its famous ghosts with Ryan Dunn and his team. Check out southmag.com when we unveil the ghostly footage this Halloween, Oct. 31.

Welcome to Milledgeville

For generations, it was seen as the ultimate threat for misbehaving children,  barked by parents at the end of their rope. “If you keep that up, I’m sending you to Milledgeville!”

Any child who wasn’t, well, crazy would immediately follow the impulse of that chill up their spine and do as they were told. No one wanted to be sent to Milledgeville. There were stories, so many stories, that carried the weight of that parental threat. Stories of patients locked up against their will, penned in like animals. Stories of maniacal doctors who would lobotomize their patients, scooping out their brains and leaving them nothing but shambling zombies. Stories of raving madmen pounding their heads against padded walls until electroshock therapy reduced them to drooling terrors. Stories of unimaginable horror.

They were stories, designed to scare children into minding their parents. And sadly, they were stories that carried a kernel of tragic truth.

Opened in 1842 as the Georgia Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum, Milledgeville was, at first, a bastion of humane treatment. Or, at least it was in comparison to the previous care that the mentally ill received, which was often a life on the streets or an early grave. Dr. Thomas A. Green, who ran the asylum for 34 years, abolished rope and chain restraints and would often dine with the patients.

But as the years went on, the asylum became overcrowded as the definition of “insane” became stretched to their limits. Anyone who was determined a little bit “off” earned a spot in the asylum, and as their numbers grew, any pretense of care was drowned out by the screams of its victims.  By the end of the 1950s, the Atlanta Journal Constitution found thousands of patients being cared for by just 48 doctors, none of whom were psychiatrists and some of whom were themselves patients at the asylum.

Central State Hospital was founded as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum in Dec. of 1842. More than 25,000 patients are buried in unmarked graves throughout the hospital grounds.

The Friendly Ghosts of the Foley House

As I turned a corner of the Foley House Inn, I startled the desk attendant. “Oh, sorry,” she gasped. “Around here, I have to make sure you’re human.” The halls of the historic home are known for being haunted, but their guests of the supernatural variety tend to be more helpful than harmful. “A gentleman woke up the other night and said it felt like someone was trying to make the bed,” she told me. “They’re pretty polite.”

“Around here, I have to make sure you’re human.”

Another legend involves a man in a top hat. Rumor has it that the man was courting the original owner, Honoria Foley, when he snuck into her room one evening. Surprised, she hit him with the first thing she could grab – a candlestick – killing him instantly. During a 1980s renovation project contractors turned up a skeleton in the walls. Was it the slain man? Obscured by time, the truth of the story evades us - but imaginative minds can speculate.

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Events Calendar

  • Savannah Music Festival

    Mar 26, 2020
    12:30 PM - 10:00 PM @ Various Locations

    From March 26 through April 11, the Savannah Music Festival hosts musical visionaries and creative artists from across the United States, as well...

  • 2020 Red Shoes Run

    Apr 11, 2020
    8:00 AM

    Our annual Red Shoes Run is a morning full of fun for the whole family.  There will be food, drinks, games, music and more for...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Power Yoga Principles

    Mar 07, 2020
    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    This class is intended for students who are new to Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, as well as those hoping to learn more about finding their best...

  • Publick Day

    Apr 18, 2020
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Beaufort Historic Site

    An old-fashioned flea market on the Beaufort Historic Site with vendors selling antiques and collectibles, art, crafts, handmade jewelry, books,...

  • Cars & 'Q for the Cause

    Apr 18, 2020
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Choate Construction

    Join Choate Construction for the 11th annual Cars & ‘Q for the Cause, featuring 120-plus stellar cars; tasty BBQ, craft brews and wine; silent...

  • Trail to Ale 5K

    Apr 23, 2020
    6:00 PM @ Buckwalter Place Commerce Park

    One-of-a-kind 5K happy hour event for runners, walkers, young professionals, all professionals, companies, community and more! Run through the...

  • Relationship Therapy

    Apr 24, 2020
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Savannah African Art Museum

    ​Marriages can be very complicated, especially when having to deal with your husband’s wives. Multipurpose Room, Carriage House (2nd floor),...

  • Tybee Turtle Trot

    Apr 25, 2020
    7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Join us on Tybee Island and run to support our nesting sea turtle monitoring program. Starting and finishing at the Tybee pier and pavilion, the...

  • Ignite the Senses Autism Awareness 5K Race

    Apr 25, 2020
    7:00 AM @ Lowcountry Community Church

    The Autism Awareness 5K Bubble Run is a Obstacle & Mud Runs race in Bluffton, South Carolina consisting of a 5K Novelty Run/Walk. 5K Bubble...

  • PRC Earth Day 5K Race at Palmetto Bluff

    Apr 26, 2020
    9:00 AM

    The PRC Eco Initiative presents the 2020 Earth Day 5K at Palmetto Bluff on April, 26th. This will be our first Sustainable running event of the...

  • Cornerstone 5K Race

    May 02, 2020
    8:00 AM

    We are excited about the community coming together to have some fun and run through Old Town Bluffton for a great cause!  Cornerstone Church...

  • Wooden Boat Show

    May 02, 2020
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Beaufort Waterfront

    Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or prefer to keep your feet on dry land, the 46th Annual Wooden Boat Show has activities for all ages. The...

  • ELLA Foundation’s Charity Lee to Host Book Signing at E. Shaver, Bookseller on May 2

    May 02, 2020
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ E. Shaver, Booksellers

    WHAT:  Charity Lee Book Signing Event. The ELLA Foundation founder and Executive Director Charity Lee will sign copies of her powerful new memoir...

  • Ride on Ryan Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon

    May 09, 2020
    8:00 AM

    Ride on Ryan is a sprint triathlon that takes place at L. Scott Still Park in Savannah, GA. The Ride on Ryan Triathlon and Duathlon is a USAT...

  • Mother's Day Brunch Cruise

    May 10, 2020
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    No cooking - No cleaning - Just plenty of time for family fun! Picture your mom dining on a delicious buffet and kicking her heels up on the dance...

  • Beaufort Music Festival

    May 15, 2020
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Gallant’s Channel

    Two of the main goals of the Festival are to present a diverse music line-up and to introduce attendees to fresh musical acts. In addition, the BMF...

  • Atlantic Beach Music Festival

    May 16, 2020
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Atlantic Beach Circle

    You don’t want to miss the 7th Annual Atlantic Beach Music Festival at the boardwalk at the Circle, Atlantic Blvd, Atlantic Beach, NC. 11:00 A.M....

  • Nine Line Run for Wounded 5K/10K

    May 16, 2020
    6:00 PM

    Join the Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel this Armed Forces Day, May 16th, 2020, for our 7th Annual 5K/10K Run...

  • Art in the Park

    May 23, 2020
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Downtown Blowing Rock

    Outdoor arts & crafts show featuring 90+ juried artisans in a wide variety of mediums. Meet artists and buy art at series of 6 shows throughout...


Show More...

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Scenes of the South

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.