Savannah, Georgia: The Perfect Setting for Supernatural Stories by Elaine Calloway
Besides being an idyllic vacation spot, Savannah lends itself to every kind of tale. Savannah is a port city, with the historic district being on the banks of the Savannah River. Legends and myths abound about innocent men having a drink on River Street and then being shanghaied onto pirate ships. There are real places, such as the local favorite restaurant aptly named The Pirates House, which gave truth to the legends: underground shanghai tunnels that stretch to the riverfront can be spotted inside the restaurant even today.
Savannah is one of the rare places in the South that didn’t get destroyed during the Civil War, so those beautiful Victorian homes are on every street and frame every park square. The live oaks are centuries old, and when there’s a full moon, the scraggly branches draped in Spanish moss give an eerie image that makes an idyllic background for a paranormal story.
When I wrote No Grits No Glory, I took several trips to Savannah, where the book is set. Just walking the streets made the words flow easier. I went to the Irish Festival (held there every February) to listen to some great Irish music and enjoy the food and drink. The culture seeped into me, and I made my main character from an Irish family as homage to the Irish heartbeat of Savannah. The book seemed to write itself because inspiration and ideas flowed at every turn.
For those who like ghosts or enjoy visiting cemeteries, don’t miss Bonaventure Cemetery outside of town. It’s not easy to find, so be sure and ask directions. The ornate tombstones, the majestic oak trees, the easygoing riverbank—all come together for one of the spookiest and yet beautiful places on Earth. The naturalist John Muir said, “Bonaventure is so beautiful that almost any sensible person would choose to dwell here, rather than with the lazy, disorderly living.” That sums it up in a nutshell, and it’s already written in my last wishes that I want my ashes spread in Bonaventure when I’m gone. That way I can enjoy the company of many ghosts for years to come.
There are ghost tours and tales of haunted houses, places to get your fortune read, plenty of historic buildings where you can grab a pint and some amazing seafood while you’re at it.
Some popular movies filmed in Savannah include Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Something to Talk About, and The Conspirator. I think the best Savannah scenery is in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But I hope that someday, books and films will lead you to see the glorious city for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Elaine Calloway writes paranormal tales set in iconic cities such as Savannah. Her recent Southern Ghosts Series has been a hit with book one, No Grits No Glory. Look for Book Two, Ticket to Die, to release May 2015. When she’s not traveling to Savannah or writing, she enjoys photography and spending time with family and friends. Connect with her online at www.elainecalloway.com.
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