B. Matthews Eatery- Is it haunted?

The building at 325 East Bay Street where B. Matthew’s Eatery is located has the prestige of being one of the oldest buildings in Georgia. (1790) Resourceful Savannahians put the building together using old cobblestones and wood from a sailing ship. That alone should make it a good place for a forlorn sailor ghost, but there’s more to this building to stir up some restless spirits.

In the basement, there’s a bricked up entrance to a tunnel leading to the Savannah River and some suspicious huge iron rings in the walls. It’s a sure sign that slaves were the merchandise being kept and sold. And therefore it wouldn’t be unexpected to have some restless angry spirits lurking in the basement.

In the 1920’s, when alcohol was against the law, it housed a “Speakeasy” where drinks and good times flowed freely. After Prohibition the bartenders sold booze out a window for easy sidewalk-service. It would only be typical of Savannah to find a ghostly customer tapping on the window for a to-go cup.

During the 1950’s, when black and white patrons were segregated, the tavern had a black side and a white side. The bar in the center served both sides, but rumor has it that this led to a murder. The black bartender started dating the white bartender’s daughter. The daughter’s mom got upset and shot the black bartender dead, which can only mean there might be a disgruntled ghost employee serving up drinks to unwary living customers.

Is there evidence of hauntings at B. Matthew Eatery? Do misplaced objects, flying salt and pepper shakers, cabinets swinging open, sharp knives stuck in the floor and two dark shadow spirits in the basement make you a believer? Or does it just make you a patron enjoying fine dining in one of Savannah’s most excellent restaurants?

Go find out for yourself and see what’s on the menu.

Books By JK Bovi
www.wickedhaints.com

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The Ghosts of Tin City Savannah

You can look for the location of Tin City on a map of Savannah, but you won’t find it. Like the ghosts that haunted it, the whole place just up and disappeared.

Tin City used to be east of Savannah nestled in overgrown grassland and abandoned rice fields. It was established in 1929 by an impoverished African-American man, Louis Ellis, who was granted permission to settle there. He built a home with discarded tin and scrap metal. He made a little garden for growing his own foods. Soon other African Americans joined him and they also built homes constructed of tin and junk metals. Soon Tin City became a little self-sufficient community and they even had a Mayor to represent them.

And of course they had a few ghosts

The Mayor, Nathaniel Lewis, had a short creepy annoying ghost that waited at his gate. If he talked to the spirit it would attack him, but if he ignored the spirit it wouldn’t do him harm. Naturally the Mayor pretended the ghost wasn’t there… but it was.

There were three ghosts that stood watch over what everyone believed was buried pirate treasure. The community made an attempt to dig up the gold, but just when they saw it at the bottom of the pit, the treasure fell deeper and out of reach. The three ghosts laughed and howled. Nobody went treasure hunting after that.

And of course Tin City had the usual dead folk who float around a few feet off the ground and don’t do much of anything at all. Except maybe when they fly in on a whirlwind and cause all sorts of trouble.

Tin City is gone, but what about the ghosts? Are they still there? Have they moved into Savannah and taken up residence in better accommodations?

Who knows what happens to places and people when they’re forgotten. Perhaps they linger on… waiting to be remembered.

Books By JK Bovi
www.wickedhaints.com

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Ushering The Dead To The Other Side

In Savannah, the ushering of the dead to the other side, isn’t always an easy process. It’s a mish-mash culturally thing of European Christian belief from settlers, Native Americans, and African descendants.

Christians make it easy. Put the dead body in the graveyard, the soul goes to heaven or hell and that’s the end of that. The living are welcome to visit the marked grave, but don’t talk to the dead. Leave them in peace.

Native Americans send the dead off on a journey which requires a departure ceremony. They’re buried with items necessary for travel; foodstuffs, hunting tools, and of course trinkets of personal value. Have a nice trip!

The Africans put the dead in unmarked graves surrounded by a fence, but no gate. This is a sacred place and once a person was buried nobody was to disturb them. No visitors allowed. (Over time, people forget where the dead are buried and this is one reason why so many graves are accidentally discovered)

Of course, as everyone knows, the dead in Savannah don’t necessarily stay dead. So to be safe people had to come up with a back-up plan.

They put Haint Blue paint on a house to keep malicious spirits out. Or they make a Spirit Tree by hanging colorful glass bottles on branches that make noise in the wind which keeps the unwanted spirits away. Rich folk could have a house built with curved corners so a spirit would come in then follow the curve out. Having Mahi Mahi fish drain spouts pour spirits off the roof, down the drain, and into the streets where they can go bother somebody else.

And, if none of this works, perhaps a good o’l housecleaning exorcism might be what’s needed. Call in a priest, a shaman or a root-doctor and if that doesn’t work, call a realtor.

Books By JK Bovi
www.wickedhaints.com

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The Shrimp Factory

The Shrimp Factory on River Street in Savannah is the-place-to-go for some delicious local seafood. Today it’s decorated with coastal art displayed on old Savannah brick walls, but in 1823 it was a cotton warehouse.

The story goes that slaves worked all day in poor conditions pushing and hauling bales of cotton from the warehouse to shipping vessels. It’s understandable that perhaps a few might’ve died in the building and their spirits might be haunting The Shrimp Factory. Muted voices and rattling chains and unexplainable sounds are often heard on the top floor (where the slaves were kept) and when investigated nobody is there.

During the summer the staircase leading to the storage room is hot, but sometimes in the evening, about halfway up the stairs there is a blast of cold air.

Some employees believe the cold spot is the ghost of a former employee named Joe. Although Joe was in good health, for some unknown reason he dropped dead on the staircase in August 1977. Joe also likes to hang out in the liquor storage room and, upon occasion has been known to knock over a few bottles of rum. He’s also been thought to be the mischievous culprit responsible for flickering lights and shutting down of all things electrical.

So if your in the mood for some popcorn shrimp, oysters on the half shell and want to enjoy watching the ships go up and down The Savannah River, then this might be a good place to go for dinner.

And if the ghost sitting at the next table asks for the hot sauce, please have some respect for the dead and pass it on over. It’s the polite Savannah thing to do.

Books By JK Bovi
www.wickedhaints.com

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