{Guest} Beth Dolgner

The Real Ghosts of Savannah, Georgia

I know, I know, the title of this guest post sounds like the name of a reality show. When it comes to paranormal activity in Savannah, Georgia though, reality is often stranger than fiction. In fact, a reality show about the ghosts of Savannah has real potential…perhaps it’s time for me to trade in my career as an author and head to Hollywood.

Then again, maybe not. Since I usually write about fictional characters—and ghosts—I don’t have to worry about my stars demanding bigger paychecks, the paparazzi, or any of the other drama. Still, there are plenty of great Savannah ghost stories that inspired my Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series. I set the series in Savannah since the old colonial city claims to be the most haunted spot in the United States.

One of the things I love the most about Savannah and its ghosts is how casual people are about paranormal activity. My mom lives in Savannah, and one of her friends once told me, “Oh, sure, we have a ghost in our house. We hear him in the attic, and sometimes we wake up in the morning to the smell of someone cooking breakfast. But when we go downstairs, no one is there.” What struck me about her story wasn’t that a ghost craved pancakes in the afterlife, but her completely nonchalant attitude about it. That attitude is seen a lot in my books: my heroine, Betty, is a ghost hunter, and many of the people she encounters have that typical Savannah attitude about ghosts.

That is, until the hauntings get violent. Granted, most of the ghost stories about Savannah involve fairly harmless activity: phantom footsteps, things being moved, something unseen tugging on the bedcovers in the middle of the night. Luckily, fiction allows me to inject some more action into the typical haunting.

Though, as I said before, truth is often stranger than fiction. Perhaps no haunting in Savannah has caused as much of a stir as the mysterious activity at 432 Abercorn Street. The house, constructed in the mid-1800s, is a lovely structure that sits on Calhoun Square. It’s prime real estate and a piece of history, yet the house is currently unoccupied…by living people, at any rate.

The house at 432 Abercorn started popping up as a stop on local ghost tours about five years ago. The stories range from the vague—a photo of an odd human shape standing on the basement stairs and reports of people who feel physically ill when they approach the house—to more specific tales, fleshed out from the barest of details until they become more fiction than fact.

For quite some time, people reported capturing the face of a little girl in their photos. She could be seen looking out one of the front windows. You can actually see a lot of examples of this phenomenon on my website, www.BethDolgner.com. So many people began emailing me their accounts and photos that I decided to share them on my site. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the photos seem to have been debunked: an odd combination of the curve of the fireplace mantel and the warped glass in the window merely gave the illusion of a face. The windows on the house have since been covered.

For all of the legends that tour guides tell, many pass over one important piece of truth: the house as well as other structures around the square are built over an old cemetery. Utility workers have even come across human remains while digging in the area.

I’ve heard fascinating first-hand accounts about this house. In one instance, a friend of mine was driving around Calhoun Square late one night. She glanced up at the vacant house and saw a man’s silhouette in the brightly-lit upstairs. When she looked again, the house was as dark and unoccupied as ever.

Another friend lives near the house, and she reports that her dog often refuses to walk past the old residence. One tour guide I spoke to actually had the opportunity to go inside the house, but she immediately felt so physically ill that she had to leave.

And what do I experience at that house? It simply gives me the creeps, even in the broad daylight. We may never know what’s really going on at 432 Abercorn, but it does, at least, provide plenty of inspiration for my own ghostly stories.

About the Author

Beth Dolgner is a writer, editor, and overly-enthusiastic costumer. She is the author of the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter paranormal romance series and Manifest, a young adult steampunk novel. Beth and her husband live in Atlanta, Georgia, with five cats. Find Beth online at bethdolgner.com and on Twitter at twitter.com/bethdolgner.

Betty Boo Ghost Hunter Series

Ghost of a Threat, Book 1

Normal young women go on dates on Saturday nights. Paranormal investigator Betty “Boo” Boorman goes on ghost hunts in Savannah, Georgia, America’s most haunted city. She’s more comfortable around ghosts than guys, anyway.

A violent haunting forces Betty to team up with her rival ghost hunter, the arrogant Carter Lansford. When the violence is turned toward her, though, Betty knows she needs additional expertise. She enlists the help of a handsome stranger, who introduces himself simply as Maxwell, Demon.

Betty’s ghost hunting is cut short when she’s threatened and, finally, attacked. Either someone wants her to stay away from an investigation, or a demon hunter is targeting her. As Betty begins to fall for Maxwell’s mysterious charm, she starts to wonder if her life — and her soul — are worth the risk.
Buy Now at Amazon

Ghost of a Whisper, Book 2

Life is good for Betty “Boo” Boorman. Things are going great with her demon boyfriend Maxwell, and her paranormal investigation team is busier than ever as Halloween approaches. But things go to hell–literally–when Maxwell is banished by a demon hunter.

As Betty tries to cope with her grief, another demon enters her life, and he offers her a deal: Betty’s soul for Maxwell’s rescue. Time is running out for Betty to make a decision, and the ghosts of Savannah, Georgia, aren’t making the task any easier.

Cryptic messages from the ghost of a little girl seem to be directed at Betty, but are they a warning or a plea for help?
Buy Now at Amazon
Ghost of a Memory, Book 3

A month after losing Maxwell, Betty “Boo” Boorman is feeling lonely, isolated, and desperate to get away from reminders of her demon ex-boyfriend. When rival ghost hunter Carter Lansford approaches Betty with a wild story about zombies, Betty jumps at the chance to investigate.

An abandoned island resort off the coast of Georgia is infested with the walking dead, and a preservation team has asked Betty and Carter for help. The only thing worse than spending two weeks on an uninhabited island with Carter is having the whole thing filmed for a new reality show. As Betty tries to put on a brave face for the camera, she faces stubborn ghosts, rotting corpses, and one very handsome historian.
Buy Now at Amazon

Ghost of a Hope, Book 4 – AVAILABLE  SOON

Two weeks after her return from Serenity Island, Betty “Boo” Boorman is expecting retribution from the demon hunters at any moment. They have remained quiet so far, but the ghosts of Savannah, Georgia, have not. A series of violent hauntings all have similarities to past cases The Seekers have investigated, putting Betty and her team in danger. A surprise demon attack makes Betty realize she has more to fear than vengeful hunters and vicious ghosts. When the demon hunters finally make their move, the lives of Betty, Maxwell, Carter and The Seekers will be irrevocably altered.

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About Bek Harrington

Writer, author, vampire fan and historical enthusiast. You'll often find me crusing the internet under the guise of my alter ego, 3000 year old vampire "Bektamun"

Posted on 31/07/2012, in Guests and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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