Savannah – The Garden of Good and Evil

27.04.2015

Savannah, GA

Savannah, GA - All credit to the Photographer
 

I researched Savannah for the #‎HipmunkCityLove Project, and I was surprised about what I found out about it.

I would have never imagined that behind the façade of its historical buildings, comfort food and Southern hospitality would hide an underworld of wickedness, voodoo and ghosts.

Savannah lays in the Deep South, where the weather gets sticky most of the year, and it shares the same decadence, passion and charm of better-known destinations such as New Orléans and Key West. The state of Georgia and Savannah were founded in 1733 a few miles upstream the Savannah River, and throughout time its port played a central role thanks to his strategic location. Savannah and the Savannah River get their name from the Indian tribes that lived in the area before the arrival of the colonizers, and since then the city prospered, turning into a Southern gem.

The Cotton Exchange (now Freemason's Hall) - Savannah, Georgia - All credit to the Photographer
 

If you book your stay in a central Savannah hotel, you will find yourself in the heart of the largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States. During the day, while surrounded by stunning architecture dating back to eighteenth and nineteenth century, you will experience the gracious side of Savannah. At daytime its elegant squares, the intricate iron balconies and the moss hanging from oak trees will look fair and pleasant, but as soon as the sun goes down, those very same details will turn the city into an ominous setting, perfect for the supernatural.

Wormsloe, the Endless Forest of Savannah - All credit to the Photographer
 

Savannah is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States, and to testify to this are the many doors painted in “haint blue”. The water blue color protects houses from “haints”, which is a Gullah word for “spirit” and doors are painted in it in the belief that spirits would not cross water to come get you.

Two of the most haunted constructions in the city are The Colonial Park Cemetery and The Old Orphanage on Huston Street, but there are several spectral buildings scattered around town, each with his sinister back story. The Old Orphanage, for example, burned to the ground during a tragic fire and people claim that during the day it is still possible to hear the sound of children playing. At night instead, inhumane cries replace laughter as the spirits haunting the building scream for their parents.

Savannah's Cemeteries

Savannah's Cemeteries - All credit to the Photographer

 

The supernatural side of Savannah is also described in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a book by John Berendt. In the book you will find everything that makes Savannah thick, and the author will take you on a journey describing the people of Savannah and the city's architecture and beauty, but also disclosing the unruly and wicked nature of the city at night, dipping into excess and Voodoo.

The book makes for a perfect read if you intend to visit, and the cover itself encompasses everything you should expect from the city. The Bird Girl of Bonaventure Cemetery is Savannah; the pure, old-fashioned girl holds out two bowls, one representing good and the other evil. From wich one will you take?

 

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R(h)ome

Rome is where I grew up and the impersonal, breath-taking views will have to move to the background to make space for memories.