Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

Forsyth Park Inn

Savannah, Georgia
By Shannon Reinbold-Gee

There is a saying in the South that Savannah was built on the backs of its dead. It is true that nearly anytime construction workers dig into the thick red clay earth they discover bonesâ??remains from the Native Americans in the area, remains from the Revolutionary War and Civil War. And it seems that with all the history below the gorgeous gardens and fountains of the city, some ghosts have decided to remain.

Forsyth Park is a lovely escape near the heart of the city. Spanish-moss laden trees cast strange shadows and the perfume of magnolias and azaleas is heavy in the air. Just across the street from Forsyth Park is a beautiful yellow Victorian B & B. Built in 1893, the Forsyth Park Inn and its romantic courtyard evoke a feeling of the deep South at its most luxurious.

But haunting this gorgeous eleven-room and its accompanying cottage is the spirit of a heart-broken young girl. Early in the houseâ??s history, a young couple owned it. Aaron and Lois Churchill were married, very much in love with each other, and sadlyâ??infertile. Dreaming of a child of their own, they brought an adorable little girl, Lottie, home to live with them. Details as to how or where they obtained the girl are now seemingly long-lost to history, but we do know the child lovingly referred to the Churchills as â??Aunt Loâ? and â??Uncle Aaron.â? Lo and Aaron gave Lottie an enviable lifestyle. Well-loved, perhaps even spoiled by her doting guardians, Lottie flourished. Lottieâ??s life seemed perfect.

And then her family changed.

Lois brought home her ailing sister, Anna, a girl well her junior. Anna quickly became like a big sister to Lottie. And as Lo worked to nurse her sister Anna back to health, someone else was working on Anna, too, but in a vastly different way. One day as Lottie was rushing to visit Anna she stumbled into a shocking sceneâ??Anna locked in a romantic embrace with Lottieâ??s Uncle Aaron. Shocked, thoughts raced through Lottieâ??s disillusioned mind.

That night, trapped with the secret of their illicit love, Lottie tossed and turned, unable to sleep. She devised a planâ??a way to rid the household of the problem that threatened to forever shatter her happy little family. The next day Lottie set her plan in motion while the ladies awaited their afternoon tea in the garden.

A little bit of poison in a teacup did the trick. In a moment Anna was choking, struggling to breathe. She fell to the ground, Lois holding her head in her lap as she choked out her final few gasps of breath. As she died, Lottie standing triumphant, Lois spilled out the tragic truth. It seems that, in killing Anna, to save her family, she had actually killed her biological mother. Poor Anna had been unable to raise her and had trusted her darling daughter to the only person she felt could give Lottie the life Anna so desperately wanted her to have. Anna had sacrificed her happiness, and now lost her life, so that Lottie could be truly happy.

And that was when Lottieâ??s mind snapped. Lottie went insane, right then and there. She was then committed to a mental institution, where she lived out the rest of her life.

So is Lottieâ??s ghost the poisoning, vengeance-seeking spirit that she was at her last moment of sanity? No, in fact, it seems Lottieâ??s ghost is a happy spirit with a childâ??s simple enthusiasm. Visitors occasionally report a childâ??s laughter and footsteps echoing in empty rooms. Some claim theyâ??ve spotted Lottie on the staircase, dressed in the clothing of her time period. Others claim to feel her presence near the fountain in the courtyardâ??near the scene of the mistake that changed her life forever. But mainly Lottie seems to just be revisiting the happiest moments of her lifeâ??the moments before she inadvertently destroyed the rest of her life.

9 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »

9 Comments

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Josh says:

September 11, 2008, 2:55 pm

It may be true however,all the spirits I’ve looked up have mostly died of tragic deaths or waiting to tell there pasts,or left something behind them when they past on

Minister Helena Garilano says:

September 13, 2008, 7:47 am

You should learn the truth about Haunted Hotel. The spirits must be dealt with in the Name of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to go to anyone because Jesus Christ gave all believers the authority to cast out demons. Mark 16 : 17.
Minister Helena Garilano http://www.HauntedHouseBuster.Com

Shannon Reinbold-Gee (author) says:

October 13, 2008, 11:14 pm

Josh,

Yes, most ghosts (and sometimes, sadly, the most popular ghost stories) deal with tragic circumstances that leave an imprint of sorts behind. Depending on circumstances, the type of ghost does vary, also. In Lottie’s case (although I’d think part of what holds her in this plane of existence is the pain and disillusionment brought about by her deadly plan) many people have reported a genuinely playful and young sort of spirit–like Lottie before seeing Aaron and Anna embracing.

I would also like to think that what remains of Lottie here is not a self-tormenting spirit but an innocent child–before she was forced to grow up because of witnessing her uncle’s infidelity.

Like the rest of us, it seems spirits have many reasons for staying behind, or getting left behind.

Thanks for commenting!
Shannon

kayla says:

June 4, 2009, 4:19 pm

i have been to savannah and its rlly freaky and we were on tour with a paraormal guide and she took us to a theater and it was freaky!!!!!!

Chloe907 says:

April 13, 2010, 6:05 pm

What a sad story! A girl has so much affection for her Aunt and Uncle that she poisons her “sister”. Then she finds out that it was actually her mother and is driven mentally insane. I really send my prayers to their souls. God Bless Them!

chelsey says:

September 23, 2010, 12:04 pm

good story but bad ending

sulema says:

August 17, 2011, 6:20 pm

yes it is true but i well never go there

Karen Mulhollem says:

September 8, 2015, 6:29 am

My daughters go on a road trip every fall, and Savannah happens to be their favorite place. Not just for the beautiful city, and the great food, but for the ghost tours! They say (at least one did) that she felt a cool breeze and it felt like someone was touching her hair! They also went to Gettysburg Penn. and heard many stories of sounds of War coming from the ‘Battlefield’at dusk and dawn. also first-hand reports of apparitions on the old covered bridge! they were not lucky enough to catch anything there so Savannah was the place to find ghosts! They DID get a surprise on the way though! They had no resv. for the night so just asked for a room at at a S Carolina hotel! They were booked up, so asked if the girls would mind taking the ‘attic room’ they were tired from driving, so accepted, they all showered, went to dinner, then came back to the room to watch t.v. and sleep. They said that just as the lights went out. (about 10:00 p.m.) my daughter swears she heard someone call her name! She turned on the lamp, thinking her pre-teen daughter had called her, she denied it! they settled down a second time, and shortly the ‘voice’called ‘Amy’ AGAIN! She said that time the light stayed on! and she and her sister barely closed their eyes all night, and seriously considered ‘leaving’ but her daughter was sleeping soundly so didn’t want to wake her, so decided not to panic everyone. but in the morning as they checked out, she asked the desk clerk, if anyone had ever reported ‘voices’ calling out their name in that room, she said he looked a little surprised, but then said “Oh, I see you have met George” she said “are you kidding me?” he said “No, I am not!” this hotel was used during the civil war as a ‘hospital, orderly’and the room they slept in was a surgical area where many people didn’t make it! and sometimes our guests tell us about encounters with a Civil War orderly named George calling their name! He seems to be harmless, so we didn’t make him move on! He is also seen/heard in the dining area! So if you are traveling to the South, be sure to stop off in Savannah, Ga.or almost any Civil War buildings in Southern towns. Just google Haunted Hotels of the South!

George Churchill says:

May 8, 2017, 1:30 pm

Hi! Shannon
I am a Churchill historian and author. I am wondering if you have record of the original source, or any sources for the Churchill Forsyth inn story. I am attempting to provide credibility or debunk the story.
Any info. would helproad

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