Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

The Pirates’ House

Savannah, Georgia
By Saoirse Redgrave

Ghostly laughter, footsteps and objects that move—It all seems pretty standard at first glance at The Pirates’ House in Old Fort, Savannah. But the name of the location reflects a lot of the spirit—or spirits—of the place. Yes, The Pirates’ House is haunted by sailors, seadogs, privateers and perhaps even real (and, of cousre, very dead) pirates.

Not far from the Savannah River in Old Fort, Savannah, Georgia is The Pirates’ House. Built in 1753 and joined with the oldest house in the entire state, the brick and wood structure even looks like it should be haunted by the seadogs of yesteryear. The American Museum Society even credits it as a “house museum” because of ongoing and continual efforts to restore it faithfully.

Over time the original house became a tavern and additional buildings merged into it, giving its first floor more than a dozen separate dining areas today. Traditionally, the eating and drinking was done on the first floor and men slept in the rooms comprising the second floor. For a while (much more recently) a jazz bar took up several rooms upstairs, but now the 2nd story is mainly used for storage. In the basement, a long brick-lined tunnel ran from The Pirates’ House all the way to the water’s edge and was supposedly used for aiding impressment, a common practice in The Pirates’ House’s early years.

Sailing was dangerous work, and there were many times when crews had spots to be filled—and not many willing volunteers. So in spots like The Pirate’s House’s Captain’s Room, captains and crewmen got creative and would either get able-bodied men drunk, drugged, or (occasionally) whacked over the head, and then drag him down the long brick tunnel to a waiting ship. By the time a man had regained his senses he was out at sea, and firmly stuck aboard ship at the mercy of the captain and supporting crew. A popular local story is told of a Savannah police officer who happened by for a drink on his way home and wound up taking a two-year forced tour of the Far East before he could get back home.

Although pirates had been a real menace up and down the eastern coast, by the time The Pirates’ House was originally constructed most of the pirates had been run out of town. But the privateers—men who had a “letter of marque” granting them the legal right to raid ships belonging to other nations—rivaled the danger of pirates any day. The famous French privateer, Jean Lafitte, stayed at The Pirates’ House many times between dates aboard ship.

Supposedly it was, in part, The Pirates’ House that helped inspire Robert Louis Stevenson and the characters of his popular “Treasure Island.”

Laughter is often heard coming from the unoccupied upstairs, and many people have reported seeing a scarred and ragged looking privateer (nicknamed “Captain Flint” now) in the upstairs and basement area. The first floor also hosts a spectre—seemingly a gruff sailor—hangs around the stairs, and another equally charming spirit has supposedly appeared long enough to cast a baleful glare at the cook before disappearing again. Chairs get rearranged nearly nightly in one particular dining area on the first floor and some people have reported feeling physically sick when they report to work at The Pirates’ House.

The site has been investigated twice by the Paranormal Ghost Hunters of North Georgia. The first investigation yielded nothing of great value, but the second investigation did yield photos of orbs as well as some recordings of ghostly voices via EVP.

The Pirates’ House is open to visitors interested in having a meal or a drink and an unobtrusive glance around. If you are more serious about doing an investigation or asking questions about something other than their menu, look them up and call for permission.

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Kristy says:

October 26, 2008, 6:53 pm

I am staying in Georgia temporarily. Does anyone have info on the houses near the Pirate’s House? I have two different roommates that have heard noises (myself included), had lights turned on or off and our thermostat is always being changed. We all thought the other ones were doing it but checked and no one has.

andrea Kritikos says:

October 27, 2008, 1:12 pm

I dont think this is true because it dont look like its true but i dont know that becasue i dont live theier i live in williston ND.P.S….commet me back ASAP. Thank You!

Aretha says:

October 31, 2008, 2:03 pm

My husband I were married in Savannah and visit often. We love the city and visit the Pirates House every time. While we have never had an encounter, we do feel that the city it self is full of spirits and that most of the homes of that city are inhabiited by their former owners. I would encourage you to do some investigating about your home and see what it tells you. I would not think fear should be a concern, they more than likly just have some unfinished business and need your help.

Emma says:

November 7, 2008, 12:16 pm

i was there once and the thing isn’t really all that scary but the story is kind-of.
This part is to the girl who needed the address its’s
20 East Broad Street,Savannah,GA 31401 thats the address

Jason says:

November 25, 2008, 4:28 am

Check out our site at
http://www.paranormalknowledge.com

We donate to and contribute to the Save the Children Foundation! Read to support!

Danielle says:

January 4, 2009, 8:00 pm

I was born and raised in the SAV. I now live in NY with my family. Just to let people know, yes the story is true. they have it in many books. and yes savannah is well known for the haunted house downtown too!! it is a very beautiful city and if anyone gets a chance to go you should. they also have a hsunted tour. it will take you all over downtown and tell you about the places that are haunted!!! Enjoy!!

tristen says:

March 19, 2009, 11:01 am

OMG what in the world y r they still here make them go 2 the other side!

I DONT WANT 2 BELIEVE IN GOHST

SAMANTHA says:

March 19, 2009, 11:03 am

OMG THERE SO U.G.L.Y.

mageist says:

April 18, 2009, 8:15 pm

why are you all scared about it is jest hunted!!!!!!!

Omar says:

May 11, 2009, 12:20 pm

i have visited the pirate house a couple of times and ive got to say if you have a developed sixth sense that would be a very bad place to go. i wanted to go up stairs and when no one was looking i did and trust me it was a bad idea. and i also walked about ten or 11 feet into one of the tunnels after forcfully ordering one of the waitresses to get the door open and it is full of ghosts just sitting there i still have a scar on my hand from a beer bottle flying across the tunnel and cutting me badly….that place is very haunted but cool

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August 26, 2009, 10:54 am

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GhostlyEncounters says:

September 6, 2009, 6:29 am

I have been to the Pirates House as well, and I do believe there are spirits there…….we went on a ghost tour that started there and things were a little wild. I took many pics outside the Pirates House and there are many unexplainable “extras” in the photos that I have. We also went to the “tunnel” where the people of Savanna that died of the yellow fever epidemic were thrown into and burned. It is closed off to the public now, but when we were there, the door to the tunnel……that is bolted…..was trying to come open. Don’t know if that was fake or real…..but scared the heck outta me. I have some GREAT orb pics from my Savannah trip, so if nothing else, it was awesome that way!!

CAROLINE says:

September 8, 2009, 8:15 pm

my sister went there and she said it was just people but who has seen the othersiders

Gordie Little says:

September 15, 2009, 2:06 pm

My wife Kaye, a friend Gloria and I had a delightful time there in 2008. Our guide said she had never encountered ghosts in the Pirate’s House. We accompanied her to the basement after entertaining her at our table for dinner and took several photographs with three cameras. All showed at least five,large and distinct spirit orbs on the front of her blouse. All those assembled were duly impressed.

I write ghost stories from Northern New York State and have a book entitled “Ghosts of Clinton County” to be released before Halloween.

I’m sorry that I did not write down the name of our delightful female ghost tour guide in Savannah, but she was terrific.

Gordie Little

deaddude says:

September 22, 2009, 5:28 pm

I ate dinner at this place on a summer vacation before I even knew it was haunted…I must have seen a ghost because when I saw someone dressed like a pirate eating at a table and asked the waitress about him, she told me that they did not even have anyone dressed up like a pirate in the building that day!

ELizabeth says:

October 9, 2009, 8:57 am

i was born in Georgia and i have heard many story’s about that old pirate house and think that it is real.i have a friend named Savannah and she was born in Savannah and said she was their before and took a picture and u could see like a little spirit dressed in like a pirate suit and asked why he was dressed in a pirate suit and he yelled she could only hear him.

kristen:-p says:

October 20, 2009, 1:13 pm

you can actually make a string in a pisture look like a ghost so it could have even been dust and hurr imaginaton and im not calling hurr a lier

Laurie says:

November 17, 2009, 5:15 pm

My husband, granddaughter and I ate at the Pirate’s House on vacation in June 2005. A girl dressed like a pirate was our waitress. She greated us with “Hi, I am your wench tonight.” We thought it was really cute. Before our vacation to Savannah in 2006, I talked with Carol Pate, psychic, friend of mine and asked if we would see a ghost this trip. She said “you saw one last year at dinner!” When we ate there in 2006, no one was dressed as Pirate’s and three employees told us they NEVER dressed like Pirate’s, but I did get TONS of pics with orbs in them. My husband and I are going to Savannah the Saturday after Thanksgiving and plan to eat there twice a day, – hope we see or hear something!!

Ann says:

February 22, 2010, 8:51 pm

My husband and I have dined at the Pirates House on several occasions. There have been times that we would hear noises and no one would be anywhere near where the noise came from. For a long time, the old rum cellar was off limits. We had the good fortune of being taken down there by the old owners brother. Later it was opened to the guided tours. The last time we were there, sadly the rum cellar had been closed off again.
I have several unexplained things in photos I have taken. I was also encompassed by a swirling ice cold breeze one time. There is definitely something unseen hanging around there!

Marty Horowitz says:

May 10, 2010, 3:27 pm

We went to the oldest house in Savannah last night for dinner. It is called the Pirates House.
It was the stimulus for Robert Lewis Stevenson’s story Treasure Island.
While we were there we were told stories about the Inn. Ghost stories.
Our waitress insisted that she could take a picture of ghosts.
Attached is a picture she took with my camera.
She was told by someone that specialized in paranormal to take the picture through a window with a flash.
The flash’s glare in the window would capture the energy from the ghost if one was there.
She was told that a couple of places in the inn had a high occurrence of the spirits.
The attached photo was taken through a window into one such room.
If you look carefully towards the top center of the image you will see a ghost .
Kind of creepy……….

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