Savannah, Georgia was listed as the most haunted city in America in 2003 by the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology. Moon River Brewing Company is considered by many to be the most haunted location in Savannah, and is listed on USA Today’s travel website as one of the top ten great haunted places across the USA. Sounds like a great possibility of enjoying a paranormal experience here!
Initially built as Savannah’s first hotel in 1821, the building housed many businesses after the hotel closed in 1864.
In 1832, the City Hotel was known as a place where violence occurred on a regular basis. In the spring of that year, Dr. Philip Minis and James Stark argued over a game of quoits (similar to horseshoes). The legend goes that Minis won the game, and Stark was an unhappy loser. He continued to antagonize Minis for months.
On August 9, Minis had had enough of Stark’s verbal attacks against him and his Jewish ancestry. He challenged Stark to a duel, which was accepted.
The pair decided to meet at Screven’s Ferry, South Carolina where dueling was still legal at 5 p.m. in the afternoon. The weapon decided upon was rifles.
The duel never took place as Minis found Stark at the City Hotel earlier in the day and shot him in the chest with a pistol. Minis was declared innocent by the jury, and he went on to become a surgeon.
Stark’s spirit is said to have never left the City Hotel. Workers and patrons of the Moon River Brewing Company think that Stark’s ghost pushes them when they are walking down the stairs. They’ve also heard the sound of a pistol shot and glasses rattling. Bottles being thrown off of shelves, silver ware sliding off tables, walking shadows, and the sounds of children playing have also been reported at Moon River Brewing Company.
The event on the night of Stark’s murder might also have been caught in a time warp as some witnesses have reported seeing Stark’s body carried out of the building on the back of a door.
One of the spirits is called “Toby.” He is a mischievous ghost who plays tricks. SciFi Channel conducted a paranormal investigation and video recorded a lady in white on the third floor. Another entity reported is that of a female spirit who walked in the back door toward the bar and then disappeared on a busy Saturday night.
Before opening as the Moon River Brewing Company, the Oglethorpe Brewery attempted major renovations. Evidently they were scared away by paranormal activity, and never completed their work. Moon River opened in 1999 and continues operation daily. They’re happy to share their ghost stories with interested parties.
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