One of the most haunted places in Savannah, and maybe the whole United States, is the Sorrel Weed House – so, who wouldn’t want to experience some tickling in October for Halloween? Some people say that it is THE hotspot of paranormal activities in the country and that a visit to the house (almost) guarantees an encounter with the ghosts. That seems like such a big claim, but you’ll understand why when you step inside the place.
The silvery silence that settled over us as we walked through the stairs and the hallways made my skin prickle with awareness, but it wasn’t until they led me down to the very dimly lit basement surgery room that I got completely creeped out! Got you curious? Keep up.
Walking through those doors left me feeling chilly from head down to the toe.
Are you on the hunt for some last-minute Halloween activities? Then visiting haunted houses in Savannah might just be what you’re looking for. If so, then the Sorrel Weed House in Savannah will HAVE to be on your list.
Before we get into my juicy experience, let me have a little bit of a history lesson, so the hauntings actually make sense – don’t care that much? No worries, jump down to the experience on what to expect.
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Sorrel Weed House Haunted History
The Sorrel Weed House got its name after its first two owners: Francis Sorrel, who built the house for his family in the 1840s, and Henry Davis Weed, who bought the house from the Sorrels in 1859. However, we can mainly trace the haunted history of the Savannah Sorrel Weed House to the spirits of Francis Sorrel and his family.
Francis Sorrel’s father was Haitian, though he inherited his mother’s light skin. This made his origins a bit of a mystery and harder to tell during that time. However, he moved to the United States, went into business with the wealthy Moxley family, and married their daughter Lucinda.
Francis’ ordinary family life only lasted five years when Lucinda died at age 22, showing up as the first tragedy.
Wanting to stay within the family (sarcasm), Francis eventually remarried Lucinda’s younger sibling, Matilda, and this was when he built a private house for his growing family.
Have I mentioned that they were very influential? Typical at the time, they were a family that cared about rank and status in society – often hosting lavish parties but only for the affluent and the elites.
During these parties, they served spirits — but only literally! — aka liqueur and brandy. Men also smoked pipes in the parlor room. And guess what? This is where I had my first supernatural experience.
It happened while standing in the main party room. I felt a cold shiver go down my back as I smelled an elegant, rich scent. Along with an aroma similar to fruits mixed with vanilla – not unheard of, considering that this was what pipe smoke typically smelled like.
Next to me, many guests also noticed the smell of cigars and pipes in this room. Although others said they got hints of jasmine and clove.
Other things that people have noticed in the room, especially when wandering on their own, was the sound of footsteps or even the piano playing on its own – talk about a welcoming host.
Tragedies Involving Matilda Sorrel and Molly
Matilda was Lucinda’s younger sister, who became Francis’ second wife. The start of their relationship already sounds like a tragedy in the making, but wait until you hear more!
For worse, Matilda caught Francis having an affair with Molly, an enslaved woman. She discovered them sharing a bed in Molly’s little room. Though it’s safe to assume that Molly didn’t have much of a say in the matter given the power dynamic between the two of them.
In pain, Matilda jumped from the second-floor balcony, where she fell straight to the courtyard and died. Her death certificate only shows the cause of death as a concussion, though some people argue that this is not the whole truth – What do you think? Did she really jump, or was she pushed?
Actually, Supernatural Hunters have (presumably) recorded her cries for help from the second-floor balcony with a device – which you get to listen to by the end of the tour.
Tragedy Strike Again
Unfortunately, another tragedy struck not long after. It is important to remember that Molly was an enslaved woman; hence, her relationship with Francis was likely not consensual. It was reported that she hung herself in her room Many have doubts regarding this. But One thing is certain. There was so much tragedy surrounding the story of Molly.
Up to now, the spirit of Molly is still haunting her room in the carriage house. Some guests reportedly felt someone tickle their arm while inside, and another said she felt someone touching her throat! As you’re walking through the carriage house, you not only notice the thick and humid air, but also the pain within the dark walls.
The Revolutionary War of 1779
Way before Francis Sorrel built the house, something tragic had already occurred on the property. Many soldiers lost their lives in 1779 during the Siege of Savannah. Many of these soldiers, unfortunately, did not have a proper burial. Therefore, it is believed that some of the soldiers may still be hanging around and watching over the barracks..
Many visitors report feeling ill or nauseous when they enter the basement, while some claim to feel a choking sensation. However, the scariest encounters are those with the Shadowman. A tall, dark shadow is often seen walking around here, sometimes even poking guests.
Needless to say, expect to feel all kinds of eerie and unnerving sensations when you get to this part – the shift in energy is definitely hard to ignore.
Love learning about Savannah’s history. Then check my top reasons here you will love visiting Savannah’s Prohibition Museum.
Sorrel Weed House Haunting: What To Expect
Enough with the history lesson! Here’s to my experience: Upon entering the foyer of the house, I instantly felt chills all over my body. I’m not sure if that was because of my anticipation for the Sorrel Weed House Haunting tour or if it was because of the presence of the spirits themselves.
After all, our paranormal tour guide told us that spirits living in Sorrel Weed House in Savannah do love it when they have guests coming over.
As we were listening to a brief history of Francis Sorrel and how he came to Savannah, we heard some light knocking on doors — nothing out of the ordinary, according to our guide.
Anyway, it’s just some knocking, right?
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The Party Room
Our guide led us to a room that once accommodated politicians, aristocrats, and other famous personalities like war hero Robert E. Lee. Remember I said I noticed the smell of pipe during the tour?
Standing in the main party room, a cold shiver went down my back as I smelled an elegant, rich scent and an aroma similar to fruits mixed with vanilla – you know, the kind you’d expect from old money people as they’re playing poker or talking about business.
It was also in this room where a few members of my group heard some knocking and scratching on furniture. The weird thing is I didn’t hear it. But the strangest part was that I could smell all different kinds of smells aside from the pipe. My nose was tickled by the woody, cedar-like aroma of a cigar being smoked not far behind me – but of course, there was no one there.
In one of the giant mirrors in the room, we were encouraged to take photos and look at the results. From time to time, people get photobombed by an unknown face. Would you be brave enough? I tried multiple times, but didn’t get as lucky.
I could feel the excitement building up inside of me: sweaty palms, a beating heart, and thought of who knows what else I would experience tonight?
When you go down to the basement, you’ll pass the staircase leading to the upper floors. This was one of the most intriguing parts of the house. It was here that Matilda spent her final moments before jumping to her death. Who knows? Maybe we weren’t allowed to go because the experiences there were too intense?
The Eerie History of the Basement
The basement at the Sorrel Weed House in Savannah is full of history. Beginning with the dead soldiers that were housed there or rather nearby before the house was built. As you descend the stairs, you’ll find yourself in a large room with an exposed doorway connecting to a hallway with a chair at the end of it. At the end, there is also a smooth red light. It is barely bright enough to allow you to move properly.
My First Hand Experience
As I continued down the corridor on my own, I had my next encounter. I heard a loud screeching as if you had just sat on this old wooden chair. It seemed to come from just where I was – with no one even being close to me or the chair. Who was it? The floor was made out of concrete and so were the walls, so it couldn’t have been them.
Once I rejoined the group, we proceeded to the next room. This room had been converted into a surgical suite in the wake of Francis’s death. Right away, I picked up a sharp lemony aroma. To be expected, given that this was the method utilized to sterilize the surgical site just before the procedure. Certainly, in that time and era, soldiers and the two ladies were not the only ones to have died in this place.
In fact, the guide explained that there were some children haunting the room, which often liked to play with the shoes of guests – or touching them, as if they were playing hide and seek.
Just the thought of it, may make your skin crawl.
Each room is yours to explore at your own pace after a small history lesson. A sofa in the operating area allowed visitors to relax and just observe. You can bet I definitely took advantage of trying to sharpen all my senses more.
Though, in the moments before entering that area, I took several live shots. It was here that I captured the shadow man in one of them. Sure, you may dismiss it as nothing more than a false impression, but tell me this: What kind of shadow has a hollow face as it turns?
At this part of the house, the lights are mostly out except for a few small lamps. At this moment everyone’s emotions are high and intense. Suffice it to say the setting was very creepy already.
Molly’s Private Quarter
Another eerie part of the tour was visiting the carriage house where the enslaved people lived. You will be reminded of disturbing stories that happened to the enslaved people, and I swear, you will feel multiple sensations as you walk by. It felt like stepping back in time but not to the good part of history.
On the second floor, you can find Molly’s private room, where she hung herself, supposedly. Some have said in the past that they have felt a tingling sensation in their ears and neck as they explored Molly’s room on their own.
Not going to lie, the whole place just gives off an unsettling vibe.
One thing I like about joining an organized ghost tour like this is that the paranormal guide would always remind us that if we feel too creeped out, we can leave anytime. Some previous guests felt heavy sensations in their chests while inside the house. It was enough for them to have difficulty breathing – not surprising, as the room was dark and humid, sadly, often housing as many as 20 enslaved people at once.
Haunted Houses in Savannah, GA
The tour I joined was pretty awesome in the sense that it did exactly its purpose: for guests to experience the paranormal! You may not see or feel something (as you may expect at first), but that doesn’t mean that your other senses won’t catch something.
It’s such a surreal feeling being able to see where tragedies actually occurred while knowing that the spirits are probably still roaming around – I really can’t recommend Sorrel Weed House in Savannah enough.
Loud sounds coming from nowhere, shadows lurking behind you, the smell of cigars and disinfectants? What else could you want to give you a truly paranormal experience? Certainly, if you don’t have enough from this, you can join the after-hours supernatural tour, where you’re given real equipment to capture more.
Are you planning to visit Sorrel Weed House in Savannah this Halloween? Even if you’re a skeptic, it’s worth keeping an open mind. Who knows what you might see or feel, right? I promise you won’t regret it.
You can even level up your experience and sleep in a haunted hotel! Just check out my recommendations here for the best haunted hotels in Savannah.
Can’t wait for you to have fun with the ghosts of Savannah!
P.S. Too many haunted places to keep track of? Well, you are in luck. Here is a map of all the haunted places in Savannah, GA. Enjoy!