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Using Ghost Tours to Explore a Historic City - Savannah, GA

(Staircases in Savannah take on a new level of creepiness,
especially when they descend into the basement.)
Dear Travel Diary,

When Nick and I traveled to Savannah a few years ago, I booked a couple of ghost tours.
Now I know what you're thinking ...
But the main reason why: access. The tours gave us access to areas of historical buildings typically off-limits to the public. I was curious. I wanted to see as much as possible. I hated being cordoned off by 'No Trespassing' signs or barricades. These tours allowed us to bypass all of it without threat of being ticketed.
(Moon River Brewery is reportedly the site of a makeshift hospital for children suffering during a yellow fever outbreak. This creepy old staircase lead to the third floor, but it was physically unsafe for us to ascend.)

(Just look at the craftsmanship of the era. This room was on the second floor of Moon River,
where employees are often too fearful to go due to a vengeful ghost.)

Whatever beliefs you may hold regarding the paranormal, I do not think ghost tours ought to be completely discredited. They can provide a wonderful insight into the city's history, the prominent figures, and stories that have turned into city legends that may explain why or how the place came to be. They are a great exposure to the past, an era folded into the passages of time, and one very different than the one you live in.

(The tree-lined path on the historic Wormsloe Plantation site was hauntingly beautiful.)

Of course, one of the tours was filled with such far-fetched claims of ghost activity, to which I responded negatively, and our tour guide was not happy to find a skeptic on HIS tour. (Side note: I'm what I call an Optimistic Skeptic - I keep an open mind, but try to find an explanation.)

The second tour was much more respectful to the fact that a claim is a claim. There is often little to no documented proof to back it up, however - there are dozens of witnesses who felt or saw the same thing. After the tour guide tells the story, she asked the crowd, what's your takeaway? The tour was an intriguing blend of history with these stories, and we were allowed to linger or explore a certain area to make our own determination.

Even Nick, who is very logical, was interested in what was discussed as we stood on the property; especially when the focus was the Revolutionary or Civil War.
(The basement of Moon River Brewery.)

... Which I think is where such tours can find their success. Get people talking about the history, what you know to be fact, show them the location, but leave it for them to decide. It all points to the notion that life is not always black and white. What lies within the gray area, is still a mystery to explain.

Especially in a city like Savannah.

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