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Haunted Moon River Brewery

Updated on August 24, 2017
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I became a news reporter for the Marine Corps in the early 70s. I'm now retired and write on a wide variety of subjects in my spare time.

Savannah, Georgia is is reported to be the oldest and most haunted city in America. It’s no surprise the city boasts what is considered by many to be one of the most haunted places in the country The Moon River Brewery built in 1821. It's located on W. Bay Street. Apparently there’s more than one type of spirit on the premises.

Originally constructed as the city’s first hotel, through the years it also housed the first United States Post Office, Savannah’s first bank a tavern, and restaurant. There are some interesting stories attached to this structure. In 1832, a Dr. Phillip Minus quarreled with a local resident named James Stark. Afterwards bad blood erupted between the two. Later, Minus shot Stark squarely in the chest as he descended the stairs. Minus said he had seen Stark reach for his gun, so fired in self defense. He was acquitted on all charges. Some claim to have seen his ghost coming down the stairs.

It served as a hotel until 1864

In 1851 a man called Peter Wiltberger bought and renovated the building. I then served as a hotel until 1864, just before the arrival of the Union Army. However, before closing in November 1860, another violent incident took place. Mr. James Sinclair of New York City was in town seeking employment. Yankees weren’t exactly welcomed at this time. The hotel and local patrons suggested it would be in his best interests to leave. When Sinclair refused, he was dragged out of the hotel, stripped, and nearly beaten to death.

Sometime before the Civil War, there was a fire in the building. It’s believed it started in the attic where slaves were kept locked up at night. It’s not known exactly how the fire started. Unfortunately, no one remembered to let the slaves out of their quarters and were burned alive. At the time, keeping accurate slave records wasn’t a priority, It will probably never be known how many actually died that night.

Also a white apparition, believed to be the spirit of a hotel worker who died there in the late 1800's, has reportedly been seen on the restaurant's upper floors.

The building was used to store coal and lumber in the early 1900’s. It was during this time while renovating the third floor a construction foreman's wife was viciously pushed down the stairs. It’s said he immediately resigned. Up until the 1960's the building was used for general storage and then converted into an office supply store. Unfortunately, in 1979 Hurricane David ripped the roof off. It remained vacant until 1995 when the Moon River Brewery opened in 1999.

Since then, staff and customers have reported many unexplained, sometimes violent, incidents. Bottles have been thrown by invisible entities. Visitors have been touched, pushed and slapped. Frequently, shadows seem to scurry out of sight when spotted and sounds of unseen children playing have been heard.

There’s also a somewhat cantankerous phantom haunting the top landing of the stairs, obviously becoming perturbed at anyone attempting to come up. What sounds like a rock being thrown down the steps and bouncing off a metallic door has also been heard. Some have been tapped on the head while standing in a specific corner on the fourth floor. People touring the basement have been overcome with extreme feelings of sadness, heard footsteps and felt cold spots. Visitors have also reported malfunctioning cameras and video equipment as well as getting strange images on what they were able to record.

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