Where Do All The Ghosts Go?
By Edie Cay
October 13, 2020

I’ve lived in five different states in the U.S., ranging from the West, the South, the East, and the North, both in cities and in rural counties. I think that covers a good swath of the very diverse geography our country offers. Each place has its own unique beauty, unique culture, and sometimes, some unique foods. But of all the places I’ve lived, I’ve only ever lived in one haunted house.

Savannah, Georgia is a haunted town. It’s the town that Sherman marched to when he marched To The Sea, burning everything, including Atlanta, in his wake. He left Savannah untouched, as a prize. Savannah still has old mansions, older oaks, and compelling swaths of Spanish moss hanging “just so.”

But Savannah’s charm comes with the seedy underbelly of pain. It was the last place that Africans were taken in North America, long after it was supposed to be illegal to kidnap Africans for slavery. It was the site of one of the largest slave auctions in American history—436 enslaved people sold to pay off the gambling debts of the white slaveowner, Pierce Butler. An event known as The Weeping Time.

There is voodoo afoot. There are superstitions at every turn.

I bought a house built in 1936, in a “new” development downtown. It was an area that got developed in the thirties, less than a mile from old downtown Savannah.

It was broken-down when we bought it, and needed quite a bit of new love. It had clearly been someone’s Forever Home in the late sixties, early seventies. Indeed, the kitchen was top of the line for the time. The grease trap was home to a pile of roach bodies. The 1776 centennial wallpaper decorated the utility room just inside the backdoor—which used to be a porch. The avocado green walls set off the Western theme of the kitchen, complete with batwing saloon doors.

The place that used to have a bathtub, before it was chucked out a second story window.

Our beloved dog, Yuba, didn’t like to be inside the house. After we bought it, we didn’t move in right away, as we had air conditioning installed. As a Yankee from the far North, I couldn’t abide Savannah without AC. I don’t understand people who can.

And as we lived there, over the course of five years, we renovated the house, sanding down multi-textured walls, taking out popcorn ceiling, tossing a bathtub out of the second-story window into a dumpster.

We re-wired, re-roofed, re-designed, and re-plumbed.

That house has the best master bathroom ever. I know, I designed it myself.

And all the while, as I painted baseboards alone, out of the corner of my eye, I would often see a tall, thin man. Only ever on the second floor. But I saw him often. He never said anything. There was no judgement. He just appeared and then faded away.

My husband and a male friend heard a child’s laughter. We had no children at the time. Everyone at one point heard the sound of the front door opening and shutting, without anyone else being home.

The renovation neared completion—we found a knife under the house—which we removed. We found an old coin in the wall—we saved it, because we couldn’t put it back.

But the ghosts stopped. I never heard the child. But the sounds of the door opening and closing ceased.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw the tall, thin man. But after I renovated the storage room next to the master bedroom, turning the ante room into my own beautiful sitting room, he was gone.

We turned that house into the home of my dreams, but in so doing, took away the ghosts. I don’t know where ghosts go when they leave. I’m not sure if we did them a favor or a disservice.

All I know is that they left.

Edie Cay
Written by Edie Cay

Edie Cay writes award-winning feminist Regency Romance about women’s boxing and relatable misfits. She is a member of the Regency Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, ALLi, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can drop her a line on Facebook and Instagram @authorediecay.

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