Sometimes you just have to get out-of-town and if there is a opportunity to mix a getaway with a business trip, I say do it. Fortunately for me my adventures have brought me back to an old haunt, so to speak. You may remember last year’s trip to Savannah when I took a look at some supposed haunted pubs that I knew of and managed to knock out some power lunges for the un-rested dead. This year was pretty much the same but it was a solo trip that included a bit more nightlife and a stay in a haunted room. Let’s recap my trip to one of the weirder places in these great fifty states!
I pulled into town late morning and wasted no time finding a parking deck because if you forget where you parked on the street and the meter lapses, expect a $100 ticket. This is a tourist city and they thrive on idiot dollars. The ticket clerk was nice enough to provide me with a map of the city, where to find college girls and drew boobs to show the places to most likely find them. All of this information was voluntarily provided. I just smiled and nodded. That was the first creepy event of the day.
There was still a few hours before my check-in time at the hotel so wasting no time, I headed back to the Moon River Brewing Company for an early lunch and hopefully a seasonal beer or two to make my Uncle Nat jealous. You may have remembered this place from last year.
This is their famous “Apparition Ale” and holy macaroni is it good! I get it almost every time I come here and this year is no different. It’s a bit hoppy but overall not offensive to any of the senses and most would agree, this beer has to be guzzled in a place renown for it’s haunted prowess. In fact, like a typical tourist with no sense of shame for asking, I questioned the bartender if anything spooky happened lately and she proceeded to rattle off at least ten events over the course of a couple of weeks that left her shook up enough to never go to the basement or upstairs office without someone else. One event involved something four feet tall in a top hat showing up behind people. If I saw something that is four feet tall in a top hat, I would punch it. I would punch it so hard. I don’t do short creepy things.
So after a couple glasses of courage and some really awesome crab cakes, I once again ventured back down to the basement where numerous people have not only seen but have supposedly been attacked by a…thing. Without company, I went alone to say hi and snap some pictures. Luckily for me I have an app on the phone for a timer and a stool so I was able to once again do this. Albeit a little quicker.
I am not really sure why this is becoming a Moon River tradition for me but when I am down in the basement where people have died and an evil presence dwells, I feel like the gift of physical fitness is the only thing I can offer. I didn’t get choked or possessed so perhaps it is appreciated. But most likely, if there is something we can’t explain in this cellar, they probably just feel bad for me.
Just before I said goodbye to the Moon River Brewing company I needed to make a pit stop at the restroom and was greeted by a four-year old pooping in the urinal. I can hold it. Off to River street!
Savannah is older that just about any English settled city in America and much of the structures and streets are just as they were almost three hundred years ago. To get from the Main street down to River Street much of the way down looks like this. Never mind the Exorcist stairs, try getting down these after a night of boozing at the club. I am almost positive that people have died on these but this town is so macabre, it probably went unnoticed.
Somehow I always end up back at the Pirate House. Even though we have a special history, I have to say that this place officially sucks. I chalk it up to a Disney restaurant on the outskirts of the park. It’s gimmicky, the staff (at least the ones who served me the last two visits) are rude, the food is laughably overpriced while it tastes like something pirates would eat, the historic atmosphere is plagued with campy pirate shit and most of all, the part that makes this place cool is completely covered up! You would never guess that a tunnel runs directly under you that led hundreds of unsuspecting travelers to their doom. Nope! But you can get the kids eye patches with their kid’s meals. I hope Black Beard hammer punches someone in the nose for what they did to this place. arrr…
After that disappointing trip to the Pirate House it was time to check in and boy was I looking forward to this, for this was no ordinary room. This room is said to be haunted and was investigated by numerous paranormal groups over the years and I just happened to get a last-minute reservation for…way too much. I’ll just say that. But no matter, this blog needs better material and I am willing to battle the forces of the dead to do so. See? I do care.
As I was checking it, the room checker-inner advised me to stop by the consioure desk for a brief history of the room and a guest waiver. I kid you not, I had to sign a waiver before going up to the room! Whether it was a gimmick or not, I will tell you I got a bit nervous signing a waiver to sleep alone in a hotel room. And that’s when I was told why they think the room is haunted and so many leave to either switch rooms or check-out totally. Here is the conversation. By the way, the conseour guy’s name is Scott. I am tired for misspelling consiourre. I think there is a ‘g’ in it.
Scott: “All we ask is that you are respectful to any of our guests that may be present, whether they are seen or unseen. There has never been anyone hurt though many have been frightened by occurrences like noises or things moving. If you decide to leave for reasons of this nature you will receive a full refund. Just sign here noting that I have explained this to you and you understand.”
Me: “Why do people think this room is haunted”
Scott: “Because it is. The cleaning staff will only clean the room with the door open and usually it is two people cleaning it.”
Me: “What happened in the room?”
Scott: “In 2006 a gentleman took his life in the room. People have reported incidences since.”
That immediately sucked all the excitement and wonder out of me. 2006? This is more of a tragedy than a hokey night stay in a place where some folklore was said to have taken place. Also keep in mind that there was no expression in Scott’s tone. He was friendly but very matter-of-fact. I kind of believed him.
Here it is. It’s a pretty small room that is far from special and very much over priced. I couldn’t tell if it was the waiver that I had just signed or Scott’s “serious” face but this room was deafeningly quiet. I don’t know if there is a trapped and tormented soul from beyond there but the area was so small, I couldn’t help but think that it could only be feet away.
It was oppressively sad and I am sure it was all in my head but you just can’t help but feel bad. I really wished I didn’t ask and carried on the idea that some civil war soldier still occasionally camped there. I turned on the TV, took a shower and changed clothes, all will eyes and ears open, maybe wanting to experience something but also hoping not. I needed to get out for a bit so I headed out. I left the TV on. Hopefully the ghosts like Everybody Loves Raymond as much as I do.
Back on the bustling streets of Savannah I felt a little better. I mean, I was taking pictures of a dog in sunglasses so obviously I was in a better place. I did, however, accidentally tip that guy a five dollar bill in the dog’s water dish by mistake. Oh well, it spends that same.
And this place, ladies and gentlemen, is where I spent the majority of my night. The Crypt Pub is a horror bar during the evening hours and some kind of vampire dance club after midnight. Luckily, I am a guy who is long gone by the time that transition happens. But until then, it was a blast with great people and interesting drinks.
The whole bar had those changing portraits that look innocent enough until they morph into some hideous beast. I love them. The walls are blood-red and everywhere you turn there are skeletons posed as patrons or bats swinging from the rafters. This is not a Halloween themed bar but rather a good taste of the strange and spooky Savannah. I can’t think of another city where this kind of bar would survive. And the drinks?
This is a “Frankenberry” and it is glorious. It does taste like Frankenberry cereal but that isn’t why I love it. I love it because I am still a twelve-year-old in a thirty-four year old’s body. It has dry ice and looks like something that the Munster’s would serve. Brilliant and I bought at least three…that I can remember. Look at it in action!
Everyone seemed to be in great spirits that night. No matter where I go I always seem to make a couple of friends. The couple next to me were doctors from Michigan for the same conference I was there for. Although it seemed a bit strange that cardiologists were in a macabre bar, I took it at face value that Savannah can cast a spell on even the most high in stature. We toasted our foggy drinks to health and fun. Then I watched more horror portraits.
The staff was a lot of fun, too. Shut up.
As the night wore on I decided to say my goodbyes and head out to the crazy bustling streets and try one more bar before going back to the infamous room. It was an English pub that I had visited before and I really wanted to catch the second half of the UGA game so I grabbed a seat at the bar and got into a great discussion with a really cool bartender over pumpkin ale. We all watched the win and pretty soon other people joined the bar including a bunch of frat-looking guys around my age. And wouldn’t you know it, one of them grew up in the same neighborhood my parents live at? What are the odds? The night was going great and I was having a great time until…
That scene actually happened to me. These gentlemen were cool, MARRIED, guys who tell their wives that it’s guys night out and in less than a second they went from high-five football gurus to people wanting to go to the bathroom to do…well…you can assume. I don’t know what’s more shocking; the 180 degree shift in demeanor or the candor in which they assumed I would be okay with that. Now don’t get me wrong, some of my closest friends are gay and I love them to death but they would never come on to me that way. For a brief second I could understand how chicks at a bar feel. Emasculated, I paid my tab and headed for the room. But not before stopping one more place when I was waved down by my bartender friends for a beer. That made me feel a little better.
Soon it was time to depart because I am an old man and 1:30am is like a young man’s 5am. I can’t believe I paid so much for a room that I dreaded all night to come back to. It was an ever presence in my mind and soon it was time to face what I asked for. I am glad for tipsiness because no matter how freaky something could get, nothing was keeping me up long with four bubbly rum drinks in my bloodstream.
Did anything happen that night? I don’t know. Sure there were times when I thought the facet was on or something moved but really, besides the ice machine dumping causing me to do practically the same, I can honestly say it was uneventful. Had this been a popular haunt with historic significance, I probably would have approached it differently and been disappointed that nothing happened. But this felt wrong. I felt like I was as guilty of exploiting this guy’s death as much as the hotel. For whatever reason, I hope he isn’t stuck there. It’s a pretty dull room and there is no AMC channel. Double farts.
So who knows if all these paranormal things are real? It seems that there are plenty of reality ghost hunting shows to say otherwise but it is kind of funny to think they all might be one big snipe hunt. Someday, I am sure we will find out. Until then, I’ll watch Poltergeist and think, “wouldn’t that be cool?”.
Here’s a Joe Bob Briggs breakdown:
Bubbling Death Cocktails 4
Unwanted Advances One Too Many
Beating Galaga 1
Cool Graves 1,000’s