What is the most haunted building in Savannah?
Moon River Brewing Company is the most haunted building in Savannah. There, I finally admitted it in print. After over a decade of hedging my answers to the “most haunted” question, it’s finally time to start admitting what psychically sensitive people can usually figure out in a matter of seconds. Not only is Moon River Brewing Company the most haunted bar we visit on our Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl, it is in my opinion the most negatively charged building in Savannah. We’re talking about an aggressive spirit which likes to throw bottles, push people down the stairs, and even scratch people’s skin, so this is an inherently unhappy entity. To make matters worse, that ‘bad mojo,’ like an electrical current, is apparently gaining strength.
How haunted is it? Overwhelmingly so. Moon River Brewing Company at 21 West Bay Street has such a strong vibe, in fact, that sometimes its negative aura even creeps into other, non-haunted tours. For instance on our daytime food tour, the Savannah Culinary Tour, we are about as far removed from ghosts as you can get. We do visit Moon River on this tour. There is zero “branding” inside the restaurant which advertises it as a haunted location, though: no banners, no signs, no articles on the walls, no lengthy write-ups inside the menus. We included Moon River as a Savannah food tour stop because of the restaurant’s outstanding fried green tomatoes, which they top with a generous dollop of local blue crabmeat. It’s delicious. I point out Moon River’s lack of acknowledgement that they are so haunted because the foodie crowd on our culinary tour which enters MRBC should be thinking about sunshine, delectable portions, full tummies, and rainbows and kittens. And yet, once inside Moon River the ‘haunted’ topic comes up, again and again, despite my best efforts to avoid the subject.
This past Memorial Day Weekend, the culinary tour entered MRBC in great spirits (pun intended). Immediately after we were seated, though, a woman shuddered and whispered something to her husband. He nodded. I asked if anything was wrong, and she asked me, “What happened in this place? I feel… something. This building is not quite right.” Her husband revealed that he was similarly sensitive to spirits (not as much as she, he admitted. When it came to ghosts, he said, “She’s Obi-Juanita.”). Trying hard not to turn our food tour into an advertisement for our nighttime Savannah haunted pub tour, I briefly gave them a history of the building, hoping that they would be satisfied with a quick historical sketch and we could turn our attention back to food. My group was not satisfied with this, though, because several others in the crowd offered their own feeling that this restaurant possessed a certain ‘vibe’ of a ghostly nature. I wound up telling a deeply personal ghost story about Moon River, despite attempting several times to shift the conversation back to Southern cuisine.
To me, this is the very definition of the most haunted building in Savannah: where the topic is dragged back to ghosts and hauntings, despite sincere efforts to move the conversation along a different path by an experienced tour guide. The level of energy within Moon River is currently rising to such levels that people on a completely unrelated food tour are talking about the bad vibes (barely) contained within. The only question is: how will this negativity manifest? And against whom? Well, I’m leading a Savannah Haunted Pub Tour there at 8 p.m. on Friday night, and I am going to be extremely careful. If we leave Moon River Brewing Company without incident, I’ll let out a great big sigh of relief, and will be happy to escape the most haunted building in Savannah, unscathed.
No matter what you’re craving, be it ghosts, spirits, or Southern cuisine, you should join us for a walking tour in Savannah. If you enjoyed this written tidbit, please check out James Caskey’s books here.