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the dead center of town

May 18, 2008 by jjosh

The weather in Savannah was gorgeous for the three days we were there. Upper 70’s, nice breeze, low humidity, sunny skies. We had lucked into some kind of early week special at our B&B (the meta-named "Bed & Breakfast Inn") that resulted in our getting a swanky room with a balcony. We’d go down and have breakfast, then come back up and start the morning slowly on the balcony — reading, enjoying an early morning beer, or just sitting in a rocking chair with Grits, the B&B cat. Then we’d stumble into Savannah and walk around like we were in a dream.

Savannah lent itself to this feeling because it was full of weird, old houses and friendly, eccentric people. Savannah is home to the house that Disney based the Haunted Mansion on, is full of churches and beautiful squares that slow down traffic, and features giant old trees that fairly drip with Spanish Moss. 

One afternoon as we were coming out of Colonial Cemetery, we saw a strange vehicle driving slowly down the street. It looked to be a modified Hearse, with people’s heads sticking up out of it and a guy in front speaking through a microphone like one of the passionate crazies right out of Slacker. There was a phone number on the back; we called and booked the midnight tour the following night.

We did a lot of fun things in Savannah, but the Hearse tour is definitely up there as far as originality. It was in a real, modified, formerly working Hearse. We rode where the bodies had been.

Our driver was a large, red-headed, long-haired, death-metal-t-shirt wearing guy named Nate. Or, as one girl called out as we drove by, "BIGG Nate!!!!" And Nate gave us a chilling tour of a damn spooky city. Also notable for driving us into the ghetto to see, as Nate put it, "the ghosts of burned down crack houses."

Walking home around 12:30, we accidentally walked near a house that had featured in one of Nate’s more memorable tales. It was chilling, and we picked up the pace. Then, as we got closer to our B&B, we came across one of the squares that had a particularly scary story about a ghost of child that supposedly haunted it.

Maxine wouldn’t let us go anywhere near the square, and we were glad to get back to our room, our beer, and Grits.


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