In September, my husband and I stayed at the infamous 17Hundred90 Inn, Room 204. On Monday, April 22, we’ll return to Savannah for a night in the 166-year-old Eliza Thompson House. Will I finally have a bona fide paranormal experience?
Savannah’s Eliza Thompson House
Located at 5 West Jones Street, the home now known as The Eliza Thompson House was built in 1847 for Joseph and Eliza Thompson and their seven children. Joseph, a cotton dealer, died just eight years later, and Eliza managed the estate on her own. The home stayed in the family until the 1920s before becoming a doctor’s office, a dental practice, and eventually an inn.
The Ghost Soldier of Room #132
While the 17Hundred90 Inn is perhaps the most famous “haunted” hotel in all of Savannah, The Eliza Thompson House isn’t without its ghosts. Legend has it one of the Thompsons’ sons, a Civil War veteran named James, died in front of the home after a horse kicked him the gut. The inn’s official site doesn’t mention James or a fatal kick, nor could I find any official record of the event. However, the tale appears on several sites covering Savannah ghost legends, and some believe James haunts the historic property today.
Number 132, the R. Bruce Room (right), is the most luxurious room in the Eliza Thompson House. It is one of the home’s original bedrooms and is now reportedly home to the ghost of a uniformed soldier which many believe to be James.
According to local legend, several guests have spotted an ethereal soldier gazing out the window of #132. The spirit has also been known to appear on a couch in the room. Innkeeper Susan Powers says the ghost usually only appears from the waist up, though it’s not clear why.
Writers from The South Magazine stayed in the R. Bruce Room and rated it a 4.5 out of 5 on the “Fright-O-Meter” scale. The writers’ account, which you can read here, speaks of orbs, cold spots, an uneasy atmosphere, and a strange mist near the couch.
The Children’s Spirits
Ghostly children are also said to haunt the Eliza Thompson House. One frightened guest shared his experience with the Savannah Morning News:
“I’m in bed for a while trying to go to sleep and I’m hearing laughing while trying to focus on sleeping,” he wrote. “It was very happy, gleeful, joyful and playful – that is the key word, playful. And what was unique about this voice was that it was distinctly heard within my room.”
The man went on to describe what felt like pressure at the foot of the bed, followed by tugs on the sheet and the sensation of someone jumping up on the mattress. Things really got weird when the man felt something shove his back, and heard a small voice calling “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy.”
Other guests at the hotel have heard children playing in the hall, even though children under the age of 10 aren’t allowed at The Eliza Thompson House. A ghostly girl in a white dress also reportedly roams the historic inn’s corridors.
Will We See a Ghost?
My husband and I booked the Lee Room which served as a nursery in the 1850s. Perhaps the ghostly children will pay a visit? I’ve bought a digital recorder for my first attempt at recording EVPs, and I’ll be doing “Nova X” live from the haunted Eliza Thompson House. Stay tuned for our experience!