Savannah in the Rain

By Marsha Tennant

Savannah is one of my favorite places to visit. I especially love it in the fall because it is reported to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.A. The veil of August heat has finally lifted and the ghosts and goblins begin to appear. Specters known and unknown to the locals circle the squares and remind everyone that it is that time of year.

It was here that my writer friend, Sara Harrell Banks, introduced me to her sassy city. She enjoyed early morning walks in the rain. She said it was at this time of day when this world and the hereafter merged for a brief moment. Sara introduced me to characters that seemed to be pulled straight from THE BOOK (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). Actually, a few of them were in THE BOOK. The quiet parties that her friends Bob and Jim hosted were filled with some of the local cast. I felt like I was a walk-on and savored every minute of the experience!

Sara lived in a historical house on East Taylor Street. It dated back to the Revolutionary War. It was updated but still had the musky smell of age and stories that could not be erased. I was always slightly uneasy when I visited. I felt like we were not alone. Sara acknowledged it and would tease me about seeing a few ghosts or hearing laughter. She would say “Darlin’, they are friendly. Just say hi and they will leave you alone!”

During my first few visits I slept on the sofa. There was a third floor attic room that I could not make myself sleep in for fear of what may be lurking. Finally, I got tired of being uncomfortable and decided to trust my friend’s assurance that I was safe. Reluctantly, I climbed the narrow steps up to the makeshift room.

I had drifted off to sleep when the sound of rain woke me. “Oh no,” I thought. Trying to stay calm, I opened my eyes. And there he was! A young Civil War soldier stood there just looking at me. I couldn’t tell if he was Union or Confederate. He was so small. He looked as confused as I was. When I was able to catch my breath I jumped out of bed and flew down to the second floor where Sara was sleeping.

I started screaming, “There’s a ghost in my room, and he’s real. I can’t sleep up there. I have to sleep with you!”

Sara calmly sat up and in her slow Georgia drawl responded to me, “Like Hell you will get in bed with me. And he is a confederate. He got trapped up there. He probably died from his injuries.”

“How do you know that?” I asked her.

“Well, he told me. Not in words but I just felt it.”

Sara could spin a yarn but this seemed to be stretching poetic license. Or maybe it wasn’t. She went on to explain that he usually showed up when it was raining. He appeared to be a benign spirit who was confused and scared.

Recently, I called Sara to remind her of the soldier ghost that had haunted me. With fall and Halloween approaching I was remembering those visits. Sara has moved into an Assisted Living facility. Parkinson’s dementia is playing with her mind. She was happy to hear from me but her flat affect told me she was searching for the details of the story. I rambled on about how it was a dirty trick that she played on me knowing he was up there. Sara remained quiet.

My heart ached for my old friend and I was trying so hard to stir her memory. I had just about given up on getting her to respond or remember when she started laughing.

“I still wouldn’t let you get in bed with me.”

About this writer

  • Marsha Tennant

    Marsha Tennant

    Marsha Tennant is the author of Margaret Pirate Queen. The author’s new adventure  is coming out soon…Margaret’s Golden Bone Adventure. Literacy and Animal Rescue arrrrrrrhh her passions!

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One Response to “Savannah in the Rain”

  1. Rose Ann says:

    Loved this piece! You gave Savannah an interesting ghostly aura just in time for Halloween! So glad Sara could “re-enjoy” the moment.

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