Haunted Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah
The Moon River Brewing Co. was constructed in 1821 and has gained quite a haunted reputation since then. It was known as the City Hotel and was abandoned and desolate for decades after it closed in 1864. Eventually, it was renovated into the eatery it is today. The problem is several floors still remain as they did when the building was first constructed — a glimpse into the Moon River Brewing Co.’s past.
But what makes this restaurant one of the most haunted hotspots in Savannah? Follow along to find out!
History of the Moon River Brewing Co.
Once called the City Hotel, the Moon River Brewing Co. building was constructed by Charleston native Elazer Early in 1821. This building was also home to the very first postal office in Savannah.
In 1851, a man named Peter Wiltberger purchased the property and renovated it with live lions on display to draw visitors in. The City Hotel acted as a haven for wealthy tourists who wanted to come and see the historic, charming city of Savannah in style. Right before General Sherman took Savannah during the Civil War, this go-to lodging closed, and, unfortunately, The City Hotel never reopened.
During the turn of the century, the building was used as a warehouse for lumber and coal stores. As coal slowly died off, the building was used for general storage. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the space would be renovated once more and turned into an office supply store and printing shop. During this time, hurricane David struck Savannah and forced the new office warehouse to shut down in 1979, taking its roof in the process.
As with other historic buildings in the area, the old City Hotel was used as a makeshift hospital during the Yellow Fever outbreak that devastated Savannah. After its tenure as a field hospital, the old City Hotel stood vacant, waiting for its next role to come along the dusty trail.
In 1995, the building entered a new era when it was purchased and, a few years later, became the Moon River Brewing Company. The current owners, John Pinkerton and Gene Bocco, provide Savannah residents and tourists alike with the good old southern hospitality that the city is known for. In 2010, the brewery even won a gold medal for one of its original beers. The brewery itself regularly makes “Top Breweries In...” lists time and time again. However, craft brews aren’t the only spirits that exist at the property.
The basement is the heart of the Moon River Brewing Co. The most infamous of Moon River’s spirits resides down here. His name is Toby, and is frequently seen in the basement, stalking the shadows, careful to avoid being seen too directly.
The basement is part of brewery tours, and guests regularly report seeing a mysterious figure lurking in the darkest corners of the basement. Random cold spots, disembodied voices, and unexplained apparitions are how Toby makes himself known to the patrons of the brewery.
One of the most haunted locations in the brewery is the upper floors. One of the resident ghosts in this area is the famed Lady in White. Seen as a floating apparition, the Lady in White has been reported to go through walls and ceilings, basically teleporting from one room to the next.
Back in the history of the building, a deadly shooting took place on the second floor. Involving James Shark and Philip Minas, James was shot by Minas, a local physician. History was not kind in telling the story of this tragedy, but it’s said there was some sort of disagreement between the men that got a bit too heated. These days, it’s believed that Mr. Stark roams around the hallways of the second level, searching for the man who ended his life many years ago.
The fourth floor seems to house the darkest energy in the home. This is the floor that was used as a makeshift hospital during the days of the Yellow Fever pandemic — and, of course, people passed away during their stays. Visitors have reported hearing coughing, unexplained voices asking for help, and icy cold spots in the midst of the room.
Dining Room Haunts
The Moon River Brewing Company is well known for its lovely dining area. However, the spirits of the brewery are sure to make their presence known to those who sit down for a beer and a bite.
One report tells of a woman who ended up locked in the bathroom after excusing herself from her date. She stated that the bathroom door just would not open. When the door finally did give in, she felt a horrible sense of dread wash over her. According to staff, it’s not uncommon for people to become stuck in the bathrooms at the brewery, and the spirits here are playful, if not a bit annoying!
Other spirits in the dining area are a bit more touchy-feely and have been reported grabbing the thighs of women who visit the brewery. Many a date gone wrong when Casper is inappropriately touching your lady friend!
Haunted Moon River Brewing Company
The Moon River Brewing Company has been a hotel, a hospital, as well as a pub and restaurant. One thing it’s always been, however, is haunted. It’s no wonder why it’s been a popular destination for paranormal investigators such as Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters.
Nestled deep within Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city, it’s really no surprise that the brewery is reportedly haunted by more than one resident ghost. The entire building seems to be crawling with spectral energy, just waiting to make themselves known to the next person to walk through the building on a tour.
Have you ever visited the Moon River Brewing Company? Perhaps you’ll want to give their spirits (of both types) a try!