Ain’t No Haints (or ARE There?)

Ok, so this is going to probably be a long post and some of you may believe and may not but I’m just gonna put it out there. I’d love to have feedback on this as I’m still trying to find answers and meanings and don’t know if there are any. 

Supposedly the Inn where we always stay when we go to Savannah is haunted.  According to stories I have heard, guests have seen both a Civil War Soldier (they found a uniform under the floors in the basement during one of the remodels, years ago) and a little girl named Madeline (apparently the daughter of one of the original owners who I guess died when she was around 6 or 8 maybe).  The Inn was originally a duplex owned by two separate families, the Dressers and the Palmers.  I’m not sure which one Madeline belonged to but looking at the Inn from the street I think they lived on the right side and apparently her room was straight up at the top of the stairs and I guess that is where most of the “activity” takes place. I have never stayed in that room (and don’t plan to) but I have stayed in the one next to it and while there in October I was looking at the journal that the guests write in and one of them wrote in there “Thanks so much for the Southern Hospitality.  The room was wonderful, the food scrumptious and the little girl playing in the hallway was an extra added delight.”  The Inn does not allow children.  No guests under the age of 16 are allowed.  Hmmmmm 

A few years ago they had a photographer come in and take pictures for a new website and they sent them to the innkeeper and when he got the pictures he called the photographer and told him that was a very funny joke on that one picture. The photographer swore he had no idea what he was talking about and had not “doctored” any pictures.  You may have to enlarge or darken the picture to see it yourself but if you look closely in front of the windows on the left hand side of the picture you can clearly see a little girl in a morning dressing gown.  It looks like she has on a bonnet and she has brown hair and you can even make out her eyes.  She looks to me to be about 6 or 8 years old.  What do you think? 



I also know that the couple in the room next to me that visit (Madeline’s room) were talking at breakfast one morning about how shortly after they checked in the wife found pennies all over the floor but especially around the fireplace.  She gathered them up and set them on the bedside table and they went out to eat. When they came back after dinner she again found the pennies placed all around the room, especially around the fireplace.  She thought her husband was messing with her and again gathered them up and put them on the nightside stand.  The next morning they were placed all around the room again, particularly around the fireplace.  During the night the husband said he heard what sounded like scratching or scraping against the window but thought it was the branch to a tree but next morning looked out the window and realized that that window had no tree outside it.  I took this in but didn’t put a lot of weight to it. I attributed it to them “wanting” to hear something and filed it away in my feeble brain. 

I do remember several times the previous innkeeper telling me how guests would see Madeline playing in the hallway or that she liked to play on the stairs. He said many times you could hear the sound of children running up and down the stairs or what sounded like a child running a stick along the slats of the stairs.  He said many times he had stayed there and after he’d turned the lights out and sometimes during the night he would hear what sounded like little girls giggling and he’d turn on the light and no one would be there.  He said sometimes it would get so bad he’d turn the light on and just say out loud “OK Madeline, knock it off! I’m trying to sleep!” And it would stop.  

I know about a year and a half ago they had closed the Inn for a couple of months to remodel all the bathrooms.  The Inn was empty and nearly gutted due to the construction.  They were even storing all the furniture so it wouldn’t get ruined due to the dust and stuff.  #3 and I had gone to Savannah so she could look at colleges and stayed at a Villa on River Street but went by the Inn to see the innkeeper.  It was about 8:30 or 9:00 pm on a Friday night and the Inn was locked up tighter than jail cell.  No one was there except the innkeeper, me and #3.  He had taken us on a “tour” showing us all the remodeling and we had gone back downstairs and were standing in the dining room which looks down the hallway to the front door. From that vantage point you could see the back door, the kitchen, the living room, the front door and the bottom of the stairway.  We were talking and all of a sudden I hear this VERY distinctive bumpbumpbumpbumpbump, sounding exactly like a wooden spoon being trailed along a banister.  I looked at him and he looked like he had heard nothing and I looked at #3 and her eyes were just as wide as mine. “What was that?” I asked.  He said he didn’t hear anything, what was I talking about?  I described the sound and just as he was opening his mouth to speak we heard it AGAIN, more pronounced.  He said “Yeah, I heard it that time. Don’t worry. It’s just Madeline. I don’t think she’s happy with all this construction. We’ve disrupted her.”  

Originally the house had been two separate dwellings and during several previous remodels there had been doors cut through walls to access both sides of the house without going outside.  During this remodel they had closed all those doors off again.  His take was that Madeline did not like this.  We (#3 and I) quickly said our goodbyes and left.  Kind of gave me the creeps. But up until this past visit this was the only “run in” I’ve had with her/it/whatever it is. 

I had also had this previous innkeeper and the GM at that time tell me that the bed in the room just as you went in the bottom of the other side of the house (I guess it either was originally the living room for that family or their master bedroom) always looked like someone had sat on it.  They said you could make the bed, go out of the room and come back in and it looked like someone had sat on the bed.  According to another guest, “they told me the bed had been moved to another room and it doesn’t happen anymore, but now any picture taken in that room had orbs in it.”  That was the room we stayed in last weekend but I didn’t notice any orbs in the pictures I took. Here are the two I took in the room the night we got there.  

Taken from beside the bed - I don't see anything unusual


Our room at The Dresser Palmer House - nothing unusual


Funny thing though… after I took those two pictures, I couldn’t get my camera on my phone to work for the rest of the trip. It kept saying to insert the SD card or that there was no SD card and it was the same SD card that is always in there.  I couldn’t even look at the pictures on the phone because it kept saying no SD card. I even tried taking the card out and wiping it off and reinserting it several times and could never get it to work. I decided the stupid phone broke again and as soon as we got back home had planned on ordering a new phone.  Funny thing…. As soon as we left the Inn my camera phone started working again.  Coincidence? 

Oh, and another strange phone thing;  in addition to my camera not working, I always keep my phone on vibrate, especially if we are out somewhere because I don’t want to disturb other people with it ringing, hence the reason for keeping it tucked away at my boob because that’s the only place I feel it vibrate.  Anyway, the second day I was sitting out on the front verandah and my phone rang.  Not a big deal except I know I had it on vibrate, I purposely leave it there unless I’m home alone.  And I had checked it on the way down because I wanted to make sure it didn’t ring while I was driving and scare the crap out of me!  After I finished my phone conversation I went back into the settings and again set my phone to vibrate.  Later I noticed I had a voicemail and a missed call.  I checked the setting and it was on SILENT.  I never set it to silent.  Vibrate, yes… silent, NO, not ever.  Another coincidence? 

During this stay I talked to several of the employees there about whether or not they had ever had any run-ins with “non registered guests” and a couple of different ones told me when they were there by themselves that the radio would just turn on randomly and that they have had at least three different guests get “locked in their room” in the basement.  For some reason they just couldn’t get their door open and they would have to call the front desk from their cell phone for them to come and get them out of their rooms and when they went down, there was nothing wrong with the door and it had happened in different rooms, not just one, but always in the basement.  The new innkeeper told me that apparently Madeline, or someone, likes to play with locks.  She said that when she first took over, she was always coming in the front door in the mornings and finding the stationary door (you know it has one of those bolts that goes into the floor to hold it shut?) unbolted and she kept fussing at the staff telling them they were going to break the door or lock because having it unbolted and pushing it could cause damage to it.  She said the staff always told her it wasn’t them and she didn’t believe them until one day she was the only one there and had just checked the door and gone into the kitchen to do something and when she went back to the front door that bolt was unlocked and she KNEW she had just checked it when she came in.  

On Monday night when we were there only one other couple was there and they were staying in the room above us (which was beside Madeline’s room) so we were on the opposite side of the house where the kitchen, dining room and check in is.  The other couple went out to dinner with us and the girl working the front desk told us before we left that she was leaving at around 8 and that the manager was coming in about that time to lock up and if we went over to the kitchen side to just make sure we locked up behind ourselves.  They were not going to have any staff on duty that night since it was just us and the other couple (and I guess they kind of consider us staff) and they were only a few minutes away if we needed anything.  We went to dinner and came back around 10 pm or so.  The wife had to go to the bathroom so she was about 20 yards or so in front of us and we saw her go into OUR side of the Inn and her husband went in the same door.  Hubby and I went into the kitchen side to get a glass of tea before we went to bed and I instinctively reached for the doorknob about the time I thought about the fact it was going to be locked.  It was UNLOCKED.  I called and called out to see if anyone was in there but there wasn’t.  All the other doors were locked but the front door was not.  We got our tea and locked up (I checked it) and went to our side.  During the next hour or two it sounded like they (the couple staying upstairs) were dragging their suitcases around up there and I heard them several times going up and down the stairs and the front door open and close. 

I went in to go to the bathroom and noticed the shower floor was wet which was a little odd since we had taken our showers MUCH earlier in the day and no one had even gone in our room because we told them since we were only staying two nights we didn’t need housekeeping to come and tidy the room or anything.  Next morning I left hubby in the room and went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and was talking to the innkeeper and asked her about the girl leaving the front door open and how I thought it was unsafe and she said “No, I was the last one to leave and I made SURE that the door was locked because I knew yall were the only two couples here. Maybe the other couple left it unlocked when they came back in?”  I assured her that was NOT the case since they were with us and they had gone directly to their room because we saw them both go in the door on that side of the house.  That was when she told me the story of the locks I think.  Coincidence or Madeline? 

The room above where we were - no I'm not a creeper, I stayed there before and took it then


Sitting area to Mercer room


She also told me that while they were remodeling, one of the construction workers was coming from one of the upstairs bedrooms on the other side of the house and came down and made the remark that he thought they were closed.  She said “We are, why?”  And he said “Because I just had a very interesting conversation with a little girl on the stairs on the other side of the house.”  She said “She talked to you?  What did she say?”  He said “I asked her if she liked it here and she said yes, and she told me her name.”  She asked him what she said her name was and he said “Oh, I can’t remember…. Mary or Meghan or something like that.”  She said “Was it Madeline?”  He said “Yeah, that was it!  How did you know?” She asked him to describe her and he did, just as everyone else who has “seen her” has and she explained to him who Madeline was.  She said he left and never came back.  

another room I've stayed in - nothing weird here either


While we are sitting there talking hubby comes out with some of our stuff and starts loading the car.  I get another cup of coffee and asked about the other couple checking out when they left to go golfing and she said no, they were staying another night.  I asked why they were dragging their suitcases around and she said she didn’t think they were that the wife had said at breakfast that she came down once and got a cup of tea and went back up to their room and they were both so tired from walking all day that they pretty much went right to sleep.  I KNOW I heard what sounded like someone going up and down those stairs several times, not just up once and down once.  Oh, well…. 

I go back to our room, and I know the other couple is at Hilton Head playing golf and you HAVE to have a key to open any of the doors, and our door to our room is standing about ¾ of the way open.  I’m thinking hubby just had his arms full and couldn’t close it. Then I walk around the bed to go take my shower and notice a single penny sitting on the corner edge of the mantle.  I pick it up and go in the bathroom where the lighting is better to check the date on the penny but even with my glasses on I can’t make out the date.  Dang old age eyes…  I’m thinking “Funny joke, honey. Wait until you come back in here…”  I go to the bathroom and as I’m sitting on the commode, the water in the shower starts running.  It runs for about 10 seconds and stops.  I’m thinking …. Build up of pressure in the pipes?  I wave it off and take my shower, get dressed and as I’m putting on my make up standing at the sink, the shower turns on again. Now, I’m getting kind of creeped.  I hurriedly finish my make up and get the rest of our stuff packed and go back out to the dining room where hubby is talking to the inn keeper in the kitchen.  

I mention to the employee at the desk about the water and ask if he thinks it’s the pressure in the pipes and he says “I don’t know. I do know that the housekeeper tells me all the time she can be cleaning the showers and the water will turn on while she’s bent over cleaning and gets her all wet. Maybe Madeline just thinks it’s funny?”  Then I call back to hubby “Oh, by the way, thanks for leaving the door open!”  He said he didn’t. He remembered closing it.  So I say, “ok…. Maybe you thought you closed it? And by the way… very funny about the penny.” “What penny?”  He swears he didn’t put the penny there, in fact, he got all upset at the fact that I touched it.  I asked him if he had another penny and he said why?  I told him if it was Madeline, I wanted to leave another penny on the other side of the mantle for her.  He said “We aren’t leaving nothing. And I’m never staying in that room again!”  The employee did tell me that it seems to happen in spurts.  That they won’t find any pennies for a while and then for a few days or a week or so they will find them all over the place but only on THAT side of the house, and it’s always pennies.  He said they will find them around the fireplace, on the mantels, outside the doors, on the stairs, in the corners of the room, behind the doors, just odd places, and then it will stop again for a while. 

Savannah is supposedly the most haunted city in America and ghost tours are a dime a dozen in that town. Everybody and his brother has a ghost story and a tour to go with it. I suggested they might want to “cash in” on the fact that they seem to get so much activity but they said no, they don’t want to capitalize on that idea.  

 I have tried to do some research since I’ve been back to see if I could find if there is any significance to the pennies, the doors and locks, the water randomly turning off and on, but haven’t been able to find anything helpful.  So, my question to you is: Can any of you guys help me out here?  Anybody know anything about this kind of stuff or have any explanation? 

On a funny note, after we got back home, hubby sat down on the loveseat to play with the kitties and I went in the bedroom to do something. A while later we both came back in the living room and I started laughing. Hubby asked what was up and I pointed to the loveseat.  There sat a penny!  Hubby said “You did that right?”  I said “No, I just came back in here with you.”  He said “Well, I guess it fell out of my pocket!”  Yeah, honey…. You go with that.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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21 Responses to Ain’t No Haints (or ARE There?)

  1. SuziCate says:

    I’m with Dwight…I wouldn’t stay in that room again…heck I wouldn’t even stay at the inn EVER AGAIN!!! And that is sooo funny about finding that penny on the sofa when you got home.

  2. Hadassah says:

    MMM..I don’t have any advice to offer, but I think I would strike up a conversation with Madeline. And I would leave her a few pennies..

    Great story. I’m glad I came by…

  3. Lou Dixon says:


  4. Heather says:

    That was long, but well worth it. Very interesting!

    I also don’t have any advice, but I do love a good ghost story. Makes ya wonder why the poor girl has been hanging around for so long. I do believe in ghosts, but I also believe that most are not intentionally out to harm us or scare us. It’s us not being able to wrap our minds around it that scares us the most.

    Great story!

  5. Ron says:

    OMG…this story gave me CHILLS!

    Yes, I do believe in spirits, ghosts, etc. And one of these days if we should ever meet, I will share a story.

    That’s amazing about finding the penny when you got home!!!!!

    Great share, my dear friend.

    Thoroughly enjoyed! Have a wonderful weekend!


  6. I’ve lived a couple of places that had ghosts. They never particularly bothered me, but Alex gets scared to death. Wonderful story, Peg!

  7. Angelia Sims says:

    Oh my! Incredible. Sydney’s favorite show is Ghost Hunters. Too bad, they don’t want them to come check it out. That place sounds perfect.

    I would love to hear if you uncover any back story on Madeline. The pennies are really something.


  8. LisaF says:

    I’ve struggled with the concept of disembodied spirits, never having had any type of encounter. My faith tells me when a believer dies, the spirit is released to be with God until the resurrection. Of course, that leaves wide open the question of where spirits of non-believers go. Scripture is a little fuzzy on exactly where their “holding” place is! Perhaps…….?

  9. Jimmy says:

    I have no answers other than I do believe 100% and I would stay at the Inn without a problem, not sure if Cindy would agree but you never know 🙂

    This post was so interesting, it appears more information and visits by Madeline are there than the Civil War Soldier, I would be interested in that one also.

    • pegbur7 says:

      It does seem more people report seeing her or hearing a little girl giggle than have reported seeing him. I’d just really like to know what the meaning of the pennies is.

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