February 4

Sorrel Weed House: A Haunted Affair

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The Sorreel Weed House is a place full of a long history of death, fear, and a deadly love story. This will be my first post in a series about spooky stories that will include something to do with  an affair of the heart. It’s February, so of course that means it’s Valentine’s day.  We like to look at the stranger things in life, so that means writing about the love stories that were so strong in life, that will even carry over into death. The Sorrel Weed House carries such a torrid love affair, that it makes this home one of the most haunted places in Savannah, Georgia. I got to visit the Sorreel Weed House and go on our tour several years ago. It was one of the most memorable events in my life, and the experience will stay with me forever. The love story is full of anger, death, and terror, with a score woman taking her revenge beyond the grave.

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The Sorreel Weed House is located in Savannah Georgia, and was built in the 1840’s by Francis Sorreel. It is one of the first houses in Savannah to become preserved as a Historic Home. The house stayed in the Soreel Weed family until the 1900’s, and it eventually became a museum and tourist attraction. Not only is this house one of the most beautiful in the United States, but it also has quite a history. It was actually used in a few scenes from the movie, “Forrest Gump,” and has had several shows film there including Ghost Hunters. It has also been a must see for anyone who is going on a ghost tour while they are in Savannah.

Francis Sorreel was rich plantation owner and business man. He was married to his first wife for only a few years when she passed away from natural cause. Francis then married his dead wife’s little sister, Matilda, who was quite a bit younger than Francis. After they married, Francis business ventures took off and he become on of the most prominent people is Savannah’s social gatherings. He also was able to travel all over the world, many times leaving his young wife at home by herself. Rumors of Francis having affairs swirled all around town. It was pretty well known that Francis had an eye for the ladies, and it hit very close to home. The Soreel’s had a slave named Molly who seemed to be his favorite. He even moved her into a room in the carriage house where they could have their affair behind closed doors, and away from judging eyes. At least that is what Francis believed.

Matilda supposedly walked in on Francis and Molly having an affair in the carriage house. This made Matilda so hurt, and so angry that she ran out the stairs, and threw herself out the window. She died immediately after falling to the ground. A few weeks passed when Molly’s dead body was found hanging in the carriage house. Her death was also ruled a suicide. However, most of society didn’t believe any of the official story. There are a few theories about the deaths of these women.  First, it was theorized that Matilda and Molly were friends. The whole affair was  a set up that went horribly wrong. It is thought that the women confronted Francis on his manipulation of both women, when he got very angry and pushed Matilda out the window, causing her death. Molly was afraid for her life and either killed herself out of fear and hurt from losing her friend. Or, she was killed by Francis and it was made to look like a staged suicide.See the source image

Of course, this is the tale that you are told while you are taking a tour. However, you may have to take each story at face value. While a great story, only part of it may be true. There is no evidence to show that Molly ever existed. This could be due to the fact that proper records were not kept due to the fact that Molly was reportedly a slave girl. While Matilda did indeed exist and did kill herself, some people blame it on “madness.” Her neighbors who witnessed the jump said she died after a loud argument, and she jumped out the window in a moment of insanity. No one knows the truth, but there have been a lot of strange and unsettling things that happened in the house, and in the carriage house since that day. This includes seeing a woman leap out of the window, hearing voices, orbs, strange lights, and even screams.

When I was there, we got to go on a mini ghost hunt which included equipment. We were able to go into the carriage house in pitch black to explore and record EVP’s. This stands for electric voice phenomenon, which is the theory that a recording device will pick up more than you realize at the moment of recording. For example, if you are recording a normal conversation, you may hear voices of the dead going over your conversation, or even joining in the conversation that you are having. It was a wonderful tour, and lots of fun to see everything. I tried to keep in mind that fear can drive your imagination. Plus people are telling you ghost stories, thus setting your mind up for being afraid.

The one thing that spooked me was an EVP recording that happened while we were there. We had a very small tour group. The only females there were myself, my cousin, my Aunt, my best friend, and one other young lady with her boyfriend. While in the house, there was  an amazing hand drawn map that was in glass. We stopped to look at it, but because it was darker, it was very hard to see it. While the voice recorder was running, my friend took a picture of the map so we could see it better later. Back at the hotel, we put in our headphones and in and listened to what we recorded. Right as my friend was taking a photo, a woman in a very loud, and very thick southern accent said into the recorder, “That’s right honey, take a picture!” The other lady in the tour with us didn’t have an accent, and neither did any of us! It was strange and unnerving.

No matter if you believe in the paranormal or not, the Sorrel Weed House is a must see when your in Savannah. It holds a lot of history and amazing architecture.  It is a landmark for a reason, and the house of full of beauty and mystery. It’s okay to have fun, and be entertained by ghost stories. However, keep in mind that a lot of these things you hear on a tour are for entertainment. Many people have their own experiences, and they are real to them. Ours was real to all of us who were involved, and I am a huge skeptic. No matter what the ghost stories are, a very tragic love story did happen here that ended in the death of Matilda. Ghosts from the sadness and the history of this place do surround the home. You may just be able to feel it.