This house was built in the early 1840’s by Francis Sorrel; a wealthy planation owner originally from the West Indies.
Soon after moving to the United States, he married his first wife, Lucinda Moxley, who was only 17 years old in 1822. Unfortunately, Lucinda died only 5 years into the marriage in 1827 meaning Lucinda was long in her grave before the house was built.
Lucinda came from a very rich family that Sorrel did a lot of business with so when she died, he replaced her with the next best thing – her little sister Matilda. In 1829 Francis and Matilda, aged 23, were married.
They did not live happily ever after.
Francis became one of the wealthiest men in the city and they became a 19th century celebrity couple. However, so the story goes, Francis started an affair with a slave girl, Molly, and even built an apartment over the carriage house for her.
As always eventually happens, Matilda discovered her husband in the arms of his slave girl and threw herself from a second or third storey window landing on her head on the flagstones below. A few weeks later Molly was found hanging dead from a noose in the carriage house.
So goes the story of jealousy and torrid love affairs; all very dramatic, a touch romantic and it makes a Hell of a cool story to explain one of the most famous haunted houses in America.
First of all, there is no record of Molly. But she was a slave so that’s not really damning evidence either way. Records of slaves – their births, lives and deaths – was sporadic at best. Matilda’s suicide was, however, recorded in historical letters later published in a book – she died on March 27, 1860. So far so good – right?
Small problem. Francis sold the house at 6 West Harris to one Henry D Weed on June 14, 1859 and moved into the house next door at 12 West Harris – more than 9 months before Matilda’s tragic suicide. In fact, the historical record of Matilda’s suicide says she jumped from the house at 12 West Harris.
Now Mrs Sorrel’s ghost could have decided she’d rather haunt in the original house; there is no record as to what she thought of any of the houses she lived in. After all, the house is one of the most famous haunted houses in the Country and there are literally hundreds – possible thousands – of stories of paranormal activity in the house. So, something must have happened there.
Another possibility. . .
In October of 1779 – long before there were any houses here – the south end of a horseshoe British defensive fortification was very near, or perhaps exactly on, the place where this house would be built. During that October during the Siege of Savannah, in the Revolutionary War, the American militia made a rather stupid assault on this fortification. It ended not only in defeat but in over 1,000 American causalities – it is considered the bloodiest hour in the history of the war. Yah, just one single hour.
Of course, if this is the reason for the haunting then why aren’t all the houses – not to mention Madison Square – also haunted. Maybe they are; this is Savannah after all.
Finding a ghost in Savannah is about as easy as finding a failed actor in Los Angeles.
This house has been featured on just about every single paranormal/haunted TV show past and present. As mentioned, it is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America.
The ghosts of both Matilda and Molly are frequently seen in the house. They are most often seen as shadow figures and both ghosts have been captured in photos and videos. They are also seen reflected in mirrors when no one visible is actually there.
Their shadowy forms are seen standing in the windows of the house.
In the old slave quarters the ghost of Molly is ever present. Although, she rarely shows herself, people have reported unexplained but overwelming feelings of being drowsy or nauseous.
Also reported is a feeling of chocking and an inability to breathe; echoes of Molly’s death perhaps. One man who rented space in the building claimed to feel as if he was being watched constantly.
In the living room of the house the phantom sounds of a large party are heard. Sounds that stop immediately if anyone enters the room.
There is also a dark energy that hangs over the house – and over nearby Madison Square – and when its quiet, so usually at night, the phantom sounds of a great battle can be heard.
Other Activity: other apparitions and shadow figures from the house’s history; electrical disturbances mostly commonly manifesting as batteries draining dry within minutes or seconds; unexplained mists; disembodied voices; time slips; phantom footsteps; objects moving on their own; touches, pokes and prods from unseen entities and feelings of not being alone.