Experience the Ghostly Whispers at the Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah, GA

An Architectural Icon of Savannah

From the moment you walk through the grand entrance of the Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah, Georgia, you are immediately struck by its sublime fusion of Greek Revival and English Regency architecture.

The house is an homage to its original architect, Charles Cluskey, a New York native who brought his unique design sensibilities to Savannah. In the home, we find echoes of Monticello, the architectural masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, and Savannah’s own Owens-Thomas House.

The central stairway, ascending to a mid-floor stoop with the option to turn left or right to reach the second floor, is reminiscent of the stairway at the Owens-Thomas House.

It’s a reminder of the architectural continuity that threads its way through Savannah’s history. Let’s not forget the dining room, designed specifically for the family’s private use, another signature Cluskey design move.

Historical Footprints

History permeates every corner of this historic Savannah landmark. The house served as the boyhood home of Brigadier General Moxley Sorrel, who served under General James Longstreet during the Civil War.

The house has seen guests of great renown, including General Robert E. Lee, who visited on several occasions.

Sorrel-Weed House has changed hands several times, with each owner adding their touch to the property. The Cohen family, who owned the house for over half a century, built a brick addition to the home, which later housed the upscale women’s clothing store, Lady Jane.

Owner Duration
Francis Sorrel 1835 – 1859
Henry D. Weed 1862 – 1914
A.J. Cohen, Sr. 1941 – 1996
Stephen Bader 1996 – Present

The Sorrel-Weed House on the Silver Screen

If the Sorrel-Weed House’s architecture and history weren’t already fascinating enough, its cinematic footprint adds another layer to its charm. The house has had its share of Hollywood glamour, providing a captivating backdrop for several scenes in popular films and TV shows.

Perhaps the most iconic is the opening scene of the beloved 1994 film “Forrest Gump.” This scene has become legendary, with a single feather floating through the Savannah sky and the camera panning across the rooftops of the city’s charming buildings.

This sweeping vista was filmed from the rooftop of none other than the Sorrel-Weed House, offering an unparalleled view of Madison Square.

Film buffs and casual viewers alike will find a sense of awe standing in the very spot where the camera captured this beautiful, sad moment that set the tone for the entire film.

Forest Gump's bench.
Forest Gump’s Bench” by .melanie is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The scene is then seamlessly spliced with another shot of a church on Chippewa Square, where we finally see Forrest Gump sitting on a bench with his box of chocolates.

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Sorrel-Weed House is also featured in many popular TV shows, not just for its grandeur but also for its eerie tales. From the Halloween Special episode of Ghost Hunters in 2005 to being featured on HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk” in March 2006, the house’s unique blend of history, architecture, and folklore makes it a highly sought-after location.

Hauntings and Ghostly Whispers

Murmurs of supernatural activity and spectral sightings have long enveloped the Sorrel-Weed House, adding an enigmatic allure to its grandeur.

These eerie tales are as much a part of the house’s tapestry as its architectural marvels and historical significance. This notorious reputation makes it a hotspot for those drawn to the mysterious and the unexplainable.

Many ghost stories surrounding the house originate from tragic tales about the building’s original occupants. The story of Francis Sorrel’s wife Matilda and his mistress Molly is among the most well-known.

After discovering her husband’s affair with Molly, Matilda Sorrel, stricken with grief, reportedly threw herself from the house’s balcony, ending her life in despair.

It is said that even today, visitors can feel Matilda’s sorrowful presence, particularly around where she made her fatal fall. Others report hearing strange noises, disembodied voices and experiencing uncanny feelings of being watched.

Molly’s story is equally tragic. According to local folklore, she was found hanging in the carriage house, adding another layer of sorrow to the house’s ghostly tales. Visitors have reported feeling uneasy in the carriage house; some claim to have seen Molly’s spectral form.

But the ghostly encounters are not just confined to these two tragic figures. Unexplained phenomena such as cold spots, strange shadows, and sudden temperature drops have been reported throughout the property. Some visitors have even claimed to see full apparitions, seemingly stuck in the house’s storied past.

Despite—or perhaps because of—these ghostly tales, the Sorrel-Weed House remains a popular destination for visitors. Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or just intrigued by the house’s rich history, these spectral stories add a touch of the uncanny that leaves a chill along with the charm.

The Future of the Sorrel-Weed House

Despite its long and storied history, the Sorrel-Weed House isn’t resting on its laurels. Today, it serves as a museum, hosting Historic Savannah Tours during the day and eerie Savannah Ghost Tours in the evenings.

As a contributing property to the Savannah Historic District, the Sorrel-Weed House will continue to be a focal point for those seeking to delve into Georgia‘s architectural and historical richness.

Timeline Events
1835 Construction of Sorrel-Weed House
1940 Opened to the public by the Society
for the Preservation of Savannah Landmarks
1954 Made a State Landmark
2005 Reopened to the public, hosting historical and ghost tours
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