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BEFORE I BEGIN: Please be aware I am not a nut, nor a photoshop person. I am a Florida Attorney and a tourist ONLY. This story is absolutely, 100% real… and the photos are completely untouched as they came out of my sd card (except of course, the enhanced photos). I take a lot of photos everywhere I go but I’ve never taken one quite like this.
THE STORY BEGINS ON A BEAUTIFUL MARCH DAY IN SAVANNAH GEORGIA. My wife and I decided to drive up for an extended weekend and I thought I’d bring my camera along because I knew I could take some photos of historic places. However, I might have had a second agenda in bringing my camera. I’d heard that not only was Savannah very beautiful, but that it was also one of the most haunted towns in the country. Of course, this excited me because I knew that only a few years ago my wife and I went to the Old Jail in St. Augustine, FL and captured apparitions of 3 people standing behind and fence together- in a group- and looking toward a hangman’s noose that was being described by our tour guide. Unfortunately, this photo was taken with my wife’s phone, so the figures could not be zoomed and dissected. The pixelation heavily degraded the image, but zoomed out it was insane. It was obvious though that she had photographed two adults and a child in a residual observance of a hanging in the square where the jail was located. The adult was wearing a 3 sided hat, as a gentleman might have worn in the 18th century. It was my great hope that one day, not expecting it would be so soon, I might take another stunning photograph of such a well defined apparition, but I would be prepared this time…. with better equipment…. just in case some miracle occured. What happened in Savannah, Georgia, however, was much more than I ever expected to catch on film.
We went up to Savannah expecting rain, but it was a clear day after all was said and done. We decided to pony up for one of those silly tourist trap trolley tours that cost entirely too much money but are the best and most efficient way to see the entire town without walking your legs to the bones.
We made an entire round on the trolley and got off at River Street. Even though we’d only passed it, something about that Sorrel Weed house the first time around, though, was really calling our names. Especially Deanie (My wife). I didn’t know anything about the house, but she knew what the hell it was and she wanted to go back. She told me it was very haunted… and they did a lot of ghost investigations there. I took her word for it, but I’d never heard of the place before. This piqued my interest, but I was starving so we ate and got back on the trolley about an hour later. The next time the trolley stopped at the Sorrel Weed house, we were the only ones on board to hop off. For some reason, like I said, the house was calling. It wanted us to visit. So we did. Luckily I had my camera with ready to go. I refilled the batteries at Hilton where we stopped to use the restroom because I knew that if there was anything in that house, it could probably drain batteries. We walked back down the street and approached the front door.
There was a young lady standing at the gate outside and she told us that the tour would start at 1:00 p.m., about fifteen minutes from then. We paid the fee and went upstairs. She said she’d take us inside and sit us in a room where we could chill out until any other groups returned for the scheduled tour time. She left us in the front room…. it was like a sitting room or a receiving room…. the one with a fireplace, the creepy painting of Sorrel and a cupboard. I decided to make the most of the situation, so I snapped random photos of Deanie and the room in general, all the while seeing nothing or feeling nothing out of the ordinary in this room. However, it should be noted that the wife told me that she did have feelings of lightheadedness and nauseousness, and feeling that someone was standing behind her.
OF COURSE, SOMETHING MIGHT HAVE BEEN STANDING BEHIND HER AFTER ALL.
A gentleman came in shortly thereafter. The tour guide, of course. He was a very pleasant, gray haired man….a former teacher and trolley driver. Two other couples came in within a few minutes and the tour began. We walked to the large parlor and to the dining room. I was, of course, embarrassing my wife the entire time by snapping photo after photo of seemingly strange and random household objects that interested me. I did this because I knew that objects themselves often times have spirits attached to them. Also, the tour guide mentioned that these objects were not originally from the house, but were all antiques that had been acquired and placed in the home, opening up a huge pandora’s box of other spirit potential, in my opinion. The rooms were silent and the guide was talking…. but I was wandering, however, all over the room…. with the vulgar click click clicking of my camera interrupting his story at every stop.
No one else had a camera and, even if they did, they certainly weren’t big enough dorks to take so many different photos of absolutely nothing. I actually thought the other people on the tour were whispering about me…. later I realized that my zipper was down the whole time and that’s what they were talking about but that’s a completely different story. Anyway, I took pics of oil paintings, glassware, furniture, etc… things I know are personal to those that owned them. It was all a plan. Click click click all over the house….but I couldn’t see anything through my camera at all.
The tour went down to the basement and into the Voodoo Room. I made sure to take a lot of pics in the Voodoo Room, as this was supposed to be the center of paranormal activity. Nothing! I was taking too many pics to peruse each one and be sure I hadn’t captured anything, though. I’d have to review them later. I felt kind of stupid doing this all in the middle of the day, btw. When the hell has anyone ever captured ghost activity in the early afternoon and in daylight? Then we went outside and to the rear of the building.
‘Damn,’ I thought, ‘outside now and I won’t capture anything out here for sure.’ It was overcast, but there was an awful lot of light. Nothing would be seen (or heard) out here at all. The tour guide began to tell us of the story of the homeowner’s wife getting angry with the dude for sleeping with a slave woman named Molly in the slave quarters. The story goes that she caught the two getting it on and then she was so distraught she threw herself off of the second (or third) floor balcony of the house…. then a few days later Molly herself was found hanging under mysterious circumstances.
When I got home I researched this.
I was disappointed to read that this may be bad history and a phony ghost story intended to drum up business for the house. All that crap might have actually happened next door. Still, it cannot be discounted that this WAS a slave quarter and also the site of a battle ground where much blood was shed during the Siege of Savannah in the Revolutionary War. It was a barrier to the city and many many people probably died RIGHT THERE…. despite the Molly story.
While he was telling the story, though, I snapped random photos here and there….some of the rear of the house, some of the slave quarters out back. While he was talking I turned away from the group and I approached the window of the slave quarters…. I don’t think people normally do this… and I don’t know why I did… everyone else seemed to herd themselves like cattle around- and close to- the tour guide…. but not me. I’m too curious and plus I can multitask… I was listening to everything he was saying while snooping simultaneously. I walked up to the window and approached it very closely. I looked in as someone would do the window of a department store after hours and I took a peek inside. Not much to see. It was all under renovation and it was nothing to write home about, truthfully. It was all very blah.
I stepped back and took a couple more snaps of the slave quarters for good measure. I figured this was anti-climactic but at least it would make a nice documentation of our trip to Savannah. Then…. the tour was over.
Two more days in Savannah then the wife and I headed back home.
We sat down one night and I jokingly said, “Hey, let’s see if we got anything good in our photos from the house.” I didn’t take it too seriously. I figured that if I’d taken any ‘ghost’ photos I would have captured an orb at best. These days many people discount orbs completely because of all of the potential causes…bugs, dust, light refraction, etc. I had snapped pics all over that damn town, though, so I was hoping to get SOMETHING that couldn’t be explained.
I really had no idea what I was about to see.
I scrolled through the pics and immediately found one I’d taken in the front room where the wife and I had waited for the tour to begin. Two pics taken in quick succession of my wife and then just behind my wife, which was actually intended to be a photo of the cupboard. The first one was just her smiling face…. in the second…. there was an orb. I thought back. The room was draped. There was no reflecting lights that could have caused this…. and the orb appeared to be in two places at the same time…but it didn’t look like your standard J.J. Abrams style lens flare. It looked to me like a thick, soupy and static entity. But alas, as I said, most people discount orbs these days. Oh well.
We thought this was pretty damn cool anyway and I said, “Sweet, I got my ghost pic,” and I was happy with that. Then, my friends…. I realized that I had photographed something that I will never be able to top…. nor explain…. for the rest of my days on this Earth.
My photo… taken OUTSIDE…. after I’d looked in the window of the slave quarters….taken of the overall building facade (two pics in quick succession again….that’s a habit of mine) revealed a full body apparition in the lower right window of the house….. the window I’d just nosily peeked into uninvited.
I stopped on the photo and zoomed in. I said to my wife, “Do you see what I see?”
“No,” she said quickly.
“Deanie,” I insisted, “Do you see that?”
She was merely in denial at first, but then admitted it while looking away, “Yes, I do. Now get it off my computer! NOW!” But the image wouldn’t move…. my brand new MacBook locked up on the zoomed in face of this apparition. It took me quite a while to clear it from view. I had to force quit and restart to get her face off my screen. My wife won’t look at this pic to this day. She said it was too clear and distinct and she didn’t like it. I believe she thought it was voodoo at work. She may be right.
The apparition was floating and it seemed to be a head-to-toe floating apparition. I saw nothing…. NOTHING… with my naked eye when I took this photo. I thought the ghost looked angry at first. It appeared to be a woman…. I thought maybe the spirit of a protective slave woman looking out to see who had been leering in at her. She didn’t appear to be more than 3 feet tall in all. I have heard that entities will appear the way they want you to see them and the larger they are the more angry and aggressive…. however, this one was small, so therefore, was she meek? Luckily my camera was quality, so I was able to zoom in on her better than in the past. Her head was round, her nose was wide and her body was wispy and haunting. She was looking at at us….maybe at me.
The next photo showed the wispy figure moving out of frame…. she moved from the middle window panes to the right window panes…. on her way out of frame.
In looking at the two photos side by side, I noticed that, in the photo where she was looking out at me, the blinds weren’t visible behind her figure….. then in the second photo, where she’s moving out of frame…. the blinds are visible in the middle window pane where she had just been, but aren’t visible behind her as she is moving…. that means…. this entity was IN BETWEEN THE BLINDS AND THE WINDOW! But how? I still don’t have a good answer for this.
In the second full sized photo you can see my own reflection (in a different window) taking the photo…. I saw absolutely nothing when I took these pics.
Here is a couple of cropped versions of the ghost itself in its raw and untouched form.
This image haunted me for the next few days…. I wanted to see if I could enhance the pic and see any additional details that I couldn’t see before. Not to mention, I noticed a slight red glow under the photo of the apparition…..so I sat down and decided to use some online enhancement tools to make these pictures clearer. I cropped the pics…. brightened them up….turned up the contrast, increased the exposure, sharpened them, etc.
I was amazed at what I saw… once again.
I could now make out eyes…even a pupil…thick, full lips with fine lines, etc…. if you zoom in on the enhanced pic you can see these shapes….and upon my further review of these photos, the entity no longer looked angry….she just looked as if she was gazing out with curiosity at these strange people clicking gadgets in her face and walking around HER house.
Further, it seemed something was written on the window. I think I could make out a P and an H…. but nothing else. Clearly, it says something.
I know most slaves couldn’t read or write…. this could have been some sort of communication method they may have used… I really don’t know. But I feel like she was trying to tell me something. I wish I knew what.
EVEN MORE DISTURBING THAN THAT is…. it appears that, in an enhanced photo that I snapped of myself in the window, there seems to be more writing situated to the right of my head. Its a long stretch of writing… what I can make out most clearly, though are the letters “ATH.” Take a look for yourself.
One other thing: A bright red glow present under the figure is visible…. and it follows her and begins to fade… along with the lettering I had seen in the second enhanced photo.
I believe as the ghost fades out of frame in the second photo, the writing on the window fades as well.
So then the question is: What is it? It could be anything. I believe it is a woman for some reason. She looks like a woman to me… I see a part in her hair that looks like a woman’s part in those days. There are many different types of apparitions. There are intelligent entities, residual entities, wispy ghosts, ectoplasm (which is probably fake), and orbs. Usually sounds are residual. To me, any image like this where the entity is clearly surveying our tour group, along with what I believe to be writing on the window in an attempt to communicate with me, isn’t residue of some past event. To me, this is an intelligent entity, appearing to me and attempting to communicate some message.
I wish I could have discovered what she wanted to say.
Granted, spirits aren’t always benevolent… but they aren’t always bad either. What bothers me most is that I don’t really know what type of entity this is. I know there was voodoo that took place on this property. It could be the manifestation of voodoo, it could be an innocent slave ghost, or it could be something else completely.
I remember reading some slave writings from the library of congress in passing recently. Back in the day slaves that were born into slavery but were later freed transcribed some of their chosen stories for documentation purposes. In one story that I read, I recall specifically a slave woman telling the story of another masculine slave that she lived with in her sleeping quarters. She said that this man prayed every night. He prayed to be loosed and that one day he would be a free man. One night, though, the slave master overheard him praying about being freed and his hope that he would be released. So the slave master killed him. This slave woman recounted that often times at night she could still hear the man praying down by the river when it was quiet.
To me, this type of haunting seems likely in the case of the Sorrel Weed house, but it could always be something more sinister…. far more sinister. I guess I will never know…
I don’t know if I will go back there, but the Sorrel Weed House is definitely worth a return trip. If anyone has any thoughts on the window writing, please let me know.
I had always been a believer in ghosts, but mostly just hoping they existed…. our first photographic experience was great, but this was unbelievable. I still stare at this pic in disbelief… that I may have actually documented another dimension of existence…. this is the most important photo of my life and it (to me) is clearly documented evidence of the paranormal….literally looking at the face of the other side.
Please comment or contact me if you have any questions.
-PRESTON RAY TULEY, ESQ.
AND….. for anyone who may question the authenticity of these photos, please take a look at the following YouTube video showing these pics date and time stamped straight from my camera:
UPDATE: MAY 10TH, 2014 – SPECIAL THANKS TO KEITH SHETTERLY FOR HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE WRITING ON THE WINDOW. IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS OR INTERPRETATION OF THE WRITING, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SEND ME AN EMAIL. CHECK OUT KEITH’S VERSION BELOW: