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Haunted Savannah: The Official Guidebook to Savannah Haunted History Tour Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Bonaventture Books; Seventh Edition, January 2012 edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972422420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972422420
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One cannot walk down Savannah's streets at twilight without feeling evidence of her supernatural side. The old beautiful homes practically emanate the aura of lost loves, lives cut short, and other misfortunes." Thus begins James Caskey's "Haunted Savannah," the latest entry in the growing list of books about the city. I suspect many of you know Caskey, at least by sight. He's a tour guide and founder of Cobblestone Tours, and many nights he's dressed in Civil War Era garb while leading a group of visitors on his Savannah Haunted History Tour. Such tours have become a big hit with tourists who otherwise find little to do downtown at night. His new book, published by the locally based Bonaventure Books, is the official guide to the tour, and it's chock full of history, legends, stories, and personalities. The 200-plus page book is broken up into literally scores of readable small chapters. I suspect many local readers will find themselves reading the book as I did - by flipping through and randomly reading stories about places that interest us. Some of the places are familiar - The Olde Pink House, 17Hundred90, the Kehoe House. Other stories are less familiar, like the one about the Willink House on St. Julian, where mysterious goings-on might be linked to a clandestine school for blacks in the decade before Emancipation. Or the story of Irish immigrant Alice Riley, who was the first person to be executed in Georgia. She was hanged for murder in January of 1735. In addition to the stories about ghosts and other hauntings, the book is sprinkled with tales about the strange and notorious. Last weekend, "Haunted Savannah" was fittingly launched with a big party in the basement at Moon River Brewing Co. Originally the old City Hotel, the ancient building allegedly has hauntings of its own, and the close confines and dense brickwork of the basement appropriately evoked Savannah's mysterious past. And present. "Haunted Savannah" is available at bookstores and gift shops throughout downtown. --billdawers@comcast.net for Savannah Morning News

IT SEEMS LIKE everyone wants to live in a haunted house in Savannah. "It's almost a status symbol," says James Caskey, tour guide, historic re-enactor and author of the new book, Haunted Savannah. "Old seaports have that reputation," Caskey says. "Southern seaport cities, especially." Caskey's book is subtitled The Official Guidebook to Savannah Haunted History Tour. It details all the stops made during tours led by Cobblestone Tours, Inc., which Caskey owns. The tours cover Savannah's extensive and often tragic history, including duels, wars, plagues and murders. In addition to the stories, the book includes some photographs of what appears to be spectral energy. The photo of Caskey that is on the back of the book depicts him with streams of energy shooting around his face. The photo was taken by his brother.
Caskey's book came about over time. "I originally started just writing out scripts for tour guides," he says. "I found if they had written material, it helped them a lot more than me telling them the same things over and over." At one point, Caskey opened the file of scripts he kept on his computer. "I was very surprised to see how much I'd written," he says. Then Caskey met Savannah author Murray Silver. "We must have talked a couple of hours," Caskey says. "He urged me to get in touch with his publisher." The publisher is Cristina Piva, owner of Bonaventture Books. "She was very enthusiastic about it," Caskey says.
The book not only has ghost stories, there is a lot of history about Savannah. The book is selling briskly locally. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive," Caskey says. Readers have turned out for readings and signings Caskey --Linda Sickler for Connect Savannah

IT SEEMS LIKE everyone wants to live in a haunted house in Savannah. "It's almost a status symbol," says James Caskey, tour guide, historic re-enactor and author of the new book, Haunted Savannah. "Old seaports have that reputation," Caskey says. "Southern seaport cities, especially." Caskey's book is subtitled The Official Guidebook to Savannah Haunted History Tour. It details all the stops made during tours led by Cobblestone Tours, Inc., which Caskey owns. The tours cover Savannah's extensive and often tragic history, including duels, wars, plagues and murders. In addition to the stories, the book includes some photographs of what appears to be spectral energy. The photo of Caskey that is on the back of the book depicts him with streams of energy shooting around his face. The photo was taken by his brother.
Caskey's book came about over time. "I originally started just writing out scripts for tour guides," he says. "I found if they had written material, it helped them a lot more than me telling them the same things over and over." At one point, Caskey opened the file of scripts he kept on his computer. "I was very surprised to see how much I'd written," he says. Then Caskey met Savannah author Murray Silver. "We must have talked a couple of hours," Caskey says. "He urged me to get in touch with his publisher." The publisher is Cristina Piva, owner of Bonaventture Books. "She was very enthusiastic about it," Caskey says.
The book not only has ghost stories, there is a lot of history about Savannah. The book is selling briskly locally. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive," Caskey says. Readers have turned out for readings and signings Caskey has done so far. "One woman drove in from Pooler to meet me," he says with surprise. Caskey moved to Savannah 13 years ago to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design to study painting. At that time, he did not believe in ghosts. "Then I took a job at the Fort Screven Inn on Tybee Island," Caskey says. "The owner warned me it was haunted, but I didn't believe in it at all. I thought he was a little off." Then Caskey began to hear strange noises in the hallway -- the sound of heavy boots walking, even though there was no one there. He blamed the sounds on the settling of an old building. There was a door leading down to the basement that was always kept locked, yet often while Caskey was doing his daily duties, he would find the door unlocked. One time, he locked it and turned to walk away, only to hear the door unlock behind him. Still, Caskey wasn't convinced, so he locked the door and backed down the hallway so he could watch the bolt. It didn't move, so he walked back to the door. As he reached for the knob to test it, the lock unlocked itself.
To write the book, Caskey conducted several lengthy interviews. I spent a lot of time with the people who own these haunted buildings, he says. Tourists often share their personal ghost stories with him during the walking tours. I have found people from all over who have ghost stories, Caskey says. Some have had frightening things happen that they don t understand. The tours began as an outgrowth of Caskey s interest in history and his fascination with Savannah. I don t know what ghosts are, Caskey says. I do know there is something out there because I ve experienced it. It s something we can t explain with science yet. Savannah deserves its reputation as America s Most Haunted City, Caskey says. It would be hard to imagine any others as haunted as us. --Linda Sickler for Connect Savannah

About the Author

The owner and operator of Savannah's most popular walking tour, Jamie Caskey is also the author of the bestselling local guide, Haunted Savannah. A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Jamie is also a gifted painter. But living in the Victorian section of America's Most Haunted City practically forced this Florida transplant into taking a closer look at that which most people would prefer not to see at all: ghosts!
Jamie's research into Savannah's haunted history and his own personal experiences with the paranormal have made him a popular speaker whenever ghost hunters in need of a competent guide convene. His facts and findings have been featured on the Travel Channel, and he can be seen narrating a new series for PBS, Southern Haunts. Jamie is regularly featured in the Savannah Morning News and the local weekly Connect Savannah, and is routinely mentioned by travel writers in major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.
That Jamie dresses in period costume while conducting his highly informative and entertaining tour is not the mere affectation of an art student; Jamie's other passion is historical re-enactment, with an emphasis on the Civil War. He took part in the color guard that escorted the crew of the Confederate blockade runner Hunley from their watery grave to a more permanent resting place.

More About the Author

James Caskey is a tour owner, licensed guide, historian, and author in Savannah, Georgia. In 2001, he founded Cobblestone Tours, a walking ghost tour based in Savannah, Georgia. The tour company has always been devoted to telling the true history and real stories of Savannah. This search for accuracy naturally led to the world of writing: Caskey's first book, 'Haunted Savannah', is a local best-seller, originally published in 2005. His second book, 'The Haunted History of New Orleans: Ghosts of the French Quarter', published in 2013.

He has been featured on the top-rated Savannah episode of TV's 'Ghost Adventures', as well as the Travel Channel, the New York Daily News, New York Magazine, CNN, PBS, FSN, InFlight Magazine, the South Magazine, the Savannah Morning News, WSOK Radio, U.S. Airways Magazine, and local weekly ConnectSavannah.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The book was extremely interesting and very informative for me.
Marie T Dumont
I enjoyed reading about the history of Savannah and the stories about the hauntings were well written.
Keri Klayum
Will be useful on our next trip into the Savannah area in a few months.
Howard M. Townsend

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Phillips on April 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
James Caskey leads ghost tours in Savannah and from what I have found in this book he takes the extra time to research the stories that he tells both on his tour and in his book. After reading this book I really wish that I were physically able to handle walking tours because I would really love to go on Mr. Caskey's ghost walk. This man knows his stuff and he knows how to tell a story. On our next trip to Savannah I hope that my family can take his tour so that they can tell me all about it.

Savannah is a very old city and it has certainly faced its share of tragedy from wars to fires to disease, and tragedy often brings on ghosts. There is indeed a very spiritual feeling to this city and it is a place that I have come to love. As you sit in one of the beautiful squares or stroll down River Street the history, charm, atmosphere and yes the ghosts seem to be all around you. Those who have never visited this city don't know what they are missing. Because of the haunted reputation of Savannah there are numerous books to be found on the subject of the city and its ghosts but this book outshines all of the rest that I have come across so far.

Besides the author's talent as a narrator of stories it is the basic research and footwork that he has done that makes this book so special. These ghostly accounts are filled with first person and recent eyewitness accounts and that is what separates a book of ghost stories from a book filled with old legends that have very little basis in fact. As an added bonus Mr. Caskey has taken the time to debunk some of these very legends and point out that despite what you might hear on some less authentic tours some of the tales told are just not true.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Coffey on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although I had lived in Savannah for many years, I knew very little about the history of the city. While entertaining guests from out-of-town, we went on the Haunted Walking Tour which the author conducts downtown. We found Jamie and the tour to be entertaining and historically informative - so much so that I bought his book later that week. I was even more pleasantly surprised, as his style of writing is very engaging - not at all what I would expect from a history book. I have re-read it twice now, and continue to find it a good read.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Richards Jr. on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book about haunted spots in Savannah and a history of the buildings and areas they inhabit. Take the walking tour of these places with the author's tour company when you visit. It's as entertaining as the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Robinson on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
It would be an understatement to say that there are plenty of books about Savannah's hauntings. After all, it is reported by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, second in the Southeast only to New Orleans.Writing a book that stands out among the many is a challange, and one that Caskey met by combining the personal accounts of locals, the history of the city, and the locations of reported hauntings that can be accessed by visitors. As an added bonus, the contact information for the Cobblestone Tours is located in the back of the book. This tour company is considered by most locals as the most thorough and informative of the walking ghost tours in town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Denise Roffe on June 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Well written" doesn't begin to describe Mr. Caskey's work. He is a talented writer who takes his readers down dark alleys and cobblestone streets to encounter the ghosts of one of America's most haunted cities. His quest for truth through historical research is a refreshing take on great ghost stories. Mr. Caskey truly leaves his readers - haunted. I'm looking forward to the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gazala VINE VOICE on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I travel often, and one of the best ways I've found to get a quick survey of a city new to me is to read up on its local ghost stories. It doesn't matter whether you're a "believer" or not in ghostly things -- a town's popular ghost stories reveal much about the place and its people, and how they came to be the way they are when you finally get to meet them. In "Haunted Savannah," author (and Savannah tour guide) John Caskey has assembled an enlightening and very entertaining collection of Savannah lore. The dozens of stories in this book provide a brief but fascinating overview of Savannah's nearly 300 years of singular history. In keeping with its title, the vast majority of the stories are of the ghost variety, but the book also features several tales of local strangeness arising from plain eccentric behavior rather than other-worldliness. The book's final few pages give thumbnail descriptions of each of Savannah's famous 24 city Squares. The book would benefit greatly from some copyediting, but it serves well as a useful and fun introduction to a captivating American city.

(Note: the book reviewed above is the 2012 edition.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Murray Silver on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
July 27, 2011 Savannah, GA. At present there are 45 companies running ghost tours in Savannah's Historic District and the streets at night are literally mobbed with ghosthunters, and for good reason: Savannah is the most haunted city in the United States and one of the most haunted cities in the world, and for good reason: Every war ever fought on American soil was fought here, including the second bloodiest battle of the Revolution; four major fires have burned the whole town at one point or another; yellow fever epidemics, hurricanes...whatever tragedy can befall man has fallen on Savannah and her present is routinely interrupted by her haunted past. Yet there is only one book that succeeds in capturing the spirit of Savannah (pun intended) and it's Caskey's, which not only provides the single most informative guide to the town's most haunted locations but also provides a wealth of historical facts in support of reasons why these places are haunted in the first place. Travelers beware: While most tours of the town cover the same ground, only one book manages to get it right and it's this one. (Murray Silver, author and filmmaker, has produced and appeared in several television shows about the paranormal on PBS, GPTV, History Channel, and Sci-Fi Channel, including Ghost Adventures with Zac Bagans).
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