Recently, I had a discussion with a Savannah innkeeper about the lack of interest from young professionals in bed and breakfast accommodations. We talked about many issues, including price and perception – the idea that the small inns are too stuffy for the new generations of travelers.
I can’t say I agree with that mindset, although I understand why it exists. Traditionally, bed and breakfasts were known to foster a feeling of bunking at grandma’s house, however there is movement to get out from underneath that blanket – the idea that these inns can be hip in addition to comfy and cozy.
Shannon Romine is the youngest innkeeper I’ve met to date, and although I’m not going to talk numbers (she’d kill me), I will say there is an energy at the Dresser Palmer House that is refreshing. Recently removed from the restaurant business in Savannah, Romine is a source for the newest restaurants and late-night hang out spots, offering personal recommendations based not only on her own experiences, but relationships and knowledge of the chefs and staffs of local establishments. She’s also a big fan of picklebacks – but I’ll let her fill you in on those stories (make sure you have a drink at the full-service bar, a rare find at a B&B).
There is also another energy flowing through the Dresser Palmer, however this one is in no way fueled by whiskey. It comes in the form of a ghost, no surprise considering Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in America.
Being an old house (built in 1876), it is expected that there will be creaks and knocks from the settling of the home, but these occurrences were different and far too coincidental to have happened over and over. The housekeepers would complain that while in the Henry Dresser Room, the shower would cut on and soak them when they were cleaning. Guests would say they saw a child sitting at the end of their bed in the middle of the night. Children’s voices could be heard throughout the house, particularly in the Western side.
Four years ago, the house was remodeled and a photographer came in to take photos for the website. The concierge took him around and into the Henry Dresser room, and after the shoot he went downstairs to the parlor to upload his work.What they discovered you can see below: A ghostly little girl appeared in one of the photos.
She is there in a period nightgown and cap, you can even see her hair and eyes. Curiosity from the image caused employees to research Mr. Dresser, and it was then discovered that he had a daughter by the name of Madaline that died when she was ten years old – turns out she died in the house when her nightgown caught on fire. It is believed that she passed in the John Wesley Room, which back then would have been the living area (orbs can be seen in photographs by the fireplace).
According to the housekeepers, an indention in the sheets could be seen on the bed in the Wesley Room, as if someone were laying there and watching. In addition to her these pranks, she loves to steal and leave pennies all over the house and will flicker the lights when children are present.
Whether you view the potential presence of a ghost as good news or bad news, it certainly makes things interesting. I unfortunately/fortunately had no encounters during my stay, but a part of me wishes Madaline would have paid me a visit. I had the opportunity to take an official tour of the spooky sites around town on my final night in Savannah – that story to come.
For now, check out the photo of Madeline and let me know: Are you a believer?