It’s the evening of the first day of 2015, and I make my way through the rusty iron back gates of the Sorrel-Weed house. Built in the early 1840’s, the magnificent architecture of this place is foreshadowed by a darker history.
A history of bloodshed brought about by war, murder and suicide. I step with trepidation down the stairs into the basement.
Francis Sorrel was a wealthy plantation owner originally from the West Indies. After emigrating to the United States, he married seventeen year old Lucinda Moxley, a young girl from another wealthy family that did business with Francis.
Lucinda died in the home just five years into the marriage. Two years later, Francis re-married Lucinda’s younger sister, Matilda. Mr. Sorrel was not a faithful man though, and had been having an affair with a young slave girl named Molly during both marriages.
Francis has set up private quarters in the carriage house ( behind the main house) for his secret love affair. Matilda was not a stupid woman though, and discovered the two of them in the throes of infidelity. She was so enraged that Matilda leaped from the second story balcony, crushing her skull against the flagstone courtyard below, and died instantly.
Molly became distraught over her part in the second Mrs. Sorrel’s suicide that a few weeks later she hung herself in the bedroom of her carriage house quarters.
As you stand in the room where Molly met her demise, cold shivers run through your body. It is also widely believed that voodoo was widely practiced at this time, as many of the people were Haitians.
In the fireplace of the carriage house, there is an image in the soot on the bricks. Local stories say this is from the remains of Molly’s secret love child that was burned to death. The soot can not be removed.
All of this unfortunate tragedy is not what makes this place haunted though, at least not originally. For that, we must travel back to the year 1779, and the Siege of Savannah during the Revolutionary War.
In October of this year, according to many historians, was staged the bloodiest hour of the entire Revolution, with well over 1,000 casualties being killed and buried at Madison Square, the property that the Sorrel-Weed house was built upon.
I step lightly on hallowed ground, and look at the spanish moss hanging from the trees with new eyes…
in the creepy and Gothic night of Savannah.