Olde Pink House
Haunted Dwelling — Olde Pink House
23 Abercorn Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
The Olde Pink House Restaurant and Piano Bar is located off Reynolds Square, near the corner of East Bryan Street.
This 1771 brick covered with plaster, pink-colored Georgian standard 2 story mansion with an attic and basement is now a lovely restaurant with serves wonderful food and offers warm southern hospitality which would please the original owner, James Habersham Jr. The elegant, romantic dining rooms of the restaurant are found on the first and second floor of this Savannah establishment. Cloth-covered tablecloths, candle center pieces give a soft light perfect for a intimate, romantic dinner.
Private Rooms are available of corporate and social groups.
Basement bar/restaurant — Steep wooden steps lead down to a very nice piano bar with nice wooden tables surrounding it. On the right side of the room is a comfortable, relaxing sitting area with chairs and couches, like a living room, situated right in front of a huge fireplace. The piano player plays background music.
About the Habersham Family
James Habersham Jr. was one of three sons of colonial planter and cotton merchant, James Habersham Sr. a pillar of Savannah society, who was a ardent loyalist and a driving force to get the ban on slavery lifted in Georgia. Imagine his deep disappointment and how heart broken he must have been when all three of his sons sided with the colonial patriot cause. All were involved with the subversive organization, Sons of Liberty, and fought against England in the upcoming Revolutionary War. He died a broken-hearted man, not on good terms with the boys he loved. At least they weren't afraid to fight for a cause — just on the wrong side of their father's beliefs. Family events must have been difficult!
James Habersham Jr. became a hero during The Revolutionary War and rose to the rank of major in the colonial army. His brother, Joseph gained fame as one of the men who marched into the governor's mansion and arrested the British governor, Sir James, on Jan. 18th 1776. James Habersham Jr. was married and also had three sons, which he raised in his beloved mansion which he was very fond of, despite its small problems.
About His Home...
James Habersham Jr. began the construction of his mansion in 1771, but didn't finish it until 1789. While it is common even today to experience delays in construction for a new home, James experienced more than the usual homeowner woes. Besides experiencing family turmoil with a parental unit, something about this mansion appealed to the military mindset. The British stopped the mansion's construction during the Revolutionary War by occupying his home, becoming uninvited guests, who at least didn't trash the place. Around 85 years later, General Sherman's generals also found the mansion appealing and stayed there as well, which must have been equally annoying and distressing to the Habersham descendants.
However, the most annoying and aggravating problem for James Habersham Jr. and his descendants in the following years was unforeseen, as it often is in building a new home. The main structure was made of red bricks, which were plastered over with white plaster. Perhaps the quality of bricks or the plaster job itself wasn't very good, because the red bricks would bleed through the plaster, making the mansion pink!! James Habersham Jr., a brave man with a warrior's heart living in a pink mansion, being the entertainment of the neighborhood? The only solution was to keep painting the mansion white, until the bricks bled through again.
This mansion survived the great fire of 1820, The War of 1812, The Civil War and was owned by a variety of people after the family sold it. Throughout the years; all who had lived there had to keep repainting the mansion white! Finally, a woman who owned the mansion in the 1920s decided to go with the flow and paint the mansion a shade of pink, which was an asset for her tea room establishment. Since then, the mansion has been pink, a trademark of any establishment which moved into the building.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
James Habersham Jr., known as a gracious host and generous with his southern hospitality, died in 1799, just ten years after he finished his home.
With its long history, unpleasant occurrences were bound to happen, though they are long forgotten by the living, but not by the people who suffered, and whose entities still call the mansion home.
House slaves were used as servants in the many years before the Civil War. It goes to reason that slave children could've died as a result of diseases like the dreaded yellow fever or by dumb kid accidents.
The apparition of James Habersham Jr. has been physically seen in the mansion by every employee who works there during the months from October to March, especially on quiet Sunday afternoons.
James Habersham Jr. is keeping an eye on the living, making sure they are coming up to snuff in the hospitality department, as they are in his mansion. He must be happy with what he sees, because he only appears for these six months.
The apparition of James Habersham Jr., perhaps in need of male bonding, personally has shown a friendliness toward the patrons.
A local resident stopped by the basement tavern for a beer after work. He saw a solid, regular looking gentleman, dressed in a revolutionary era uniform, sitting at end the bar with a drink in his hand. Thinking it was a man hired to provide some atmosphere for the bar, he caught the gentleman's eye, smiled and raised his beer in a toast. The gentleman smiled and did the same with his drink. Taking his eyes off the gentleman for a moment, the local resident commented to the bartender about the gentleman's attire, the bartender said, "What man?" The gentleman had vanished into thin air.
The apparition of James Habersham Jr. loves the idea of having lighted candles on the tables.
After putting out all the table candles for the evening, a waiter turned his back for a moment continuing on his closing duties. When he turned back, all the candles on all the tables had been quickly lit again by an unseen presence, who wasn't quite ready to see them go out just yet.
The apparition of James Habersham's grandson, around 60 years old, has been known to appear in solid form, order and pay for a beer at the basement bar as well, which used to be his room. He then walks to the local cemetery and disappears into the Button Family Monument where he is buried, because his own family's lot was full.
An Unknown female presence or two haunts the second floor dining areas.
Her heart-breaking sobs can be heard coming from the second floor when the restaurant is still and empty. It would be unmannerly to cry when there were people in the mansion.
A waiter interviewed on the Travel Channel Program for a spot on their series, "America's Most Haunted Places; Savannah," shared how he saw a strange light whirl around the second floor Purple Room before it left.
The Entity of a young Servant Girl from the 18th century appeared in the room to a current waiter.
Slave Children in the Basement
A psychic piano player for the basement piano bar has seen out of the corner of her eye slave children running around the basement area.
These children like to throw dice against the wall in the hallway by the bathrooms.
These children used to take wine bottles out of their places behind the bar and hit the bartender with them. The wine bottles are now chilled in a glass-enclosed refrigerator.
These children like to play tricks on the living.
Some entity liked to lock women in the bathroom. The management finally took the lock off the door, which curtailed the problem somewhat, though a force does on occasion hold the door shut for a bit, keeping the annoyed patron stuck inside for a short time.
ACTUAL EXPERIENCES WITH THESE ENTITIES
The mischievous slave child entity and the shoelace incident... (Further adventures of Julie and Tom — Trip of 2006)
Everyone in Savannah goes out to dinner Friday night. Around 8:30 PM, on a Friday night, The Olde Pink House Restaurant was still jumping, with a long waiting list to get inside. The kind hostess took us down to the basement bar and found us an empty table. Tom and I, who were starving by this time, were lucky to get this table, located just left of the stairs.
After enjoying a wonderful meal, we got up to leave and started to climb up the steep steps to the entry hallway of the first floor restaurant. About three steps up on the staircase, my right shoelace pulled itself out of the bow and wrapped itself around under the edge of the step and stayed there by itself. Puzzled by this strange occurrence, I was stopped in my tracks, and I felt underneath the step and found no nail or crevice which might have explained this, but I did find the end of my shoelace being held against the wood by a cold pressure which released when I pried the end of the shoelace off the wood!
A big yes indeed is in order!
Members of the Habersham family and others who used to live or work here still call this mansion home, despite its pink color!
Haunted Savannah, The Official Guidebook to Savannah Haunted History Tour, by James Caskey, Bonaventture Books, 2005.
The National Directory of Haunted Places, by Dennis William Hauck, Penguin Books, 2002.