Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Hampton Lillibridge House: The Most Haunted House in America

Cayla Nunnley





The Hampton Lillibridge House, located in Savannah, Georgia, was built in 1796. The house was originally owned by Hampton Lillibridge, but after his death his wife remarried and sold their home. In 1963, the house was purchased by Jim Williams, where he moved the home onto East St. Julian Street. Williams hired people to work on the house and strange things started to happen. Tools would disappear and or move across the room. There were reports of “mocking-like” laughter and sounds of footsteps throughout the house. Regardless of these paranormal activities, Williams continued to move into the house. While the house was vacant and being restored, many neighbors reported seeing shadowy figures of people in the windows, a woman screaming, singing, and dancing figures in the windows. Williams invited some of his friends over one afternoon, when they began hearing footsteps upstairs. Only one of them was brave enough to investigate. When he hadn’t returned they went in search for him, only to find him laid out, completely paralyzed with fear. He reported that when he walked into the room it was as if he was submerged into a pool of ice-cold water. He then felt a force that tried to push him down the chimney shaft and the only thing he could do to avoid his certain death was to drop to the floor.



Hampton Lillibridge from Crime Library on Vimeo.
Jim Williams finally had an exorcism performed on the house, on December 7, 1963, by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. The exorcism remained ineffective. Within a week the paranormal activities began again, ready for vengeance. Williams had finally had enough and decided to look into a paranormal researcher. He found Hans Holzer, a famous paranormal researcher, who had confirmed that numerous unearthly presences in the home. Unfortunately he was unable to make them go away but he was able to write a book about Williams house, titled The Phantoms of Dixie.

There are many questions as to how the house became haunted in the first place. Did Hampton Lillibridge and his wife experience any paranormal activities in 1796? The house could have become haunted when a young sailor, who had lived in the house before Jim Williams, committed suicide and his spirit still remains in the house. The paranormal activities could also be due to the crypt they found under the house during relocation. The workers said it was made of tabby; half filled with water, and had assumed it was from colonial times. They reburied it and never investigated any further.

The book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Brendt, tells the story of Jim Williams’s four trials for the murder of Danny Hansford in May, 1981. Between trials, Williams had asked for the assistance of a local occult practitioner named Minerva, to join his legal defense team. It was odd that Williams knew about Minerva because he never seemed to have placed faith in spell-craft. It was especially strange because Williams nearly twenty years before Hansford’s murder, Williams was completely familiar with hauntings, exorcisms, and paranormal activities. Haunted Savannah, a book by James Caskey, explains that maybe it wasn’t so weird that Jim Williams wanted Minerva on his team. He couldn’t beat them in 1963, so he joined them 20 years later.

Works Cited:

Allen, Chris. “An Exorcism in Savannah” Haunted Savannah, 18 Oct. 2016, hauntedsavannahtours.com/exorcism-savannah/

Gazala, Richard. “Way Before Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilGazalapalooza, 18 Oct. 2016, rgazala.blogspot.com/2012/03/way-before-midnight-in-garden-of-good.html.

Hampton Lillibridge – The Most Haunted House in Savannah. 2014, www.mysteriousfacts.com/haunted-house-hampton-lillibridge/

Library, Crime, director. Hampton Lillibridge. Performances by Katherine Ramsland, Vimeo, 2011.


Links for further research:

Story of Jim Williams, focus of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”
http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2012-03-07/slideshow-story-jim-williams-focus-midnight-garden-good-and-evil This post is about John Brendts book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and Jim Williams trail for murder.



Savannah Historic Landmarks http://savannahgavisitors.com/attractions/landmarks/1593-hampton-lillibridge-house This article is about historical landmarks in Savannah that you can visit, such as the Hampton Lillibridge House.