– 5th Most Haunted Inn by CBS News
– The original owner hung himself on Apr. 3rd, 1926 but no one knows where or why.
– The old embalming room is now a bedroom, the house used to be a funeral Home.
– A headstone was found in the backyard but no one knows who or whats beneath it.
– It’s unknown why but a long time ago locks were installed on both sides of every door.
“Haunted Homes for Your Next Vacation” #5 The Galloway House Inn, Savannah, Georgia
This 1895 mansion may still be home to its original owner. Guests have reported hearing doors close when no one was there, seeing objects move on their own and seeing a man at the foot of the bed. This man is thought to be the home’s original owner, Richard Martin Lester, who committed suicide in it in 1926. The mansion is divided into four guest apartments.
“Cause of Death: Strangulation by hanging, suicide. Duration: few minutes” reads the death certificate, dated Saturday, April 3rd, 1926 of Richard M. Lester, the first owner of the house . There’s no information regarding where in the house body was found.
Mr. Lester grew up on Drayton St. across from Forsyth Park, earned his law degree from Yale, and lived in the house with his wife Victoria and their two daughters.
The funeral was held at the house at 4:30pm, Monday April 5th 1926 and burial was at Bonaventure Cemetery immediately afterwards.
The only clue I’ve found as to a possible motive might be that his father, Daniel B. Lester, who was also an attorney, was due to arrive in Savannah two days later from the Oklahoma Territory. On Monday morning his father’s train arrived, he was met by friends, told the terrible news and that afternoon attended his only child’s funeral.
The eulogy delivered by W. L. Gignilliat closed with the following
“No friend of his can view his untimely end without profound sorrow-some may be too quick of speech, but those who have looked death squarely in the face and have pondered most on the eternal verities will leave this tragedy as all else which the finite mind cannot fathom with Him who is infinite Love and Wisdom and will only say softly to his own soul “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.”
Futrell-Hayman Funeral Home occupied the house in the 1960’s and a former employee told me how he’d delivered the bodies through the kitchen door, performed the embalming in a back room and then laid out the caskets in the bay window of the dining room. In the middle of the night a guest from Michigan saw a man standing at the foot of the bed watching her, she screamed, he vanished.
In the back yard we found this headstone, it has no name or date, and we don’t know if there is anyone lying beneath. A Savannah historian said graves of children were most likely mixed race or born out of wedlock.
For some unknown reason a previous owner installed deadbolt locks on both sides of every door, including every closet and bathroom door. A guest from Tampa, FL was sleeping in what was an embalming room and woke to find the bedroom doorknobs in the bathroom sink.
May 2008 a guest wrote us a note, “Our first night here, we heard a door close at 4:30 am. The second night the dog crate was turned 90 degrees, my purse was on the floor upside down and my clothes were out of the suitcase and on the floor. We decided to set up a video camera. An hour after recording had started, the camera was shut off and then restarted. The second video is only 6 minutes long. My computer was also shut off.”
Two paranormal researchers from Lexington, KY said they contacted Mr. Lester by playing music popular in 1926. They asked three questions; 1. Did he like the restoration work, he replied yes, 2. Did he like so many people in his house, he replied yes and 3. Why did he hang himself but there was no reply.
In 2011 a local antique collector found a box with numerous documents and one photograph, all had the same name, Richard Martin Lester. Included were his diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University and documents related to his position of Past Master, Freemason, Solomon’s Lodge. The documents are now framed and hung in the apartments.