• The first owner hung himself in 1926.

• In the 1960’s another owner ran a funeral home, he did the embalming a back bedroom and laid out the bodies in the dining room bay window.

• More than a few guests have gone home after unexplainable occurrences, though no one has ever left early.

• Doors occasionally lock someone out, but no one has ever been locked in.

 


 

“I delivered bodies through the kitchen door…”

A few days after buying the house I was working in the front yard, a  man walked up and said he once worked for the owner. I asked what he’d done, he answered “I delivered bodies through the kitchen door when it was a funeral home.” At first I didn’t believe him, then he said the back bedroom on the right is where they had done the embalming, the dead were laid out in the dining room bay window because the light was “soft” and the window is not visible from the street. The embalming room is now part of the Remington Apartment. A few years later I met a woman who worked in the house when it was an answering service in the late 70’s. She said before that it was Futrell Funeral Home in the 60’s and courthouse records list a previous owner as Ira Futrell.


“10 Haunted Homes for Your Next Vacation” #5 The Galloway House Inn in Savannah, Georgia

This 1895 mansion may still be home to its original owner. According to its website, 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 an owner’s apartment and four guest apartments.

 

 


Richard Martin Lester

Richard Martin Lester

“Cause of Death: Strangulation by hanging, suicide. Duration: few minutes”

So reads the death certificate of Richard Martin Lester, the first owner of the house and dated Saturday, April 3rd, 1926. There’s no information regarding where in the house Mr. Lester’s body was found.

Mr. Lester grew up on Drayton St. across from Forsyth Park, earned his law degree from Yale, was 50 years old and lived in the house with his wife Victoria and their two daughters, Margaret and Myrta. The funeral was held at the house at 4:30 in the afternoon of 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.”

 

 


 

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.”

In 2015 a carpenter doing work on the 3rd floor claims to have seen Lester three times.

A guest from Michigan staying it what had been the embalming room, saw a man standing at the foot of her bed and then screamed loud enough to wake the dead.

Guests from Tampa, FL woke up to find the bedroom door knob was in the bathroom sink.

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.