Monday, December 10, 2012

103rd Anniversary of the Gribble House Murders

When we started to investigate the warehouse, we were going off the stories and first-hand encounters we had heard and seen.  Most of us on the crew had spent numerous hours in the building when it was the headquarters for Old Town Trolley tours of Savannah and had had a few personal experiences.

I, myself, didn't know about the haunted history of the building until I was talking to one of the managers, and she started telling me about how she would frequently get locked in the bathroom, as if someone was standing outside the door holding the doorknob (something that terrified me very much because I have an irrational fear of being locked inside a single bathroom [and of which happened to me in that same bathroom months after she told me this story, but that's another tale altogether]).

After Old Town Trolley moved to a new building, we started looking into the actual history of the building and what may be causing the strange activity so many had experienced.  That's when we discovered the various newspaper articles about the triple murders that occurred on the exact spot the warehouse now stands.

On December 10th, 1909, three women were attacked within the walls of Mrs Eliza Gribble's house.  Two of the woman, a mother and daughter, Mrs Gribble and Ms Carrie Ohlander, were discovered dead, with the third woman, Mrs Maggie Hunter, barely clinging to life.  All three had been struck by a blunt object, presumably an ax, but the murder weapon was never found.

A witch hunt ensued all over Savannah as police questioned and arrested hundreds of people.  The accusations of why the women were murdered ranged from petty theft to crimes of passion, and the police could find no real motive.  With two of the women dead and the other so badly beaten she was barely conscious and delusional when awake, the police had no real testimony, either.  It was thought that one of the most gruesome crimes to ever happen to Savannah would go unsolved and killer would walk free.

That was, until Reverend Wilder came forward to say that during the final hours of Maggie Hunter's life, she admitted to him that her estranged husband, Mr Hunter, had committed the murders.  The police had their break, and he was put on trial.  Using circumstantial evidence (remember, this was before the days of CSI and DNA testing) and the testimony of the Reverend, he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged, even though he still continued to plead his innocence

Fast forward to the night before Mr Hunter was to be hanged.  Reverend Wilder and he had become good aquantinces, and the Reverend had converted him to Christianity.  As Mr Hunter stood in a make shift bathtub for a babtism, the Reverend told him he must confess to the crimes, and Mr Hunter still pleaded his innocense.  The Reverend was moved by his confession and got Mr Hunter clemency for the crime and to live out the rest of his sentence in prison.

The question still stands as to wether or not Mr Hunter committed the murders or if the murderer went free.

News reports of the murders went international, appearing in Texas, Mississippi, and Cleveland.  All were up-in-arms about the murder and scared that it could be attached to the railway that went up and down the east coast.

Though we may never know the actual truth, as all those involved are now deceased, we do feel that our investigations may bring some sort of closure to the spirits who still continue to haunt the area.

We feel that we have made contact with Mrs Hunter and Mrs Gribble, as well as Mr Hunter.  We have captured EVPs of a woman saying "Maggie" and "Hunter" when asked who was in the room.  We've frequently captured a British woman (of which Mrs Gribble was) talking to us and answer questions.  Also, a gruff male voice speaking to us when we ask for Mr Hunter. You can listen to some of these on our Evidence page on our website.

Each night, our investigations bring us closer to the truth and closer to settling the mystery that resides inside the walls.