Room 414, the Most Haunted Room in Marshall House

Room 414 is said to be the most haunted room in the Marshall House inn. The hauntings date back to a renovation work in 1999 when workers reported a foul smell emitting from several rooms, of which room 414 was the worst.

Despite using several deodorizer and air fresher to remove the stench, the odor remained. The foul smell only dissipated after a prayer was conducted in the different rooms. Gospel music was played in room 414 to ‘ward off’ any odor and negative energy that may linger. The odor disappeared several weeks later.

The Marshall House savannah georgia
The Marshall House | Image credits:

Apart from staffs in Marshall House, guests have also experienced many paranormal activities in room 414.. In a review by Tripadvisor user sheryl s in 2013, the sound of a child laughing was heard in the hallway. User sheryl s then overheard running water in the bathroom and proceeded to turn it off. All of a sudden, the bathroom’s door was slammed shut and latched, locking her up. In spite of the terrifying events, sheryl s turned down offers by the The Marshall House’s manager to change property and continued to stay in room 414.

Tripadvisor user hbschreiber also recounted her experiences staying in room 414 on January 2016. At 3:30am, hbschreiber felt an invisible force grabbing her right shoulder.The bed cover was then lifted up in the air before falling back to rest. As described in her review, “Once in a lifetime experience definitely.”

History of The Marshall House

The history of Marshall House dates back to 1851 when it was opened by local businesswoman Mary Magdalene Leaver Marshall. Mary Marshall was a prominent figure in Savannah and had owned numerous properties before constructing The Marshall House. When the four-story building opened, it was one of the earliest hotel in Savannah and undoubtedly one of the most iconic. This comes at a time when the city was experiencing an economic boom brought forth by the expansion of the railroad network in the region.

mary marshall painting in the marshall house
Portrait of Mary Marshall House. Painted by Peter Laurens in 1830. | Image credits: Tripadvisor

In 1854, the hotel was used as a hospital to house Savannahians suffering from Yellow Fever. Ten years later, the building was once again deployed as a hospital, this time to treat wounded Union soldiers from the American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865). The history of Marshall House as a Union Hospital was only discovered in 1998 when human remains consisting of over three dozens of hands, feet, arms and legs, were discovered in the rotten floorboards downstairs.

marshall house 1867
Marshall House in 1867 | Image credits: The Marshall House official website

The Marshall House underwent an expansion in the 1880, increasing the hotel’s room capacity by one third. However, falling occupancy rate in the late 1890s forced the owners to close down the hotel in 1895. Four years later, The Marshall House reopens to the public with new state-of-the-art amenities such as electric lights and hot and cold baths on every floor.

From 1933 to 1956, the hotel was leased to Herbert W. Gilbert, a hotelier from Jacksonville, Florida. Gilbert had renamed the hotel to Gilbert Hotel and renovated the interior to keep up with the changing times. However, the hotel closed down once again in 1957 when the property did not meet the fire code standards.. While the ground floor was rented out, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor languished unmaintained.

It was only in 1998 when a group of investors came together to purchase the abandoned building, determined to restore it to its former grandeur. While the property had only caused $555,000, the restoration project costed a staggering $10.5 million. To recreate the glory days of The Marshall House, the restoration team went through great lengths to preserve the the original features including the fireplaces, brick walls, and the staircases. Artefacts found during the restoration project was also recovered and are now put on display in cabinets located on the second and third floor. In 1999, The Marshall House reopens as Savannah’s oldest hotel.

Marshall house newspaper clipping
Newspaper Clipping of the renovated The Marshall House (1999) | Image credits: The Atlanta Constitution

Today, it is one of six historical inns listed by Historic Inns of Savannah, which includes The Marshall House, The Kehoe House, The Gastonian, Eliza Thompson House, East Bay Inn, and Olde Harbour Inn. However, the widely acclaimed The Marshall House is said to be the most haunted of all.

Haunted Rooms in The Marshall House

With its history as a makeshift hospital for Union soldiers and yellow fever patients, The Marshall House has garnered a loyal following of paranormal fans and thrill seekers. Many believe that the hotel is haunted by former patients who have died in the building. As such, The Marshall House was voted as one of the eighth, fifth, and second “Best Haunted Hotel” by USA Today in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. It was also voted by Southern Living as one of “11 of The South’s Most Haunted Places” in August 2016 and by Yahoo as the “Most Haunted Hotel in Georgia” in October 2015.

Many guests spending the night at the hotel have reported inexplicable events such as the laughter of children in the middle of the night, flickering lights, and ghostly apparitions in the common area. Phantom soldiers with missing limbs were also spotted roaming along the hotel’s hallway. Some have also reported that the faucet would turn on on its own, and that the doors would open and close at will.

Of the 68 rooms in The Marshall House, room 414, 420, and 423 are said to be the most haunted. It is rumored that during the hotel’s operation as a temporary hospital, the fourth floor was used to operate on patients as it was the furtherest away from the street.

Creepy Room 420

room 420 the marshall house orbs
Mysterious orbs in room 420 | Image credits: badgrl1313 @ Tripadvisor

On November 2007, Tripadvisor user badgrl1313 posted a review about her stay at room 420. During the night, badgrl1313 reported hearing a constant banging and knocking sound in the hallway in spite of being the last room on the floor. No complaints was also received by the front desk, leading them to believe that The Marshall House may truly be one of the most haunted hotels in Savannah. badgrl1313 also captured photos of orbs floating in room 420.
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