Is A Savannah Haunting a true story? Its real life inspiration

A Savannah Haunting

A Savannah Haunting by William Mark McCullough tells the story of a family that moves to Savannah to heal from the tragic drowning death of their young daughter. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to outrun the tragedy – the mother starts experiencing strange sensations that alert her to her dead daughter’s unsettling presence in their new residence. 

The house’s past also haunts the family. “An old black woman with ties to the home’s slavery past warns there my be darker, more sinister forces dwelling beneath the house. The family is torn apart as the haunting turns each of them against the other,” IMDB writes.

The film is a fictional story based on real paranormal events

William McCullough told Connect Savannah that paranormal forces have haunted the house in the film for over 50 years. The house belonged to McCullough’s father, but William didn’t grow up in it because his parents were divorced. Nevertheless, he spent enough time in the house to figure out something was amiss. He said:

“Creepy things happened a lot, doors opened and closed on their own, stuff like that. I think I kinda just wrote it off and tried to make logical excuses for it when I was a kid, I think everyone did.”

McCullough realized his observations were valid when he moved into the house after his father’s house. His friend and collaborator, Alexis Nelson, a frequent visitor to the home, pointed out the strange occurrences. William continued:

“After Alexis got here horrible things started happening to her and she said ‘hey what’s going on?’ The things that happened to her staying in the house were things that happened to many people through the years.”

Nelson advised William to write a script for a film based on the paranormal activity inside the home. In 2013, McCullough wrote a fictional script for A Savannah Haunting based on true occurrences in the cursed house. 

Things got so spooky at the filming location that some crew almost quit

McCullough and the filmmakers decided to film A Savannah Haunting in the haunted house. William told Connect Savannah that the paranormal activity intensified after the production crew’s decision:

“The thing that’s in the house really got ramped up when we started making the film. The day after we signed the investment agreement, I woke up (I live alone) and proceeded to go into my bathroom to find my mirrors fogged up as if someone had taken a shower. Not only that – there were these weird drawings of symbols all over my mirror.”

William said things got so spooky that some of the crew and cast almost quit. The coronavirus pandemic halted production, forcing some crew members to return home.

The production team used the time to film a documentary about their experiences in McCullough’s residence. They also interviewed a family that had lived there and people who’d visited the home. A Savannah Haunting: The Documentary will be released soon. 

McCullough also used the enforced break to attempt to understand the cause of the paranormal occurrences. “We also brought in mediums, paranormal experts, and a voodoo priestess,” William said. “Honestly, we were just trying to calm it down because some of our crew and cast members were just completely freaked out.”

The news was grim: mediums said the upstairs bedroom, which contained the most paranormal energy, once harbored something much darker than a dead human. McCullough said the priestess expelled most of the darkness, reducing but not expelling the house’s paranormal occurrences. 

“Weird things still happen,” McCullogh said. “But I don’t feel threatened or afraid to be inside the home anymore.” McCullough added that he was proud of the film’s authenticity despite it telling a fictional story:

“Filming with the cast and crew there really added to what we were doing because it was right there in front of our faces and we were filming in the haunted house that the script was based on. But at the same time, it was really intense and a wild ride.”