The legend starts in 1869, when the General Benjamin Wilson moves into his $20,000 home (about $400k our dollars) with his wife and daughter. Shortly after moving in, General Wilson’s wife falls victim to a yellow fever outbreak (stupid mosquitoes) and dies, leaving the General to raise his daughter by himself. The general is said to have been a very stern man. His daughter attended the Massy public school across the square, and he did not approve of his daughter playing with the students that attended the public school. He would often punish her for disobeying him. Eventually, he became so enraged with his daughter for continuing to defy him, he forced her to sit in front of the window and watch the children play, tying her hands and feet to a chair. This went on for days, in Savannah heat. After a few days went by, his daughter, exhausted and dehydrated, died of exposure. General Wilson became so distraught over what he had done, he killed himself in the house just a week later.
Next story is vague. Sometime between 1950 and 1960, a small family visited another small family living in 432 Abercorn. The parents went out to dinner, and when they returned, they found three of the children murdered. One in the lawn, one on the porch, and one in the bedroom, or, depending on who tells the story, all three lying in the shape of a triangle with their organs removed. The fourth child was found alive in the closet. Rumor has it, she purchased the house because she believes it to still house the spirits of her siblings- or because she believes the house is haunted and will only lead to more death. Again- depends on who you talk to…or what blog you read.
The final story is even more vague. A college student was staying in the house and was reported missing. He completely disappeared. No name for the student, no time frame. One theory is he was sacrificed during a satanic ritual held in the home. Another is…he was…transported to another dimension by the demons living in the home…
Let’s start with General Wilson’s family. I did find a census for Benjamin J Wilson that was allegedly for the house on 432 Abercorn…but you can’t see the actual street number on the page. But we’ll just go with it for now. This census from 1870 shows the following family members:
– BJ Wilson (53)- Cottom Merchant
– Benjamin (21)- Store Clerk
– Lizzie (45)- Keeping house
– William (12)
– Edward (4)
– Carrie (10)
– Mary (8)
It appears the daughters went on to live into adult hood. Carrie married and moved to Atlanta, where she died in 1942 at the age of 82. And Mary allegedly married into a affluent family in Savannah. As far as the General dying in the house, this is where things get a little hazy. The website that provided the census states General Wilson died in Colorado Springs in 1896. When I looked into this, the site they used (peoplelegacy) states he was born in 1823, but based on the census mentioned above, at the time of the census in 1870, he was 53. Which makes his birth year around 1817. And also, peoplelegacy states his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1900, after him. According to the grave marker, his wife was born in 1835, which would have made her 35 at the time of the census, not 45, and also 14 at the time of her first son’s birth…
I did try to get records like the next decade’s census or the sell of the house, but all that information was either a physical copy in the archives in Savannah, or I had to have a membership to ancestry…which I do not…but I might eventually at this rate.
The next story is the triple homicide. Which I have to say, based on my findings, did not happen. Somehow there is more information on an entire family that lived in the 1800’s than there is on a triple homicide in the 1950’sish. No newspaper articles, cold case files with the GBI, nothing. The only thing kind of close was a triple axe-murder in 1909 on West Perry Street. But that’s a different episode…
Finally, we have the demonic taxi/house of satan. Due to the entire lack of information, such as…ya know…time frame…name….witnesses….there is really no way to know if this actually happened or not. But based on what I have seen, the house hasn’t been rented out. It’s been vacant for a very long time until just recently.
Which brings me to the current owners. Not members of the Church of Satan….one of the owners is a lawyer. So don’t be disrespectful of the property he was worked SO hard to restore. The house was sold and purchased in 2020 and they have done an incredible job restoring it.
So, where I think the woowoo came from….is way back in the day. Savannah did what it does best, build over bodies. The first source said it’s shown in this picture, which doesn’t show you much but Oglethorpe’s tent. HOWEVER, after some digging in the archives, I found it. This map shows Savannah/the city plans in 1829. And here is Calhoun Square, except it’s not oak trees in the ground, it’s bodies. “NEW CEMETARY is written” where Calhoun square will sit. So, in theory, the house could be sitting on top of an old cemetery, which makes for some potentially aggravated residents down below.