Georgia Ghost Stories: Don’t Mess with the Doctor
The Moon River Brewing Company was built in 1821 and was a originally home to a hotel and post office. In 1832, two men staying in the hotel, Dr. Phillip Minis, and the surly town bully James Stark got into a war of words and agreed to a duel.
The morning of the duel, Dr. Minis realized his pistol was broken and needed a few extra days to get it repaired. Stark’s second brought him the news, but he didn’t care. Stark still showed up at the agreed upon time. When his nemesis didn’t show, Stark went back to the hotel to tell everyone at the bar how cowardly the doctor really was.
After a long night of drinking and running down Dr. Minis, Stark returned to his room and went to sleep until he was awakened by the sound of someone pounding on his door. Dr. Minis was at the bar and he was furious that Stark had tarnished his reputation by calling him a coward.
As Stark descended the stairs into the hotel bar, he began laughing and called Dr. Minis a number of insults. Seeing red, Dr. Minis grabbed a musket and fired it into the chest of James Stark, killing him instantly.
When the police arrived, Dr. Minis was taken into custody and everyone in the bar was interrogated. And like Dr. Minis, everyone at the bar had been bullied by Stark. Even though it wasn’t true, all who witnessed the shooting claimed that Stark had a gun and Dr. Minis acted in self-defense. The following year he was acquitted of the murder and went free.
The hotel eventually shut down and the building was used as a hospital during one of Savannah’s cholera epidemics in the 19th century. Today it is home to Moon River, a local brewery and restaurant.
The brewery is said to be haunted by children who died from cholera. A number of servers and staff members have claimed to see children running around the building late at night, particularly on the second floor and the basement.
Oh, and James Stark, he’s still steaming from how his case was treated by authorities.
For as mean as he was in life, he’s even more sinister in death. Several years ago the restaurant decided to expand and open up the top floors of the building. However, every time contractors or construction crews came to work on the building, something bad happened. In fact, one construction worker was shoved down a flight of stairs on the third floor. After that, the ownership decided it was easier to buy a vacant lot next door than renovate the top two floors that they already owned.