Wright Square - The Hanging of Alice Riley

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The Hanging of Alice Riley at the gallows that once stood in Wright Square is a popular story on ghost tours. Irish immigrant Alice Riley was allegedly the first woman to be executed in Georgia. She was the indentured servant to a cruel man, and after she could take no more rapes and beatings, she drowned him in his bath water. As Alice was pregnant, she was allowed to live for 8 months in the jail until her child was born, and then she was promptly hung from the gallows. Locals say Alice’s spirit sometimes can be seen in Wright Square. She’s dressed in rags and searching for her baby, unaware that the baby died shortly after it was born.

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Geographic Information

Wright Square
Savannah, GA
United States

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32.0779179, -81.09228039999999
Chatham County, Georgia
Nearest Towns:
Savannah, GA (0.6 mi.)
Thunderbolt, GA (3.9 mi.)
Garden City, GA (4.4 mi.)
Whitemarsh Island, GA (5.6 mi.)
Port Wentworth, GA (6.4 mi.)
Isle of Hope, GA (6.9 mi.)
Vernonburg, GA (7.9 mi.)
Wilmington Island, GA (8.6 mi.)
Pooler, GA (9.4 mi.)
Montgomery, GA (9.7 mi.)


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  1. The Pirates House restaurant in Savannah, GA is know for being haunted. I was having lunch there with my friend and after, we were given a tour. We were taken to a gated tunnel which was said to be a secret passageway out to the Savannah River. Next we were taken over to a little room in the back corner of the restaurant. In the back of the small room, I saw what looked like a young boy just staring at me. Next, he walked over to the window, then disappeared. A few minutes later, the tour guide said that it was rumored, that a young boy matching the same thing I saw, was seen around the restaurant especially in the restaurant. I don’t remember his story, but after she (the tour guide) described him, i just stood there, white and pale-faced. To this day, I still don’t remember if I really saw the ghost, or if it was just my imagination, though I am very convinced that I did see the young boys ghost.

  2. I work for the county and had a ghostly encounter in the basement of the old courthouse on this square. I heard footsteps walk behind me and continue past me. When I took a glance over my right shoulder to see who was walking behind me, I saw no one was there. The footsteps sounded so real it caused me to look. This square is Savannah’s “hanging square” in the early days. You can still see where the holding cells were in the basement of that courthouse….

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