Mr. LaVeaux and I spent the day down on River Street in historic Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is the state’s first established city, founded in 1773 by James Edward Oglethorpe of England, and it’s chock full of history and the paranormal. It’s not uncommon to hear about ghosts there, and it’s actually quite easy to sense the spirits if you are sensitive to that kind of thing.
Being one who loves the unexplained, I got excited when I recently read of a mysterious echo square down on the banks of the Savannah River and had to ride down to find out if it really worked.
We got there in the late morning hours and were surprised to find River Street fairly vacant of people. I guess it’s because summer has drawn to a close and there were no festivals going on around town. We walked down to a store called Bob’s Your Uncle and directly across the cobblestone street from that store was a little circular park enclosed by foliage. In the center of the circle, right in the middle of a square of stone, was the “echoing X.”
I had written an important scene in my book that was set right here in this location, and I had to make sure that the echo phenomenon wasn’t just an urban legend. Otherwise, I faced having to rewrite that chapter and find another suitable, mystical place for the scene to unfold. Mr. LaVeaux and I looked at that X, and chicken that I am, I asked him to try it out first.
He walked out onto the X and said a few words then told me that it worked. He heard a definite but short echo. It was my turn next. I stepped on the X, faced the river, and started talking.
How best to describe this? It was like I was submerged into a stereophonic room where the sound of my voice reverberated all around me. I could hear a slight echo, but the most amazing part of it all was the amplification of my voice and the fact that my head was surrounded by sound. It felt as if my voice was bouncing back to me from every angle possible. Intrigued, I stood there a little longer, speaking and listening and jumping for joy on the inside.
No need to rewrite that one scene in my book. Whew.
If you are ever in Savannah and want to give the echoing X a try, let me know what you think. It’s one of those special little mystical things that make Savannah so fabulous.