You’ve read the book. You’ve watched the movie. Now it’s time to immerse yourself in Savannah - the quintessential location of where it all happened.
Best-selling novel, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" explores the life of prominent Savannah socialite Jim Williams, and the murder of his lover Danny Hansford. Take a walk in the shoes of the true life characters and Savannah residents that know the story all too well.
"What I enjoy most," he said, "is living like an aristocrat without the burden of having to be one.” - Jim Williams On Monterey Square, the Mercer Williams House stands in all its glory. Made famous by the best-selling novel, the beautiful preservation and architectural detail of this historic home make a statement all on its own. Visitors of the home recount feeling a chilling presence after hearing the details of what took place there. Once the home of Jim Williams, it was also the location of Danny Hansford's death and William's final days.
"To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.” - Minerva A historic final resting place for many was an ideal setting for the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil movie. Made famous thanks in part to the cover of the novel, Bonaventure Cemetery was the original home of the Bird Girl statue. Now relocated to the Telfair Academy Museum, this hauntingly beautiful statue is now on display for all to see. Here, Minerva, the voodoo priestess, routinely performed voodoo over Danny Hansford's grave to vindicate Jim Williams.
“We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” - Bird Girl Statue inscription Recognized for being the iconic face on the book's cover is the Bird Girl Statue. A calm but eerie disposition falls on this figure, signifying the reason that it paired artistically well with the story. The sculpture was so mesmerizing that visitors flocked to Bonaventure Cemetery to catch a glimpse of it. It has been relocated to the Telfair Academy Museum's ongoing exhibition Before Midnight: Bonaventure and the Bird Girl.
“I dunno,” he said with a sigh. “Sometimes I just can’t face going through with breakfast.” - Luther Driggers Taken from a scene in the movie quoted by an eccentric potion-carrying character with flies strung on his lapel named Luther, Clary’s is a café located on gorgeous Jones Street. A beacon since the early 1900s, their menu offers fantastic breakfast and brunch options with bottomless cups of coffee. The staff greets you like family and the crab cakes benedict isn’t too shabby either.
"If you're thirsty, a drink will cure it, if you're not, a drink will prevent it. Prevention is better than a cure." - Mandy Nichols Churchill’s Pub is where protagonist John Kelso first encounters a sultry singer named Mandy Nichols. This famous bar was not initially depicted in the book but is an integral establishment in Savannah. The original bar, located on Drayton Street, burned down in 2003, six years after filming. It reopened in 2004 at its new location on West Bay Street, serving highly requested gourmet British dishes and libations.
One of the most photographed locations in Savannah is Forsyth Park. This evergreen landmark is 30 acres of beauty and was the scenic backdrop for several scenes in the movie. The park is a must-see for visitors to take in the captivating landscape, enchanting Forsyth Park Fountain and relax on the grass under the warm sun.
Tune in for an in-depth conversation with best-selling author John Berendt. Listen as the novelist recounts the moments he spent with Jim Williams and other characters, as well as his thoughts on the controversial topics unaddressed back then and his time spent in Savannah doing his research. Listen here.