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Drowned Slaves Haunt Georgia’s Igbo Landing

In the early 1800s, a shipload of captured Africans drowned themselves in a Georgia creek rather than submit to a life of slavery. Legend has it their spirits remain at the site now known as Igbo Landing.

“That’s the place where they bring the Ibos over in a slave ship and when they get here, they ain’t like it and so they all start singing and they march right down in the river to march back to Africa, but they ain’t able to get there. They gets drown.” – Floyd White, Federal Writers Project Interviewee, 1930s

In May 1803, 75 slaves rebelled against their captors as they sailed from Savannah, Georgia to their intended masters in St. Simons Island a short distance away. Many of the captives were Igbo people from West Africa, a group known for its fierce resistance to slavery. Harnessing this infamous spirit, the captives took control of the ship, drowned the crew, and grounded the vessel in Dunbar Creek at a site now called Igbo, or Ebo, Landing.

Once on shore, the bound men and women drowned themselves in the creek rather than risk recapture. As they marched into the water, the Igbo reportedly chanted, “The water spirit brought us. The water spirit will take us away.”

Artwork by Donovan Nelson

Today, Igbo Landing appears serene and idyllic. However, the drowned slaves reportedly haunt the landing and surrounding marshland. According to local mariners, the sounds of clinking chains and chanting voices drift over the water when the moon is full and the water still.

“Even today there are ghost stories about unrequited Igbo spirits and recurring reports of unsubstantiated sounds and shadows in the marshes at Igbo Landing,” said a local activist. “The voice of our ancestors at Igbo Landing cries out still from those foreign waters to come home to Igbo land.”

Do the spirits of long-dead slaves really haunt coastal Georgia? Or is the story nothing more than a troubling myth? If you’re ever in St. Simons Island why not pay a visit and discover the truth for yourself.



Ghost and Ghouls

by cnkguy
Drowned Slaves Haunt Georgia’s Igbo Landing

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