The Haunted Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop Building
Suppose you find yourself walking down State Street in Savannah, Georgia, near the beautiful Lutheran Church of the Ascension. In that case, you might not notice a benign-looking building with an adjacent parking lot with crumbling gravel and bricks. After all, Savannah has many old buildings and some that look haunted and beautiful. But this building hosts a Savannah institution, Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop. Some believe it is haunted.
The building that houses Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop is located at 24 East State Street in Savannah, Georgia. It was built in 1855 for Patrick Duffy. After the building exchanged several owners, The Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop have occupied the ground floor as a business since 1883. Bradley’s Lock and Key dwell on the bottom floor of the building, and according to some, many entities dwell in the entire building.
On the top level of the building are apartments where numerous past residents have reported unusual aromas, noises, objects moving, cold spots, and glimpses of dark figures darting about. Apparitions also are seen drifting through the walls. One former resident claims that some of his belongings were never found where he left them on multiple occasions.
The Bradley’s have had the shop in their family for over one hundred and forty years. The shop still averages about a hundred customers a day. William Houdini Bradley, also known as Dini, was named partly after Houdini. His father was a hypnotist who did shows with Houdini. After being the owner and operator since 1950, Dini recently turned the shop over to his grandson, Andrew Bradley. The shop staff creates keys, helps open complicated locks, and fashions hand-made, unique implements you can view if you visit. Also, they have many antiques, for example, the barstools from W.W. Law School from the Levy lunch counter during Savannah’s Civil Rights era, a very old bell, and small cannon! Some suspect that the hauntings could be energy emanating from all of the antiques and long-used tools in the shop. Attachment hauntings are known to happen with old objects and or to objects that had deep meaning to their owners. The energy invested into these objects reverberates for centuries.
Although the owner and employees of Bradley’s Lock and Key have mostly kept mum about any paranormal activities in their building, many visitors walking past their shop at night have seen dark shadow people gliding through the aisles. Is this a case of deceased employees or customers that are haunting the 140-year-old shop? A relative of the Bradley’s, Milton Bradley, was murdered in Savannah by the serial killer Gary Bowles in 1994. Is Milton Bradley one of the entities frequenting the shop?
There is some evidence that Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop may have so much paranormal activity because of residual hauntings. Residual hauntings are believed to be caused by events, usually traumatic events, that are recorded in certain building materials like slate, stone, and bricks and can act as a recorder of events. These events can replay over and over for centuries. There is not any intelligence with these types of hauntings and residual hauntings will not harm you.
On our visit to Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop, we were not privileged enough to experience any unusual happenings. We will return to this fantastic and intriguing Savannah landmark.
If you would like to visit Bradley’s Lock and Key Shop in Savannah, Georgia, their hours are 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday, 912 – 232 – 2148. Email, [email protected] . They also have a FaceBook page, https://www.facebook.com/BradleyLockandKey?mibextid=LQQJ4d .
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About the Creator
Cameron Hampton is a painter, photographer, illustrator, cinematographer, animator and writer.
She now works in Georgia, London and NYC.