There are many people in Savannah who work in anything related to the paranormal: ghost tour guides, psychic investigators, psychics, etc. But few people have had as diverse a career as Chris Soucy.
While some may know him from his theater projects like Odd Lot Improv or Savannah Shakes, Soucy has done everything from ghost tour guide to podcast host.
He moved to Savannah in 1993 to be closer to his sister after leaving the military. He had briefly lived in Hinesville when he was younger and had no plans to move back here. Life had other plans. He’s done so much here in the past 29 years that it begs the question of what he hasn’t done yet: Chris Soucy is Savannah’s creepy renaissance man.
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I recently had a chance to chat with him before he flew off to stay at the Lizzie Borden House.
When you first moved here, was it your intention to work with the paranormal, or was that something you just fell into as well?
Soucy: “There was no real industry when I moved here. I think there was only one ghost tour I knew and I knew the operator, Jack Richards. It was never something I thought of as a career path. But my whole form of who I wanted to be was a storyteller.
“One of the things I was drawn to at a young age was the idea that one of the most important functions as a person, as a human being, is to transfer ideas to other people. And that has been the driving force of every project that I’ve ever done is the idea that we’re all storytellers and we’re all story listeners.”
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So how did the paranormal start leaking its way into your career path?
“Since I was six years old, I have been drawn to seek and find the ghost stories. And the funny thing is that I am actually quite scared. I am a very phobic person, but one of my phobias is not knowing something like a fear to face something I don’t understand or don’t know. So I formulated a ghost trap for myself. A ghost trap is a story for me. Once I know the ghost story, I feel more at ease.
“Because of my interest, I was asked if I wanted to walk around and tell ghost stories, and like this one [ghost tour] companies got firmer… I would pick up some work here and there.
“I found myself playing the role of a guide and telling stories. And what I found most engaging was telling my stories about my experiences, what I’ve done and who I’ve talked to.”
Have you ever owned your own business?
“I helped found Ghost City Tours, and there was a time when I was working very heavily with Sixth Sense, and then I was on my own. There came a point when it was just Chris Soucy.
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“Around that time I was doing ghost stories at the Savannah Theater. I had a collection of ghost stories that weren’t Savannah focused, and it was a shame I couldn’t really tell those stories on any forum. I have a great ghost story at the Savannah Theater itself And because we’re a longtime theater veteran and know the wonderful people at Savannah Theater, we’ve come up with a late night ghost story show of sorts.
“What if we just brought people in and told them ghost stories? That was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.”
So you did the ghost tours, you did the spooky stories at the Savannah Theater, what came next?
“I had Odd Lot Improv. The whole birth of Odd Lot was just a place for us to have a creative outlet. There was no business model. We weren’t trying to have a company or business. We have these resources and we would We had to use them. We had the Muse Arts Warehouse, a lot of artists who are just so incredibly talented, and we did it for love. It exploded and it had a great run. We’ve been running for ten years and we’re not done yet. But with Due to the pandemic we have put that on hold until we can find another venue.
“Savannah Shakes came out around the same time. Savannah Shakes was a big passion project where we produced two productions a year, and we did that for five years.
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“Whenever I find myself doing nothing, I just gravitate towards a new venture, and I’ve been writing scripts and screenplays and plays since the mid-1990s, and I’ve spent several years working as a ghostwriter and script doctor for producers in the I find that writing… is so satisfying to that storyteller in me.
“Last year, Drew Hunt [a local director] and I was engaged in a long conversation about how we always write, we’ve shot a few shorts together, and we’re doing the 48-Hour Film Festival. It kind of dawned on us that we have the resources, we have the talent and the crew within our reach. We should start producing functions.
“We filmed our first feature film in August and that became the model of an idea. Can we produce regularly without it being a distraction or stressor to the lives we lead? We found that ultimately the answer is yes. So we’re preparing for our second feature.”
When did your involvement with the Savannah Underground begin?
“JT and Maddie and Kewaan showed up in our orbit as filmmakers and as creatives. Early on we made little short films. I think the way I eventually met them was they had an online screenplay competition. They wanted to film something where the Stone Stairs Of Death, I wrote a script and they wanted to produce it, and that’s how we met, and then we did all sorts of fun little projects.
“When their Red Eye productions moved to the Savannah Underground, it became an easy relationship. Anyone who has casual contact with me knows I have a kind of encyclopedic knowledge of ghosts and all things dark and creepy. So that’s where I was always for conversation.
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“JT actually came to me because he wants to do a TV series in Savannah and use real haunted places, go in there and do recreations. That’s a tall order. Why not make a podcast first? Why not get attention and draw attention? who we are? So we don’t just show up out of nowhere. That’s kind of where the podcast came in. It was this idea of introducing ourselves to the public as paranormal enthusiasts and of to continue from there. [The Most Haunted City on Earth] where it came from was this idea that we wanted to share our enthusiasm and love for all things paranormal in a way that could reach a wide audience.”
And during that time you also did the immersive dinner theater experience at New Realm Brewing?
“Savannah Underground is an ideas machine, so they’re constantly shooting at these ideas. And the New Realm thing was let’s do this dinner theater experience. I think it’s a diner ghost experience. you’re eating and then there would be an interactive part to it.
“We tried to find stories that were somehow related to the food. We had a bone-in pork chop for the [Civil War] amputations at the Marshall House. We did it there every other month for a while, but I’m not sure where we are now.”
If that sounds like a life full of activity, that’s because it is, but Soucy isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He still has to decide what to do with a shed full of ghostly items he’s collected over the years. He told me that his wife won’t allow him to take them in. Having boundaries in relationships is important, especially when it comes to a ghost doll or a bone saw.
You can listen to more stories from Chris Soucy on The Most Haunted City on Earth podcast, available on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.