Mercer Williams House Museum, Savannah

Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The site of the shooting that inspired John Berendt's 1994 novel "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," Mercer Williams House Museum is also a beautiful example of Civil War-era architecture. The house was designed by John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer, and the building began in 1860. Construction was interrupted during the war, but was completed in 1868. In 1969, Jim Williams purchased the abandoned house and restored it. The house is well-known as the scene of the 1981 murder of Danny Hansford, Williams' assistant. Williams was tried for the crime four times and received a final verdict of not guilty. On the tour, you'll have the chance to admire the antique furniture, 18th-century portraits, 17th-century drawings, and Chinese porcelain that Williams collected. Purchase tickets for the tour online. Use our Savannah trip itinerary builder tool to arrange your visit to Mercer Williams House Museum and other attractions in Savannah.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Mercer Williams House Museum

Mercer Williams House Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
1,414 reviews
  • We stopped by on a rainy afternoon. Our tour guide was high energy and a wealth of knowledge. The half of the home you can see on the tour is opulent and we learned a lot of interesting facts about...  more »
  • This is the one to see.great docent led is just the way that Williams left it with eclectic antiques, many with interesting histories.  more »
  • We thoroughly enjoyed this tour! Our guide, Max, was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. You only tour the first floor but you won’t be disappointed. It is full of original furniture, artworks and...  more »
  • Absolutely loved this place! Our guide Zach was passionate about sharing the history of house with us and his enthusiasm was contagious. I, like many others, am a huge fan of the book and movie inspired by place, but it's so much more than that. Well worth taking the time to visit!
  • My wife and I took the tour at the Mercer-Williams house. We both had read the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" prior to our honeymoon in Savannah, so we really wanted to check out the house that was talked about in the book. As a side note, you don't need to read the book (or watch the movie) to appreciate the Mercer-Williams House. It is a beautiful house with a great story behind it. If architecture, antiques and/or history are your thing - you would enjoy the tour. The house tour takes place on the first floor of the home. An interesting fact, the upper floors are still in use by the family (so they were off limits of course). All of the rooms were great - there were several very neat antiques present in the home. One of our favorite features of the home was the stained glass skylight in the ceiling of the staircase. The tour guide was very informative and was happy to receive questions from our group. They clarified some things that the movie got wrong about Jim Williams and the events that happened in this house. The tour group was a reasonable size, so you were still able to see all of the sights and hear the guide easily. If you've read the book, it was really interesting to see where some of the events took place in the home. Also, trying to figure out where some of the other characters mentioned in the book may have lived. Overall, we're both glad we took the tour at the Mercer-Williams House. We'd recommend it to anyone.
  • Had to take the tour after recently reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." The house does not disappoint! Tours are every half hour so they can be kept small, and even though you only visit the main floor, it's worth seeing the historical rooms and hearing the history. Jim Williams was a fascinating man in his day. The carriage house gift shop is worth a look.
  • Having read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before we came to Savannah, it was inevitable we’d do this tour.Only the ground floor rooms are included as the upper floor is occupied by members of the Williams family, but they are crammed with interesting works of art and antiques. Our guide was knowledgable and friendly and told the history of the house in a clear and concise way. We did however get the impression that he skimmed over the 1980’s shooting which was the subject of the book and which led to the trial (4 times) of Jim Williams before his eventual acquittal.This was a very worthwhile tour however, despite being a bit on the short side, and it was certainly worth the time.
  • Fantastic tour! Max the tour guide was amazing. His knowledge of the art and the house was incredible. Well worth it. We had 9 year old kids with us and they both enjoyed it as well.

Plan your trip to Savannah

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.