Given it’s rich history, it is no surprise that Charleston is considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the country. On this Halloween, let’s take a look at places around the city where you may find some paranormal activity.
1. OLD CITY JAIL – 21 MAGAZINE STREET
Home of Charleston’s most notorious criminals during the 1800s and early 1900s, the Old Jail is now said to be haunted by the more than 13,000 prisoners who were executed on site. Denmark Vesey, a carpenter, community leader, and enslaved African was accused and convicted of being the leader of “the rising,” a major potential slave revolt planned for the city of Charleston. Local history indicates Vesey spent his final days locked in one of the jail’s towers before his execution in 1822.
Considered the most haunted building in Charleston, The Old City Jail has been featured on nearly every major ghost program on TV.
2. OLD EXCHANGE & PROVOST DUNGEON – EAST BAY STREET AT BROAD STREET
Now a National Historic Landmark, the Exchange and Provost served as a British prison during the Revolutionary War. Built in 1767, the underground dungeon housed Revolutionary War POWs, war criminals, and pirates, including Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. The dungeon’s abominable conditions were well documented, and stories of prisoners suffering terrible deaths while locked in chains have made the building infamous. Local lore says the spirits of the departed remain tethered to the building.
3. POOGAN’S PORCH – 72 QUEEN STREET
The legend goes, Zoe St. Amand, a schoolteacher who called the building home until her death in 1954, haunts Poogan’s Porch. Witnesses have seen her ethereal, ghostly form floating across the restaurant’s porch and sneaking up behind guests in the ladies bathroom, revealing herself in the mirror!
4. CIRCULAR GRAVEYARD – 150 MEETING STREET
Located next to the Circular Congregation Church, the graveyard was built in 1681 and is the permanent home of many Revolutionary War soldiers. Visitors report sightings of ghostly figures walking through the graveyard before disappearing in the shadows.
5. UNITARIAN GRAVEYARD – 8 ARCHDALE STREET
The Unitarian Church dates back to 1772, making it the oldest Unitarian church in the South. It’s one of those places that looks terrifying, even in the daylight. Many claim the ghost of Annabel Lee, the Charleston woman thought to be the subject of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “Annabel Lee,” haunts the historic, terrifying space.
6. ST. PHILIPS GRAVEYARD – 142 CHURCH STREET
Even though St. Phillips church hangs a sign that reads, “The only ghost here is the Holy Ghost,” others believe the ghost of Sue Howard, a woman who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn baby, haunts this graveyard in the Holy City. The apparition is said to haunt pregnant women and women who have had miscarriages who pass by. An amateur photograph from 1987 even captured the ghost mourning over a grave.
7. OLD EXCHANGE BUILDING – 122 E. BAY STREET
This historic landmark in Charleston played many roles in the city’s past — including being a prison during the American Revolution, and before then, housing some of the world’s most notorious criminals like the pirate Blackbeard. Now it is famous for its paranormal activity, like reported sightings of swinging chains and orbs, as well as inducing feelings of “cold spots.”
8. DOCK STREET THEATRE – 135 CHURCH STREET
This working performance arts theatre has had a tumultuous past, including fires and even an earthquake, since it opened in 1735. It is considered one of most haunted places in Charleston, with 2 ghosts roaming the theatre. One ghost is the spirit of famous actor Junius Brutus Booth, the father of John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, and the second is a nameless ghost believed to be a prostitute.
9. BATTERY CARRIAGE INN – 20 SOUTH BATTERY
Known as “Charleston’s most haunted inn,” this B&B dates back to 1843 and is reportedly home to several ghosts, including “The Headless Torso,” who haunts Room 8, and the “Gentleman Ghost,” who appears in Room 10 from time to time.
10. WHITE POINT GARDEN – 2 MURRAY BLVD
This public park in Charleston’s historic district looks out over Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter. In the early 1700s, a group of about 50 pirates were hanged here in a public execution. Now the pirates’ spirits are said to still roam the park, searching for their executioners.
11. BOONE HALL PLANTATION – 1235 LONG POINT ROAD, MOUNT PLEASANT
One of America’s oldest working, living plantations, Boone Hall has a history that spans over 330 years. As one of the Charleston’s most popular tourist attractions, known for its iconic “Avenue of Oaks,” Boone Hall has paranormal activity lurking behind its beautiful setting, too. The most notable is the frequent sightings of a soldier ghost removing a bullet out of injured comrade.
Wishing you a “spook-tacular” Halloween!
Lauren & Cambron | Lauren Zurilla & Associates
Source: Bulldog Tours, Travel Channel