Charleston Ghost Tour
Charleston is considered one of the most haunted cities in America, and for good reason: stories of supernatural occurrences and spiritual sightings abound in this historic area. Founded in 1670, and having been a part of two wars, Charleston’s past is both convoluted and occasionally dark. Additionally, the city is not known as the Holy City for nothing—its abundance of churches (and graveyards) are hotspots for paranormal activity.
Many of Charleston’s tour groups offer guided ghost tour experiences, allowing visitors a glimpse of the city’s supernatural underbelly. Continue reading to learn more about Charleston’s most haunted locations.
Old City Jail was home to the city’s most violent criminals in the 19th century. It once housed the first female serial killer in South Carolina, among countless other unsavory characters. The building is considered by many to be the most haunted location in the city; it is said that the 13,000 prisoners who were executed at the prison have come back to haunt it. Bulldog Tours and Buxton Books were recently voted as some of the best ghost tours in Charleston offers a tour of Old City Jail that explores the stories of the spirits who remain on the premises of the jail.
Another eerie destination is Charleston’s Unitarian Church Graveyard, which was constructed in 1772. The most famous spirit that is said to haunt the Unitarian Graveyard is that of Anna Ravenel, who is said to be the subject of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee”. Other spirits that have been reported in the graveyard include Lavinia Fisher, the first female serial killer who was kept in Old City Jail. Tour Charleston provides a nighttime walking tour called the Ghosts of Charleston, which has special access to the Unitarian Church Graveyard.
During the day, White Point Garden is a beautiful spot for weddings and other events. However, at night, its sordid history returns to the forefront. In the 18th century, Charleston was blockaded by the pirates Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet. Eventually, the pirates were defeated by Charleston’s forces; 49 of them were later hanged at what is now White Point Garden. Visitors report seeing their faces hanging from the old oak trees, and hearing anonymous screams at nighttime. Ghost City Tours provides this guide to the history of the area, for those who are interested in a self-guided ghost hunt.
Last on this list is the Joe E. Berry Residence Hall at the College of Charleston. The College of Charleston, one of the oldest schools in the country, is reportedly host to lots of supernatural activity. This residence hall in particular was built on the site of the old Charleston Orphanage, which was stretched to capacity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some children were said to have accidentally started a fire that killed four orphans; residents of Berry Hall report hearing children’s laughter and random fire alarms at all hours of the night. The tour group Walks in Charleston guides visitors through a Supernatural Charleston Tour that stops at the College of Charleston and other locations.
Ghost tours in this haunted city are not for the faint of heart, but they are sure to be a fascinating experience.