NEWS - Charleston, South Carolina has a long-standing reputation for being one of the more elegant southern cities to visit. The city was built on a peninsula between two estuaries and is home to one of the largest ports on the Atlantic seaboard.
Nowadays, its favored by tourists who enjoy eating fresh seafood and southern cuisine, shopping, and viewing architecture.
But Charleston is a city that can be just as creepy as it is charming. For those seeking a little bit of paranormal excitement on their excursion to the "Holy City," you will find no shortage of late-night ghost tours.
The haunted lore of Charleston goes back centuries and includes the restless spirits of bloodthirsty pirates, weary prisoners of war, and one young woman who might have inspired a famous author. During our visit, check out the most haunted locations that the city has to offer!
The Circular Graveyard
The Circular Graveyard is one of the oldest in the Charleston area, with graves dating back as early as 1695. More than 500 headstones remain in the cemetery today, representing less than half of the people who have been interred there. On dark nights, it's said that otherworldly company is seen and heard wandering among the slate stones.
The Circular Graveyard is the final resting place of Revolutionary War soldiers, some of whom are said to haunt the hallowed grounds. Visitors have reported seeing phantom-like figures walking through the cemetery at night, only to vanish into thin air.
The Unitarian Graveyard
The Unitarian Graveyard is the second-oldest cemetery in Charleston, having been plotted in 1772. There have been several reported ghostly sightings in this sacred place, but one of the most popular ones has a connection to the literary master, Edgar Allan Poe.
Poe penned the poem "Annabel Lee" based on a Charleston woman that fell in love with a sailor. Her father didn't approve of their relationship, forcing the star-crossed lovers to meet secretly in the Unitarian Graveyard. They were eventually discovered, and she was locked in her bedroom by the angry patriarch of her family.
When yellow fever took her life (or, rather, a broken heart, some might say), her father had her buried in the cemetery underneath other family members in the family plot. He also left her grave unmarked so that his daughter's former beau couldn't' visit her final resting place and pay his respects.
Her ghost is reported to be seen in the cemetery late in the evenings, searching for her long-lost lover. She is sometimes referred to as "The Lady in White."
The Old City Jail On Magazine Street
The building that housed inmates from 1802 until its replacement was erected in 1939, is said to be the most haunted structure in the city. The old city jail was the final home for countless prisoners of the Civil War, 19th-century pirates, murderers, escaped slaves, and others who took their dying breaths behind these stone walls.
In its more than 130 years as an active jail, it was the site of more than 13,000 executions! It's these condemned souls that are said to haunt the building.
The jail's most notorious resident ghosts are said to be John and Lavina, Fisher. This murderous couple was sentenced to hang for their part in robbing and murdering wayward travelers who would seek lodging at their Charleston home.
The old city jail is located at 21 Magazine Street. For the brave souls who dare, it is open for tours.
Poogan's Porch: A Schoolteacher's Haunt
Nestled into a cozy location on Queen Street is one of Charleston's most loved eateries. Poogan's Porch has developed quite a reputation across the country for being one of the best places to eat in the Lowcountry.
But while you dine on their famous bone-in fried chicken or their house-made grits, be wary that you might have your meal interrupted by one of the many spirits that are said to haunt the restaurant.
The house that Poogan's Porch is located inside of was once home to a schoolteacher named Zoe St. Amand. Her ghost has been seen on many occasions, still wearing the long, black dress she favored. Passersby have reported seeing her spirit looking out at them from the upper floor windows of the building.
The ghosts that roam Poogan's Porch have been seen by staff as well. One creepy encounter with Zoe left one worker terrified as she noticed the spectral image of the long-deceased woman reflected clearly in a mirror.
Other ghosts make themselves heard and not seen. There have been instances of noises coming from unoccupied rooms that have warranted no other explanation besides being in a haunted restaurant.
The Battery Carriage House
What better way to complete your haunted stay than to stay in a haunted inn? The Battery Carriage House is said to be the most haunted hotel in the city. Many guests here awake in the middle of the night to find one of the ghostly residents in their bed!
This particular ghost is said to belong to a young man who took his life years ago. Depressed, he leaped from the roof of what is now the inn and plunged to his death on the street below.
Other guests have reported a spectral torso that floats along the hallways and in and out of the guest rooms. It's said to emit a low growling or rumbling sound by some of the witnesses who have been lucky enough to see it.
Some guests have heard disembodied voices in the middle of the night. But given a choice between hearing those and waking up next to one of the ghosts that haunt the place, many might take the voices.
Charleston has so much to offer visitors year-round. When you plan your trip to this lovely city, visiting one or more of these paranormal hot spots will be sure to add some extra excitement to your stay.