This blog post was updated on October 4, 2018.
Charleston clings to its history and appreciates the past down its cobblestone streets and restored Southern mansions. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Charleston has its fair share of stories to tell, including some of the paranormal variety. If you are traveling to Charleston this Halloween season and in search of a spooky time, follow this itinerary through some of the city’s reportedly haunting sites.
Marvel at the inmate list at the Old City Jail: In terms of spooky attractions in Charleston, the Old City Jail tends to take the cake. The jail served as the Charleston County Jail from 1802 to 1939. Before its days as a jail, the site was a hospital, poorhouse and a workhouse for runaway slaves. However, its days as a prison are what draw those in search of ghost stories. The Old City Jail locked up a whole cast of inmates including notorious robbers, 19th century high sea pirates and Confederate and Federal prisoners of war. Bulldog Tours even offers a haunted tour through the former cells.
Dine with the resident ghost at Poogan’s Porch: One of Charleston’s oldest independently owned restaurants is also said to be the city’s most haunted. While named for a dog that used to sit on the restaurant’s porch, Poogan’s Porch has garnered attention for its ghost stories. Diners have reported feasting on the mouth-watering Low County cuisine with company that they didn’t invite to the table. The old Victorian home from 1888 in which the restaurant resides is said to be haunted by Zoe St. Amand, a schoolteacher who once lived in the home.
Explore the spirits on Charleston’s Seas: Not all ghost tours need to come on foot but rather by sea. The Sandlapper Water Tour company in Charleston offers a Haunted Ghost and Cruise of Charleston Harbor Tour. Not only does the tour explore Charleston’s Harbor, but it also delves into the city’s ghosts. Guides inform tour goers about the forts, houses and ships that have been the centerpieces for many famous ghost stories in the area. From wars to storms, the tour highlights the spooky seas of the city. In the fall, the tour is held throughout the week, costing $25 a person and lasting about 90 minutes.
Delve into the past at St. Philip’s Graveyard: A haunted itinerary of Charleston would not be complete without a graveyard stop. Spirit seekers might find St. Philip’s Graveyard the perfect spot to explore. The graveyard serves as the final resting place to revolutionaries, confederates, artists and politicians. You can see notable graves including John C. Calhoun, U.S. Senator and Vice President and even Colonel William Rhett, known for bringing Blackbeard to justice. Some say they hear strange noises in the graveyard and have even seen a few people who aren’t really there. It is no wonder. The church surrounding the graveyard hails from 1680, lending plenty of history that could still be lingering about.
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