There are several opportunities during your visit to investigate ghostly happenings in
Charleston. There are many old churches and cemeteries, along
with the Old Slave Market, Pirate's Courtyard, the area around Dock Street
Theatre, and 131 Church Street. With all the past and present spiritual activity
Church Street is said to be haunted by spirits because of the excesses and
debauchery prevalent in that neighborhood during the early 1900's. Right across from the
churches, rich Charlestonians were said to have entertained guests and partied
extravagantly, gambled, consumed incredible amounts of alcohol.
Victorian "Ladies of the Night" did a lucrative business, and many
lived in the Planters' Hotel. It is said that Charlestonians opened the door to
ghostly spirits through this behavior.
On Church Street lies the entrance to Battery Park. This area of Charleston is
well-known for it's apparitions from the past. For four days in 1729,
twenty-nine pirates all hung for their crimes on the limbs of oaks in Battery
Park , and it is said that the pirates cursed the citizens of Charleston as they
swung to and fro from their ropes.
The Dock Street Theatre was
built in 1736 but burn down four years later. In the early nineteenth century,
it was replaced by the Planters' Hotel, in ruins after the Civil War. The new
Dock Street Theatre opened in 1936. A male ghost, dressed in formal attire, is
sometimes seen in the theater. It is thought to be the spirit of actor Junius
Brutus Booth (father of John Wilkes Booth), who often stayed at the hotel. The
ghost of an alleged prostitute who died of a botched abortion in the 1830s, has
also been seen on the second floor.
There are people still living in these allegedly haunted homes, and they're
pretty used to all the sounds and strange visions.... footsteps up
and down stairways, turning doorknobs, doors opening and closing on their
own, rushes of cold air and a feeling that someone brushed past you. Items in a
room are very often moved and placed somewhere else while you're gone.
There are many tales told by visitors to Charleston of apparitions. It's
been reported that one visitor had seen the body of a man dressed in a wool
outer garment. The man is moaning in pain. He's been seen to hover over beds or
marching back and forth. Some believe he's a dead Confederate soldier who was
horribly maimed in the war, some believe it's one of the Pirates making good on
threats for revenge. At 20 South Battery, Room 8 is said to be haunted by
a headless apparition.
The Ghost of Annabel Lee
Just before the
Civil War began, Charleston was already one of the most prominent port towns on
the East Coast. And Charleston was proud of it's navy men.A young sailor from
Virginia met a Charleston girl named Annabel Lee. They quickly fell in
love and soon became inseparable. Annabel's father did not approve of her
sailor, he determined him to be an unsuitable match and forbid Annabel
from ever seeing him again. Annabel and her lover decided that they would meet
in the secluded Unitarian graveyard.
For several months,
they continued to meet at the cemetery without getting caught, until one day,
Annabel's father saw her sneaking into the cemetery. He followed her, and caught
Annabel and the sailor together. Her father dragged her home and punished her by
locking her in her room for several months.
punishment, the sailor returned to his home in Virginia. He eventually received
news that Annabel Lee had died of Yellow Fever from a mosquito bite. Heartbroken
and grief-stricken, he quickly returned to Charleston to say farewell to
Annabel. Annabel's father refused to allow him to attend the funeral. On the day
of the burial, Annabel's father had all except one of the family graves dug to a
depth of three feet. The remaining grave was dug to a depth of six feet and this
was to be Annabel's grave. Her father wanted to be sure that the sailor would
never know exactly where she was buried, and he would never be able to say
goodbye. The bereaved lover wandered to visit the family plot in the cemetery
where they had met. Filled with grief, the sailor sat there for hours upon hours
every day, mourning her loss.
The legend is that because
their love was so strong, and they were never permitted to say goodbye to each
other, the ghost of Annabel Lee wanders through the Unitarian Cemetery. Those
who have seen the ghost say that she appears to be searching. Perhaps for her
Let the Boo Hag Ride Ya
to Gullah superstition, Boo Hags steal a victim's energy by sucking their
victims breath, and the process is called "ridin'". Boo hags have no
skin, and are red in color. They are said to be hard to hold on to, should you
be unlucky enough to be ridin' with one. Boo Hags feel like warm, raw meat. They
are so grotesque and frightening, that the boo hags often disguise themselves
inside another person's skin, which they borrow for as long as the borrowed skin
lasts. Boo hags can then wear the skin like clothing. Once disguised as a
regular person, boo hags roam the streets, looking for their next victim.
for a ride on a victim, Boo hags have to remove the stolen skin and hide it, so
they can put it back on when they come back. When a boo hag chooses a victim, it
will enter that person's home at night through a crack or keyhole. The boo hag
sneaks into the room where the victim is sound asleep. The hag will then hover
over and then lay itself over it's victim and begin sucking his or her breath.
As the boo hag rides, the victim goes into some sort of trance and is unable to
defend himself. If you struggle and wake up, the boo hag may take your skin. If
you let the boo hag finish sucking your breath, there don't seem to be any
after-effect, except for feeling very tired. Better to be patient than lose your
skin altogether. A boo hag doesn't kill you, because it might decide to return
to your bedroom someday for another ride.
Brown - The Whistling Doctor
About 200 years ago, Joseph Brown was a
young doctor who came to Charleston to establish his medical practice. He was
well-liked and had many friends all over the city. He lived in a rented at 59
Church Street. Everyone in the neighborhood knew when the doctor was walking the
streets of Charleston, because they would always hear him whistling a familiar
Dr. Brown entered into an argument after
seeing a play, and challenged someone to a duel. The next morning, the men met
at dawn with their seconds in attendance. In the light of day, it is supposed
that things looked a little bit differently. Dr. Brown aimed his shot into the
ground so that he wouldn't hurt his opponent, and his opponent shot him in the
knee. Blood poisoning set in, and the doctor became weaker and weaker.
One morning, his landladies heard his
usual happy whistling and were very happy that the doctor seemed to have
recovered. They hurried to his room, but found him dead.Many generations
since then, have heard Dr. Brown whistling in his room and along the streets of
Charleston. Some visitors to Charleston have heard the "Whistling
Doctor" in the mornings, while walking down Church Street.
Other Hauntings in
The Old Exchange Building was built on
the site of the Court of the Guard, where many pirates were imprisoned.
Poltergeist acitivity is reported in the dungeon area, which was where Colonel
Issac Hayne was held before his execution in the late 1700's. On the
way to the gallows, he passed the Perroneau House, where his sister lived, and
he promised to return to her. Several people state that they hear footsteps
approaching the room that was his sister's
The Old City Jail is reported to be
haunted by Lavinia Fisher, an innkeeper and who robbed and murdered her guests.
St. Phillip's - A highly publicized photograph
reveals what appears to be the transleucent image of a woman kneeling by the
grave of a woman who died six days after giving birth to a stillborn baby
in June of 1888.
City Hall -
The meeting-place of the Charleston City Council from its construction in 1802
until today. The spirit of General Beauregard, supervisor of the southern
assault on Fort Sumter, has been observed in the building.
are several ghost tours of Charleston - take an evening
out and explore the areas where they are said to spend most of their time when
back on our earthly plane.
are also a few books in our reading room
about the Charleston ghosts, click here to visit--->
Getting Around Charleston--->
you'd like to spotlight your Charleston Ghost Tours
on this page, click here for more information-->
Back to the Site Directory
Homes and Gardens
art and design eyecandee.com
images may not be copied,
or transmitted electronically in any format
We specialize in vintage art
graphics and website design
If you would like more information, click