From its founding,Charleston has been a favorite setting for ghoulish tales and has more than its share of haunted buildings. Because Charleston has a history full of bloody battles and sordid scandal, spirits abound, and tourists are always keen to see ghosts.
Charleston’s Civil War history means that plenty of soldiers’ ghosts can be found near historic monuments and important war landmarks. Folly Island is popular for war ghost sightings as well as an apparition of the pirate Blackbeard. The Battery Carriage House has its share of ghosts, such as a headless torso wearing an overcoat and a male apparition (the “gentleman ghost”) that tries to get in bed with women and hug them. The old city jail is considered one of the most haunted spots in Charleston, and visitors regularly take photos of ghosts and orbs.
Possibly the most often seen ghost in the city is Zoe St. Amand, who haunts Poogan’s Porch on Queen Street. A spinster schoolteacher, Zoe used to room in the building with her sister. She passed away in the 1950s, but her ghost has been seen over 200 times, sometimes in broad daylight. Customers at Poogan’s often say they feel a presence who sits with them for dinner, and other patrons have noted that place settings were moved on tables.
Dock Street Theatre has an interesting ghost many have never heard of, but they know his son. The ghost of John Wilkes Booth’s father, Junius Brutus Booth, has walked the theater for centuries.
If you’d like to visit popular ghost hangouts, try a tour to the seamy underside of Charleston’s ghost haunts. Tour guides take you through cemeteries, dark buildings, and churches to show you the areas the ghosts frequent. You’ll hear about grisly murders, local legends, and voodoo curses. The ghost hunts and ghost tours travel to places such as the Provost Dungeon, St. Philip’s Graveyard, and the Exchange Building.
Known as Charleston’s premier walking tour company, (opens in a new tab) offers a series of ghost tours, including the Haunted Pub Crawl, Ghost and Graveyard, and the Haunted Jail Tour. Another tour, the Dark Side of Charleston, takes an uncensored look at the city’s history of brothels, crime, and scandal.
If you were to take a ghost tour, what would you like to see? Graveyards, old jails, haunted theaters, or perhaps Civil War landmarks?