If you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night, or you’re just looking to get in the Halloween spirit, look no further than your own backyard. Steeped in history, Charleston is home to some of America’s best haunts.
The Old Charleston Jail: 21 Magazine St.
Considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Charleston, this city landmark was operational from 1802 to 1939 and housed Civil War prisoners and sea pirates. The jail was subject to overcrowding, and sanitary conditions for the inmates were not a priority. One of the most notable former inmates was Lavinia Fisher, the first female serial killer. Over the years, several national ghost investigative teams have explored the jail, capturing haunting EVPs or electronic voice phenomena. During a recent investigation by the Ghost Hunters team from the Syfy channel, a female crewmember suffered unexplainable scratches all over her body.
The Battery Carriage House Inn: 20 South Battery St.
Known as Charleston’s most haunted inn, the website keeps an active and lengthy log of guests’ haunted experiences. A gentleman ghost who haunts Room 10 is the supposed son of a former owner who unexplainably jumped from the roof to his death. Another ghost in the form of a headless torso dressed in Civil War era clothing has been seen several different times and may be a victim from the Siege of Charleston in 1780. Future patrons looking to experience the spirits for themselves should stay in rooms 3, 8 or 10.
The Dock Street Theatre: 135 Church St.
The Dock Street Theatre was the first building in America to be used exclusively for theatrical performances. It burnt down in the early nineteenth century and was replaced by The Planter’s Hotel. The ghost of actor Junius Brutus Booth, father of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes
Booth, was a frequent guest and has reportedly not yet left. The ghost of a mysterious woman, who is said to be a prostitute, has also been seen wandering the hallways.
Joe E. Berry Dorm, College of Charleston: Corner of Calhoun and St. Phillip Street
The little girls of Jenkins Orphanage reportedly haunt this all girls dormitory. The orphanage tragically burnt down in the 1800s and several of the girls did not escape the blaze. Their presence is felt particularly on the fifth and sixth floors. Today, students still report the sounds of marbles rolling across the floor, singing and footsteps.
Southend Brewery: 161 East Bay St.
Today’s popular restaurant and brewery is located in the historic Wagener Building: a hot spot of trade and manufacturing in the early 1800s. At the time, a cotton merchant occupied the third floor. Deeply in debt, he spent his last dime on a large shipment of cotton, hoping it would be his salvation. Unfortunately, the ship carrying his cotton caught fire in the harbor, right before his eyes. Feeling there was no other option, he hung himself in his office. Many staff members have reported feeling breezes as well as the feeling of being watched. Bartenders also say beer taps flow without explanation.