Charleston is not only one of the most haunted places in South Carolina, but one of the most haunted cities in the whole of America. But while it stands out among its neighbors, Charleston is far from alone in its profusion of hauntings. South Carolina has a long history of hauntings and unexplained happenings, and ghost-lovers across the state can point to haunted places in their own backyards.
All of this is good news for visitors who want to get in on the creepy action, of course! Haunted South Carolina tours are easy to find, and creating one’s own is just as simple. Whether you pay to hop on one of the many existing South Carolina ghost tours, such as those operated by Ghost City Tours, or design your own, expect to have a hauntingly good time! Not sure where to start? Check out these famous and heavily haunted sites to get you going.
Haunted Places in South Carolina
South Carolina Lunatic AsylumThis creepy hospital was built in the 1800's and has seen both Civil War prisoners and mentally ill patients suffer in its halls.
The Old Charleston JailWith some of the top rated ghost-tours in America and a feature on "Ghost Hunters," the Old Charleston Jail is sure to give even skeptics a scare.
Seven Devil’s BridgeWant a real ghost story? Locals believe if you try and walk this bridge at night you'll be paralyzed with fear and struck with temporary madness!
Rose Hill PlantationBy day, the Rose Hill Plantation is an impressive historical site, but by night, it's halls are said to be plagued by ghostly happenings.
White Point GardensAfter hundreds of criminals and innocent slaves were hanged in White Point Garden, it is hard to imagine that these seemingly peaceful grounds aren't haunted by the ghosts of the past.
South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, Columbia.
Built in the early 1800s, the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum is one of the haunted places near South Carolina. While the asylum was generally renowned for taking good care of its patients during the more than hundred-year span in which it operated, its inmates were far from free of suffering. Lobotomies and forced sterilizations were common and may have been inflicted on many of the thousands of patients institutionalized in the asylum over its tenure. Additionally, during the Civil War, the grounds were used as a prison for Union Soldiers.
Today, visitors claim some of those suffering souls remain on the grounds, their disembodied voices and unexplained noises echoing through the empty building. Cold spots and other unexplained phenomenon testify to their lingering presences, as well. The good news? The entire site is in the process of being redeveloped into a mixed-use district, which means that soon you’ll not only be able to visit this haunted site, you’ll be able to dine, shop and even live among the ghosts if you dare!
The Old Charleston Jail, Charleston.
Featured on the “Ghost Adventures Charleston” episode of the Travel Channel’s popular show as well as the show Ghost Hunters, the Old Jail is an infamous haunted site. An estimated 10,000 prisoners lost their lives in the prison or were executed after being held there. Additionally, no small part of its haunted nature is thought to be due to its distinction as the site where America’s first female serial killer was publicly executed.
The Jail’s notoriety has led to it taking the number one spot as America’s top-rated ghost tour but, like the Asylum, it was recently slated for redevelopment. If you get the opportunity to tour it while it is still in its abandoned state, don’t hesitate. If you can’t get there before redevelopment, however, you will still be able to experience the site via the museum being installed on the ground floor. How many of the ghosts will continue to linger throughout and beyond the renovation remains to be seen.
Seven Devil’s Bridge, Woodruff
The notorious Seven Devil’s Bridge is often found on lists of the most haunted place in South Carolina as a site of significant interest. While exact dates are difficult to pin down, at some point in the past, seven men described as “devils” were hanged from a footbridge in Woodruff. In some recounting, though not all, the deceased are noted to have been slaves. Since that time, the spirits of these dead men have been said to haunt the bridge, specifically at midnight. Anyone attempting to cross the bridge at night is struck with extreme terror and temporary madness.
In recent years, a new bridge has been constructed almost atop the decayed original bridge. The new bridge can be driven across rather than managed only on foot, but the terrifying phenomena have showed no signs of disappearing or abating with the new construction.
Rose Hill Plantation, Union
Rose Hill Plantation is one of the haunted places in South Carolina that ghost-hunters can visit any time! Originally built in 1827, the famous house was once the home of the Gist family and specifically “Secession Governor” William Henry Gist.
Today, it is a state historic site open to the public. While its official charms are its historic buildings and decadent rose gardens, many visitors are drawn by stories of ghostly happenings. Generations of the Gist family and their slaves lived and died on the plantation for more than a century and a half, many of them interred in the home’s on-site cemetery. All the lives that passed through the halls, both happy and sad, have left an impression on this historic building.
While you’re in the area, take time to stop at the nearby Cry Baby Bridge. Locals disagree about when exactly the haunted activity started, but most agree that they began when a mother tossing her baby over the bridge into the waters below. Today, legends (and many terrified locals) say that if you turn off your vehicle and sit on the bridge, you can not only hear a baby’s cries, you may encounter the ghostly mother searching for her lost child.
White Point Gardens, Charleston
Most of the paranormal activity in these prolifically haunted gardens are attributed to the hundreds of pirates, criminals and slaves who were hanged there. Local records even cite two men as having been gibbeted on the spot! By all accounts, these unrestful souls return to wander the grounds as apparitions, floating orbs, unexplained cold spots and disembodied screams.
For an extra treat, after exploring the grounds alone or as part of one of the many guided ghost tours Charleston SC offers, visitors can book a stay at one of the bed and breakfasts built on what used to be the marshes. These marshes were where the bodies of the hanged pirates and criminals were thrown when they were cut down from the gallows. Some of these converted older homes are so haunted that paranormal activity is almost a guaranteed amenity!
Extending Your Adventure Into The Supernatural
If these sites aren’t enough, you can find more popular haunted Charleston SC spots and ghostly happenings across the state at:
- The Hermitage, Murrell’s Inlet.
- The Greenville Tuberculosis Hospital, Greenville.
- Salem Black River Church, Sumter.
- Hell’s Gate (Oakwood Cemetery), Spartanburg.