Beware of These Famous Charleston Ghosts

Charleston is full of history and amazing stories. And among those are tales of people who died, but whose ghosts didn't leave the Lowcountry.

Haunted Charleston Spots
Poogan's Porch serves up delicious food, and might be haunted.

Zoe St. Amand

The ghost at Poogan’s Porch.

The beautiful victorian house at 72 Queen Street houses one Charleston’s favorite southern food restaurants, but it was a residential building until 1976 and stories say one of the former residents is still there.

In the 1940’s it was home to schoolteacher Zoe St. Amand and her sister Elizabeth.  The sisters were supposedly close friends and had few others. So, when Elizabeth died Zoe became more withdrawn and lonely.  One day neighbors found the elderly Zoe wandering the streets and calling her dead sister’s name.  Those neighbors took her to the hospital where she died, but the legend says her spirit never left the house and still searches for her sister.

Restaurant staff, patrons, and even the owner say they’ve encountered her ghost.

Come for the ghost, but stay for the biscuits...they're to die for.

The front of the Dock Street Theatre

Nettie Dickerson

The specter of a working girl at the Dock Street Theatre.

Before the current Dock Street Theatre, the building at 135 Church Street was a lot of things, including an infamous hotel. Legend has it that the Planter’s Inn provided food, drink, and women for the well-to-do men who lived in and near Charleston.

The story says that a country girl named Nettie Dickerson came to the city, lured by the prestige of the upper-class. Because she was not from a rich family she had trouble finding a suitable husband. However, she did find a way to make a lot of money: as a prostitute.

It seems she liked to stand out on the wrought-iron balcony during storms and one night she was struck dead by a bolt of lightning.

Now people say they see her ghost wandering the second floor in a red dress.

You can go see a play at the haunted theatre most of the year.

The Old City Jail

Lavinia Fisher

The woman called America’s ‘first female serial killer’.

Bandits were a common problem around Charleston in the early 1800’s and it wasn’t uncommon for travelers to be attacked or go missing on the roads. Soon, people in the city began to suspect that the couple who ran the ‘6 Mile House’ were sheltering these bandits.

Related: This Haunted Old Jail was Home to America’s first female serial killer

But worse rumors about Lavinia said she would poison weary travelers, steal all their valuables, and then dispose of the bodies.
Soon they were arrested for assaulting a man at their inn. Some say Lavinia threw him out the window and the couple was convicted of this crime.

In 1820, they were executed for highway robbery. Then, while on the gallows, Lavinia told the crowd “If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me – I’ll carry it.”

Some sightings say that her ghost haunts the cell where she was held in the Old City Jail.

Many reports say the legend of Lavinia Fisher has grown much more sinister than the facts.

Madame Talvande

A stern school teacher on the look out for escaping students.

The legend concerns one of the women known as Madame Talvande who ran a school for girls in the “Sword Gates House” at 32 Legare Street.

She was described as a very severe woman, who was very serious about her protection and education over the daughters of the Lowcountry elite. So one day a love-struck young woman escaped over the wall and got married in the night. It allegedly struck the school mistress hard and stories say she had the wall raised another foot, then topped it with shards of broken glass.

Now people say her ghost haunts the top floor, keeping an eye out for any young woman who tries to leave.

The "Sword Gates House" is for sale right now for $15,990,000.