These historic and ghostly sites are not for the faint of heart.
White Point Garden
By day, it’s a beautiful blooming garden with large oak trees that are perfect for swinging and historic artifacts to admire. At night, things get a little ghastlier. You may not know it by just looking at it, but White Point Garden was once a hot spot for executing pirates. Some forty-nine pirates were executed at White Point in 1718. One of these pirates was “the gentleman pirate” Stede Bonnet. Bonnet and his crew were captured by Colonel William Rhett in the Cape Fear River. Thirty of the thirty-four captured pirates were sentenced to death by hanging, their bodies left hanging for days as their faces began to swell and their bodies began to decompose. Visitors of White Point Garden have claimed to have seen faces staring at them from behind trees, and some have even said they’ve seen ghostly bodies hanging from the oak trees. It’s also said that if you stand near Water Street and look out, you can still see the faces of the pirates who met their gruesome fate at White Point Garden.
The Powder Magazine
This building claims the title of South Carolina’s oldest government building. With a title like that, it’s sure to be home to some wandering spirits. Built in 1713, its original use was to hold guns and ammunition for the budding colony in Charlestowne. The Powder Magazine was heavily involved in the American Revolution: it was originally intended to aid the Royal Army in the war, but American colonists had taken it over and emptied it before the British soldiers ever reached it. Visitors of the now Powder Museum have claimed to have run-ins with ghosts of Revolutionary War soldiers. The female pirate and former Charleston resident Anne Bonny is also said to pay the museum a visit.
The Battery Carriage House
Built in June of 1843, this house-turned-ballroom now stands as a historic hotel that is open to the public. Most of the ghosts that have allegedly been spotted are said to be the ghosts of Civil War-era soldiers. Guests of the hotel have given reports of being awoken from a deep sleep to find a spirit lying next to them. If you’re looking to have a spooky stay at this hotel, there are three different rooms that are said to be the most haunted:
- Room 3: A couple who stayed in Room 3 once reported being awoken by strange noises coming from the man’s cell phone. The phone had been completely turned off, and he even made sure to double check that it was still off after the noises stopped (it was). They also claim to have seen an orb floating around the room on two different nights. After consulting with a medium and asking the spirits to leave, the couple said they were able to sleep soundly for the rest of their stay.
- Room 8: This room is said to be the most terrifying of all of them. Multiple different guests have given accounts of hearing strange moaning noises while deep in slumber and waking up to see a truly gruesome sight: a floating headless torso. One guest (a man who knowingly booked Room 8 out of sheer disbelief) said he had an encounter with the headless torso and even said that the figure let out a low growl when he tried to approach it.
- Room 10: The ghost who inhabits Room 10 is known to be much friendlier than the other spirits people have encountered. Fittingly, this man has been named “The Gentleman Ghost.” While not everyone who has stayed in Room 10 has had an encounter with The Gentleman Ghost, those who have described him as an average-looking man who “glides around the room.” He is also said to appear laying peacefully in bed next to guests.
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Before Stede Bonnet’s crew met their fates at White Point Garden, they were kept in the Provost Dungeon at The Old Exchange. Stede Bonnet was kept at the Provost Marshall’s house, but his crew was not so lucky. Visitors of the dungeon have reported hearing screams and moans of the souls said to still be experiencing the pain of the torture they endured while inside the dungeon walls. People have also reported seeing chains swaying back and forth with no apparent outside forces causing them to move. Even creepier, guests have reported being pushed and feeling hands wrap around their necks. As for The Old Exchange (the upstairs portion), the spirits seem to be more peaceful. An apparition who is speculated to be a former staff member has been seen roaming the halls dressed in Revolution-era clothing. The Old Exchange and Dungeon is open to guests each weekday from 9-5 pm.
This haunted spot is a little less terrifying than the other spots on our list. The original house at 72 Queen was built in 1888 and was converted into a restaurant in 1976. It’s said that the previous owners of the house at 72 Queen left behind their dog, Poogan, once the property was purchased. The new owners found Poogan waiting for his owners on the porch and decided to keep him for themselves. They took such a liking to him that they decided to name the restaurant after him. A different story accounts that Poogan was actually a stray and started showing up to the house once it was converted into a restaurant. Visitors claim that you can still see the little dog if you’re lucky when visiting the restaurant, as he even greets his customers in the afterlife.
The other well-known ghost is that of Zoe, a former school teacher who lived in 72 Queen with her sister, Elizabeth, before the house was turned into a restaurant. The story says that once Elizabeth died, Zoe roamed the streets screaming her sister’s name and was eventually taken to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital where she spent the rest of her life. Zoe is said to roam the halls, perhaps looking for her sister who was said to be her best friend in life. Guests who have seen Zoe say they didn’t even realize they had a ghostly encounter until they saw Zoe’s picture hanging on the restaurant wall. Many employees have claimed to have encounters with Zoe, saying that she has taken sips of their coffee or come to visit them while washing up in the restroom.