A spooky night: The ghosts of South Carolina
If you like spooky, eerie adventures, South Carolina is full of haunted tales and places to visit.
South Carolina has many mysterious legends and ghost stories. Pirates, soldiers and long-lost lovers all float around haunted South Carolina and there are lots of places to experience the supernatural.
Some ghost stories are handed down from generation to generation. Others are more prominent and you can hear all about them on ghost and graveyard tours. All will leave you wondering what happened to the spirits of those who haunt our beautiful state.
Here are some of the more famous ghost stories:
The Grey Man: Pawleys Island – The Grey Man appears on Pawleys Island to warn people that a hurricane is about to come ashore. It is said that before every major storm to hit the coast, the Grey Man has appeared to warn people about the storm. Legend says that a young man, eager to see his fiancée, was travelling from Georgetown to Pawleys Island. He decided to take a short cut across the marsh and drowned. The girl was devastated and began to walk up and down the beach, forlorn. One windy summer day, a man walked up to her dressed in grey. He looked like her fiancé and warned her to leave the island because a storm was coming. Then he vanished. The girl and her family left and a hurricane came ashore that night, destroying most homes on the island except that of his fiancée. Each time the grey man warns someone, their home is spared.
Alice Flagg of the Hermitage – Murrells Inlet – When Alice Flagg was 16 years old, she moved to Hermitage Plantation in Murrells Inlet to live with her brother, who was a doctor. Alice met and fell in love with a local worker, who gave her a ring. The boy asked Alice’s brother permission to marry, but the doctor refused. He demanded that Alice give the ring back, but instead she put it on a ribbon and wore it beneath her dress. Dr Flagg sent Alice to boarding school in Charleston, but she never forgot her love. She soon became ill and Dr Flagg was called to come and collect her. He brought Alice back to the Hermitage but she died the next day. Then the family discovered that Alice still wore the ring around her neck. When he found it, her brother threw it into the marsh. Alice was buried in the nearby All Saints Cemetery, where her gravestone has just one word – Alice. Her spirit is seen in the Hermitage and cemetery and it is said that she always is looking for her lost ring.
The Spirit of Dixie Boykin – Camden – Dixie Boykin loved a good party and even though he has been dead for years, he is still enjoying things at his beautiful 30-room mansion called Cool Springs. Dixie was murdered by his wife at their plantation home, but that doesn’t stop him from joining in the fun whenever someone throws a party. He has been seen drinking wine, and folks say that he likes to listen to music and can be heard humming songs.
The Inn at Merridun in Union: If you visit the Inn at Merridun, you’re likely to see former residents T.C. and Fannie Duncan. They lived in the house centuries ago and come back often for visits. If you smell cigar smoke and old-fashioned perfume, or see a penny show up in an unusual place, you know the Duncans have appeared. But they aren’t the only ghosts in the inn – there are about 10 to look for. One is a spinster lady named Mary Anne Wallace, who is short and buxom. Another is a small white dog who might jump into bed with you. If he growls, you’ll know he doesn’t like you. One ghost plays harpsichord and piano music and another sometimes tries to operate the kitchen appliances and computers. There also are two Native American spirits who play drums outside!
The Mysterious Horseman: Columbia – Just before World War I, a large ghostly figure riding a horse appeared in the trees near the domed SC State House. They appeared many nights that spring, looming large above the state capital. People believe that it was the ghost of Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton, warning people that a war was about to begin. Hampton, who also served as SC Governor, is buried at nearby Trinity Cathedral.
Charleston: Perhaps the most haunted part of South Carolina is downtown Charleston. Several companies offer ghost tours of the historic district, taking you on a trip back in time to meet some of the city’s most famous – or infamous – characters. You’ll hear the stories of pirates, gunmen, young girls and more as you wind your way through the alleys and graveyards.