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 plenty of mysterious legends and ghost stories. Pirates, soldiers, and long-lost lovers all float around haunted South Carolina, and there are lots of places where the supernatural may be encountered and experienced.
Some ghost stories are handed down from generation to generation. Some are more prominent than others, but you can hear all about them on ghost and graveyard tours. All of these activities 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 the locals. According to legend, a young man, eager to see his fiancé, was travelling from Georgetown to Pawleys Island. He decided to take a shortcut across the marsh and drowned. The girl, thoroughly devastated, 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 approaching. Then he vanished. The girl and her family left, and a hurricane came ashore that night, destroying most of the homes on the island except that of the dead man’s fiancée. Whenever someone is warned by the Grey Man, his or her 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, a doctor. Alice met and fell in love with a local worker, who gave her a ring. The boy asked Alice’s brother’s permission to marry her, but the doctor refused. He demanded that Alice give back the ring, but instead she put it on a ribbon and wore it beneath her dress. Dr. Flagg subsequently sent Alice to boarding school in Charleston, but she never forgot her love. She soon fell ill, and Dr. Flagg was called to come get her. He brought Alice back to the Hermitage, but she died the next day. That is when the family discovered that Alice still wore the ring around her neck. When Dr. Flagg found it, he threw it into the marsh. Alice was buried in nearby All Saints Cemetery, where her gravestone bears one word – Alice. Her spirit is sometimes seen in the Hermitage and the cemetery, and it is said that she is still 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 the high life 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 it has been said that he likes to listen to music and can be heard humming songs.
The Inn at Merridun – 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 often return for visits. If you smell cigar smoke and old-fashioned perfume or see a penny show up in an unusual place, you’ll know that the Duncans have dropped in to make an appearance. But they aren’t the only ghosts in the inn – there are about 10 to look for. One spectre is a spinster lady named Mary Anne Wallace, who is short and buxom. Another is a small white dog that might jump into bed with you. If he growls, you’ll know that he doesn’t like you. One ghost plays harpsichord and piano music. Another sometimes tries to operate the kitchen appliances and computers. There are also two indigenous spirits who play drums outside.
The Mysterious Horseman - Columbia – Just before the First World War, a large ghostly figure on horseback appeared among the trees near the domed South Carolina State House. He appeared many nights that spring, looming large above the capital city of the state. People believe that it was the ghost of Confederate General Wade Hampton, warning people that war was imminent. Hampton, who also once served as South Carolina 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, giving you the chance to embark upon a trip back in time to meet some of the city’s most famous – or infamous –characters. You’ll hear stories of pirates, gunmen, young girls, and more as you wind your way through the alleys and graveyards.
These are only a few of the fascinating ghost stories that you can hear in South Carolina. For more information, contact the South Carolina Tourism Office at (803) 734-1700 or you can visit us on the internet at a www.DiscoverSouthCarolina.ca.