20 South Battery Street
Status: Former Residence; Former Event Venue; Formerly Abandoned; 3 Star Hotel
This house was built in 1843 by a wealthy merchant who was exporting cotton through Charleston harbor. At the time this was one of the city’s richest sections and only the truly wealthy could built here.
When the Civil War broke out the location became considerably less desirable; the city’s defenses were just across the street. The mansions were quickly abandoned as the rich fled for their lives.
Charleston had a rather rough time in the war; they endured a 4 year battle with Union forces.
In 1870 Colonel Richard Lathers – a South Carolina millionaire who had fought for the Union – bought the house. He had a $10,000 ($455,000 in 2023 dollars) renovation done on the house to repair the war damage.
Col Lathers used his home as a gathering place to try to repair the rift between the business leaders of the north and the south. He was unsuccessful; probably because it was too soon and there was still much animosity and mistrust.
In 1874 the Colonel sold the mansion to Andrew Simonds; a reconstruction banker. He went about helping the city in a much direct way – cold hard cash.
The Hastie family – of which Simonds was part of – lived in the mansion for many years. Through the 1920’s and 30’s the parties were said to been quite wild and lavish with strippers dancing on the pole and ladies of the night available for discerning gentlemen.
As the 20th century continued the fortunes of the home’s owners began to decline and the mansion quickly followed. In 1989 when Hurricane Huge swept up the east coast it nearly sounded the death knell for the house.
Falling apart it was left abandoned for a number of years.
In 1992 Drayton and Kat Hastie bought the property and began the long and expensive path to it’s total renovation.
Today the mansion is a luxury boutique hotel. See the website link above to book a room.
This location is very active with a number of ghosts.
Before describing the reported paranormal activity, here are some of the possible reasons for the haunting.
Long before there were any houses or anything here the British and then American authorities hung pirates in the battery; which is directly across the street from the house.
During the Civil War that same battery was used as a cannon installation that kept the Union from invading. The mansion was abandoned at this time, and it is thought the soldiers used the abandoned mansions to rest and sleep.
Also during the Civil War there was a Yellow Fever epidemic that killed a lot of people any of which could have died in or around the mansion.
In the 20th century the son of one of the families living in the mansion jumped to his death either from the carriage house or the main house.
A number of entities described as being figures of light of various sizes and shapes frequently gather in the living room as if holding a meeting. This, reportedly, happens quite often.
In Room 8 guests have experienced the feeling of an unseen entity hovering over them while they slept. There are also reports of phantom sounds of furniture smashing into the walls and the toilet seat opening and slamming shut.
In Room 10 – the most active room – there are reports of the apparition of a slim man about 6 feet tall. He is reported as giving off negative energy when Bible passages are read. His shadow is also seen on the wall when he is not visible.
Light anomalies are frequently photographed in Room 10. One video and audio recording picked up the ghost tapping on the microphone and breathing.
A cell phone in the living began turning on and off all on it’s own starting at 3am.
People have heard the sound of the faucet running water into to sink but when they get up to turn it off only to find no water dripping and a dry sink.
(Old City Jail)
21 Magazine Street
Status: Former Jail; Formerly Abandoned; Undergoing a Retrofit 2022
Ghost Tours On Hold but Will Return
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:ChasNerd&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:ChasNerd (page does not exist)">ChasNerd</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
In the 17th century a 4 acre parcel of land was put aside for public use in the city. In the early 19th century, the Charleston Jail would be built there.
The Charleston County Jail was active from 1802 and 1939 and housed some of the worst criminals as well as Union POW’s in the Civil War.
After being decommissioned as a jail, ownership was passed to the City’s Housing Authority who basically let it sit empty for 60 years. In 2000 the American College of the Building Arts – who train how to restore heritage buildings – took over the building until 2016.
A corporation now owns the building and is restoring it and converting it into an office building.
The building contains the ghosts of pirates, soldiers, slaves and murderers but also the wrongly convicted.
In 2000 when the school took over ownership the building had been completely sealed up to avoid lead contamination from the paint. None the less when they unsealed the building footprints were found in the thick dust.
The ghost of a guard is seen on the third floor with his weapon still in hand. He has been known to charge at people before vanishing.
Other Activity: disembodied voices and whispers, objects moving on their own, cold spots, light anomalies, doors open and closing on their own and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.
72 Queen Street
Status: Former Residence; Southern Restaurant
This house was originally built in 1888; at the time the neighborhood was just beginning to grow.
Although the house had many owners before it’s conversion into a restaurant none were more memorable than Zoe and Elizabeth the spinster sisters.
In the early 1900’s bought the house and moved in. They weren’t very social and surprised Charleston society by enjoying the spinster life as well as being happy with just each other’s company.
The 2 sisters lived happily together for 40 years and, by all accounts, became great friends and very close.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to end. In 1945 Elizabeth passed away.
Zoey was destroyed, of course, she had lost everything in her life. With no one to be with her while she grieved her mental and emotional heath began a downward spiral. Eventually she was walking up and down Queen St crying out her sister’s name.
Concerned for her health the neighbors took her to St Francis Hospital where she lived out her days in a delusional state. She finally passed in 1954 without ever returning to the house she and her sister shared.
In the early 1970’s Bobbie Ball moved to South Carolina from West Virginia. She bought the house and began to remodel it into a restaurant. While she was working, she had a visitor a stray Wheaton Terrier that was living in the neighborhood. His favorite place to hangout was on the porch of Bobby’s new house.
Bobbie adopted the dog, named him Poogans and then – you guessed it – named the restaurant she opened in 1976 after her new furry friend. In 1979 Poogan crossed the rainbow bridge but his gravesite is near his beloved porch so you can pay your respects.
Although Zoe did not die in the house she shared with her sister her spirit seems to have returned to the house.
It is said Zoe has been seen 200+ times in her old house.
She is still seen wandering the house apparently looking for her sister with the majority of sightings being in the woman’s washroom. She has even been heard calling out her sister’s name as she did so much in life.
One chef had his coffee cup disappear completely only to reappear later with lipstick on the rim.
Bobbie herself had wooden stools and then watched a heavy wooden door shut on it’s own.
Strange sounds have come the second floor but when employees investigate there is no one up there.
On one occasion people in a neighboring building saw an elderly lady in black banging on the windows as if trying to escape the restaurant. They called the police who found the restaurant locked and alarmed and no one inside.
The ghost of Poogan himself is seen on the porch he frequented so often during his life. He’s also been seen moving among the legs of people eating there. He is said to be most fond of children.