2110 Pickens Street
Status: Former Kirkbride Building on State Asylum Grounds; Formerly Abandoned; Being Repurposed into Luxury Apartments
This was the second building constructed on the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum campus for housing patients. The first being the Mills Building which is still use as a psychiatric hospital.
It was designed in the Kirkbride style – one side for males and the other for females with the most violent patients housed on the far ends - bat wings that stretched out from a central complex. It did differ slightly from the original Kirkbride design in that it did not have staggered blocks as that would prevented healthy ventilation in hot and humid southern climate and no patients were housed below the ground.
Construction was begun in 1858; although the first architect died before even the South Wing was completed. Another architect designed the North Wing and yet another designed the central unit.
Due to multiple designers, and the remodels done throughout the years, the building was somewhat mismatched in design regarding some interior designs like staircases, construction materials and flooring.
The building wasn’t completed until 1885; mostly due to funding and lack of materials during the Civil War. During the war itself the building was used both as a hospital for wounded soldiers and for housing Union POWs.
For its time the building was considered all but fire proof with modernized – for the time – gas lightning. The wings were used for patient housing and the central section – with it’s distinctive red 12-sided cupola that could be seen throughout the city – was used for administration, operating theaters and staff housing.
In 1916 dining rooms were constructed in the administration section.
This building housed patients until 1993 when it closed.
On the morning of September 12, 2020, a fire – which quickly became a 3 alarm blaze - broke out in the building. When it was finally put out the roof was completely destroyed and much of the 3 stories in the interior had been gutted. The famous cupola on the roof was also a complete loss.
This added tremendous cost to the developer who had bought the property with the plan of turning the building into 208 luxury apartments.
Interior construction and design continue but the first apartments were completed and ready for move-in in April of 2022.
There are other buildings on this campus that are said to be haunted – many of which have been demolished now, but some still stand – but the Babcock Building is said to be, by far, the most active. The other buildings are used as offices and for the still open South Carolina State Hospital (Mill Building).
It is estimated approximately 30% of the patient population housed in this building ended their lives – by suicide, murder, accidents and natural causes – while living here.
It is too soon to know the effects of the remodel into apartments will have on the paranormal activity in the building. In the majority of cases the activity is either unaffected or actually increases.
When the building was still operating, and during the time it was abandoned, apparitions of former patients and staff were seen in the empty halls and rooms of the structure as well as looking out of the windows and wandering the grounds.
Apparitions of both Confederate and Union soldiers are also seen here with many still showing the grievous wounds that led to their deaths.
There are numerous accounts of being touched by unseen entities and at least one report of someone being bitten by something unseen while on site. Digging a little deeper reveals multiple reports of scratches and pushes by invisible entities as well.
The entire building was covered by a pallor of sadness and fear although, many people are reported this has dissipated with the renovations and redesign of the structure.
Disembodied voices are commonly reported in the once empty building as well as loud screams, laughter and crying.
Other Reported Activity: shadow figures; objects moving on their own; doors opening and closing on their own; time and dimensional slips and displacements; electrical disturbances; unexplained noises from loud bangs to scratches; light anomalies; misty forms and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.
500 Marion Avenue
Status: Former Residential Complex that has been Demolished; Historical Cemetery
According to legend this housing complex was built on top of a cemetery. What can be confirmed is that there is a historic cemetery beside the site of the former complex. The complex stood abandoned for some 17 years falling into ruin and disrepair and attracting unpleasant people committing illegal activities.
At this same time the cemetery had fallen into disrepair where the graves have fallen in on themselves to the point where the ground has sunk and gone soft. There were also holes in the ground in this area that drop to undetermined depths. According to witnesses the cemetery was being used a dumping ground when residents were living in Lincoln Village. Previous to the clean up to this part of town anyone was advised to get a Police escort if wanting to do an investigation.
Many plans fell through for the redevelopment of the area but finally in 2017 the city got the money for it. The abandoned complex was torn down completely. Efforts continued to clean up the cemetery but were never enough until 2018 when, again, the city came through.
The historic cemetery has graves dating back to the American Revolution and is the final resting place of many famous African Americans from the area. It is now completely rejuvenated and contained within a fenced in area.
The list below is activity reported during the time when the housing unit was occupied and in the period of abandonment before the complex was torn down. It is unclear whether or not the rejuvenation of the area has changed the level of paranormal activity.
Sounds of babies crying, sounds of people crying for help, screams, light anomalies and feeling of being watched and followed.
Although I have never been to this location it is worth noting that doing research on it left me with chills and a general feeling of unease which considering the number of locations I have researched, leading to immunity from such feelings, is not normal. In my opinion and intuition there is a lot more to this location than has been posted thus far on the net. Again, whether the changes made in the last few years has yet to be determined.
(Baynard Ruins)(Braddock’s Point Plantation)
Baynard Park Road and Plantation Drive
Status: Former Plantation House; Ruins
This plantation house was built by Captain Jack Stoney – a Revolutionary War Hero – in 1793. It was part of the larger Braddock’s Point Plantation.
It was originally an 1,885 square foot house made of wood, shells and sand which overlooked Calibogue Sound. As well as the main house there was also an overseer’s house and a slave’s quarters.
In 1837 the Baynard family took over ownership of the property. How they became the new owners is somewhat questionable. Legend says either the Stoney family went bankrupt or lost the home in a poker game.
William Baynard created a successful cotton plantation before his death in 1849 but the property was raided and occupied by Union forces during the Civil War. Shortly after the war the plantation was burned to the ground and has remained in ruins since.
William Baynard’s apparition is often seen on the old plantation grounds – sometimes his entire funeral procession comes out of the fog passing the old house headed for the family mausoleum.
His ghost is also seen near the family mausoleum.
182 Oakwood Avenue
Status: Historical Cemetery
This cemetery is the oldest in Spartanburg – it was first chartered in the late 19th century.
Most of this historical cemetery is, well, like a cemetery – quiet and peaceful – with nary a hint of paranormal activity or ghosts.
Head to the back of the cemetery, though, and all that changes. Changes so much many locals refer to that location as “Hell’s Gate”
The back of the cemetery was once a Potter’s Field dating back to the early days of the 20th century. People who had no family, no one to pay for a burial or died nameless, were buried in Potter’s Fields. Most towns or cities had them.
In 1914 about 100 graves were dug up in another part of the city to make way for expansion. The remains were moved to the Potter’s Field in Oakwood Cemetery. Many people think their anger about the move may be a major source of the paranormal activity.
The reason people call this cemetery "Hell’s Gate" is due to rumors and legends of Satanic rituals. But, hey, doesn’t every place have some kind of urban legend relating to Satanists conducting black rituals in the dead of night? And you’d be right; they do.
Satanic Panic is one of the most common urban legends in especially the United States, but in Canada as well.
Oakwood, however, takes it quite a bit further. In 2012 a caretaker found a grave had been broken into – the concrete vault smashed open and the coffin pried open. Pretty creepy, huh? Just wait.
Whoever committed this heinous crime also removed the head of the person occupying the coffin. Removed it and took it with them; only to toss back in the cemetery a month later. Apparently when they were finished with it? Or perhaps the skull had become hauntingly persistent about being returned?
The back of the cemetery is an electronic dead zone. Most electrical things refuse to work and brand-new batteries can be drained in a matter of seconds. Except cell phones, they work alright, but only in a particularly chilling way. Cell phones will ring but there’s no one on the line – or, even more disturbing, they will ring and there’s an old school busy signal when you answer the call.
Remember that Twilight Zone episode where the kid talks to his dead grandma and then they show you the phone line has fallen to the ground in the cemetery? Yah, getting chills yet?
Other Activity: full body apparitions; unearthly screams; light anomalies; disembodied voices and feelings of dread which effect some people so severely they become physically ill.