Known as the Holy City, Charleston, South Carolina is bustling with things to do all year round. However, visitors of the Holy City may not know of its poignant past. With some historical context, it is easy to see why Charleston, South Carolina, would be the prime place to go on a ghost tour.
A Quick History of Charleston, South Carolina
According to Wikipedia , Charleston was founded in 1670 and was originally called Charles Town. The namesake of the colony was King Charles II of England. Described as “one of the key cities in the British colonization of the Americas.” Sadly, Charles Town played a significant role in the slave trade. It is said that “nearly half of all Africans brought to America arrived in Charleston.”
During the American Revolution, the British focused heavily on securing Charleston. Eventually, British General Clinton took siege of Charleston on April 1, 1780, with an estimated 14,000 troops and 90 ships. This siege lasted for after the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781. The following year, the population experienced a boom as French planters fleeing the Haitian Revolution began arriving with their slaves.
It is during the Antebellum era (1783-1861) that Charles Town’s name changed to Charleston. Charleston continued to experience growth. Sadly, on April 27, 1838, a fire broke out. Heartbreakingly, Wikipedia says that “several prominent store owners died attempting to save their establishments.” Ultimately 1,000 buildings were damaged.
Also of importance is the role that Charleston played during the Civil War. Being a port city, Charleston was critical for the Union and Confederate armies. On April 12, 1861, Union soldiers opened fire on Fort Sumter. Within 34 hours, the fort was surrendered. Devastatingly, on December 11, 1861, Charleston experienced another fire over 500 acres of the city. The Union navy established a blockade that shut down most commercial traffic.
A Couple Charleston Ghost Tours
With all of the historical events that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina, haunted ghost tours shouldn’t seem too far fetched. Luckily for visitors to the Holy City, there are several touring options. According to TripAdvisor, the Charleston Ghost of Liberty Guided Walking Tour gives visitors the ability to decide for themselves if Charleston’s ghost stories are true. The tour is about an hour and a half long and takes visitors to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Notably, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon have existed in Charleston in some capacity since the 1600’s. TripAdvisor details the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon as once “a haven for those seeking freedom as well as a dark and gruesome spot for prisoners caught on the wrong side of authority.”
If you’re seeking something more on the supernatural side, Charleston Supernatural Guided Walking Tour may be for you. During this tour, you can expect to hear “chilling talks from your guide about violent episodes from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, public executions, and exhumations. This walking tour is not recommended for young children given the content, and children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Excitingly, reviews of the Charleston Supernatural Guided Walking Tour rave about the tour guide Geordie. One visitor writes, “Geordie loves Charleston, and it shows! He is friendly, licensed, and an author.” Another review says, “He has such a great knowledge of the history and the area and gives wonderful insight that goes beyond just a “ghost” story!”
All of that to say, the Charleston Ghost of Liberty Guided Walking Tour and the Charleston Supernatural Guided Walking Tour are just two of several of the ghost tours offered in the Holy City. Luckily, both tours account for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and account for adequate social distancing. Make sure back with the Lexington Yankee for more spooky fall activities.