Charleston is known for its Halloween celebrations. When it comes to the most hallowed of eves, this city gives other famous haunted cities — like Salem and New Orleans — a run for their money. From haunted hotels to creepy graveyards and plantation fright nights, you won’t find a shortage of Halloween activities in South Carolina. Check out some of our favorite Halloween activities in Charleston this season.
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Nothing says Halloween like visiting a haunted dungeon. The Provost Dungeon once held American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Yet before the war, the land was once home to a jail that housed pirates, including Stede Bonnet (and possibly even Blackbeard).
Today it’s said that the dungeon is still haunted by those who haven’t been able to move past their dark time in these quarters. It’s not surprising, considering the dungeon was once the site of executions and torture. Many visitors claim to see old chains that still hang from the walls of the dungeon swinging on their own. Sometimes visitors report being pushed by unseen hands or see strange orbs of light in the darker areas. Tour the Provost Dungeon in Charleston to find out for yourself.
With so many bars and restaurants located in some of Charleston’s oldest buildings, it’s no wonder this city is full of haunted eateries and watering holes. If you’re looking for an extra diner to join you at your table, Poogan’s Porch is one practically surefire way to see a sighting.
One of Charleston’s oldest restaurants, Poogan’s Porch serves up some of the most delicious lowcountry cuisine in South Carolina — with a side of haunted entertainment. It’s haunted by not one — but two spirits. Many diners have reported a woman in black trying to free herself from the restaurant, who is believed to be one of the house’s former owners, Zoe St. Armand. Many diners also claim to feel the ghost of a small dog playing at their feet, who is thought to be the restaurant’s namesake dog, a terrier named Poogan.
Past Charleston’s large thoroughfares sits a complex pattern of back alleyways and narrow streets. While these streets are often inhabited by some of Charleston’s elite, they’ve also seen some of Charleston’s darkest history. Pirates and drunken sailors once roamed these narrow passageways — and some believe they still do.
Charleston’s plantations are some of the area’s biggest attraction at Halloween. Most of the plantations are decorated for the holiday and offer a variety of themed activities for both children and adults.
Magnolia Plantation runs a family fright night in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Included in the $10 admission are haunted train rides, a hay maze, face painting and a costume contest. Magnolia prides itself on offering fun that everyone in the family can enjoy — including little ones.
If you’re looking for something spookier, head to Boone Hall. Though the plantation features a pumpkin patch for the entire family by day, it’s known for its spookier Halloween activities by night. In September and October, the entire plantation is transformed into a farmhouse of horrors. Four different areas offer guests the opportunity to become entirely scared out of their wits for a few hours.
Battery Carriage House Inn
While some visitors prefer to be terrified for a few hours, others crave the promise of getting creeped out for an entire night. If you want a more “authentic” spooky experience, why not stay at a haunted hotel for a night or two?
Charleston is known for its haunted hotels, and none is scarier than the Battery Carriage House Inn. This historic inn attracts guests year-round for its quaint architecture and convenient location. Yet if you’re looking for some extra entertainment, you’ll want to stay for the ghosts.
Request to stay in rooms 3, 8 or 10 for the spookiest experiences. You might run into some glowing lights, floating apparitions — and even a headless torso.
For those craving a little more wholesome fun this fall, head to Legare Farms in September and October. This famous pumpkin patch offers horse rides, a scarecrow factory, hay rides and after-dark pumpkin picking every weekend in October.
St. Michael’s Graveyard
Like most graveyards in Charleston, St. Michael’s is super haunted, and it’s no wonder: it’s the oldest church in Charleston. If you head down to the churchyard, you might even see some of the city’s most famous ghosts wandering around. Head past the grave of Charles Cotesworth Pickney to hopefully meet one of the signers of the US Constitution. Also buried here are former governors John Rutledge and Robert Young Hayne — amongst many other of Charleston’s elite.
Mercantile and Mash
While Charleston is known for its Halloween celebrations, it isn’t known for autumnal weather. Luckily, you can still get feel all the cozy feels this Halloween season — even if you’re not feeling the average pumpkin spice latte.
For a warm drink to take on your ghost hunting adventures, head to Mercantile and Mash for a juniper and sage latte. Slightly spicy and equally warming as a PSL, this drink is the perfect companion to your late-night jaunts.
Don’t forget to pick up a few pumpkin cookies at King Street Cookies for the haunted car ride home either. With so many Halloween activities in Charleston, it’s not hard to find one that’s perfect for every member of your family. You might even end up taking back an extra guest with you back home — if you’re not careful.
Family owned and operated from the beginning, Walks of Charleston is passionate about the history, architecture and culture of Charleston and is dedicated to sharing it with you for a memorable experience on every tour.
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– Steven Wright