I think it is safe to say that South Carolina is one of the top 5 most haunted states in America. It’s one of the oldest states, one of the 13 original colonies, therefore, the history is long and there is definite opportunity for ghosts. I grew up on fairy tales and ghost stories; specifically, ghost stories of South Carolina. There are dozens upon dozens of them. There are so many of them that many books that have been published. I thought I would give you an introduction to a few of them – 13 to be exact – and an insight into their bone-chilling stories.
1. The ghost of Alice Flagg
Have you ever thought you would die from a broken heart? I have to say that I, myself, have not been immune to that fear. However, I believe Alice Flagg did just that. Most of us are at least familiar with her name if not her story. Her story however, is the root of all her sadness. Alice had fallen in love with a man that her mother and brother believed to be beneath her station and therefore, not the right man for her. Alice, on the other hand, thought that he was just right. No amount of arguing her case made any difference and finally she was sent to Charleston, away from her love, for schooling. Alice became sick and was returned home. When a ring was found among her belongings, it was taken away. It was soon after that Alice passed away. She was buried in a simple ceremony with a plain slab that marks her grave with just the name "ALICE". It's said that she walks the land looking for her ring and waiting for her love to come to her.
2. The Gray Man of Pawley's Island
Everyone knows the story of the Gray Man. Everyone knows what he is about on that island and how he warns of severe weather, but do you know of his story? In 1822, it's said that a soldier was coming home along with his servant along a sandy road, but decided to take a shortcut in his haste. The horse became bogged down in thick quicksand and the soldier tumbled in as well. The servant tried in vain to rescue them, but the quicksand won. His fiancee was devastated to hear the news. One day as she was walking upon the shore she saw a man dressed in gray walking towards her as well. She recognized him to be her dead love and ran toward him only to see him raise his arm, point toward the mainland, and then vanish before her eyes. It's said that she dreamed of a terrible storm and she told her family. Her father took her and her family to the mainland so that he could take her to the doctor. When they left, the Hurricane of 1822 happened. Since then, the Gray Man has made other appearances to warn others of storms that are going to sweep in.
3. The witch of Graniteville Cemetery
Although the cemetery carries a lot of stories, the witch is quite interesting. It's said that you can see her on certain nights as a wisp of smoke stopping among the graves. However, on other nights she stops and leaves flowers on the graves of the children who have passed away. I'm not sure that is what I would call a witch in the traditional form, it sounds more like a wise-woman kind of witch.
4. The basketball player of Blacksburg Middle School gym
It's said that in 1980, a young girl hung herself after playing a winning game. To this day she walks the halls of the school and reports of sightings have been made by both teachers and children. They also report that the gym lights will go on and off with no explanation as to why.
5. The legend of Booger JIm
The legend is wrapped up snug and tight in Blacksburg. By all the reports that I have heard and seen, it's said that Booger Jim was killed by his crazy wife who hung him off the side of the bridge with battery cables and now he "lives" under the bridge. Do you want to see him? Then go to Cherokee Falls Bridge, get out of your vehicle, call his name 3 times and he will answer you. However, you won't be able to understand anything he says because his throat was crushed upon being hung.
6. Agnes of Glasgow in Camden
Love lost became a tragedy. Agnes came to America during the Revolutionary War to find her lover who was in the British Army. She trekked over South Carolina and died in Camden before finding him. It's said that she was buried under a tree by King Haigler, a Catawba Indian, who was friend of the Europeans that came over. Since then Agnes can be seen walking the streets and roads looking for her lover whom she never found.
7. The gentleman of the Battery Carriage Inn in Charleson
He is quite the lady's man from all accounts. He has a fondness for them as he will come in and lay on the bed beside them. As per usual, when the women turn and see him letting out a scream that will tear the house down, the gentleman will get up and exit immediately through a wall. He's said to be quite handsome.
8. The Old Exchange Building in Charleston
Does Blackbeard shake the chains here? The Old Exchange building was once used as a prison for some very famous criminals such as Blackbeard. Doors are heard opening and closing themselves upstairs, the sound of chains rattling can be heard, and cold spots form around you or near you enough to make you shiver. I think it's safe to say that I will not be going down here alone anytime soon.
9. Sue Howard's ghost of St. Phillips Graveyard in Charleston
Sue Howard is a ghost who haunts this graveyard. In particular, she will attack women, especially pregnant women or women who may have miscarried. See, her baby died and she still can't handle that fact and in her grief she attacks others who may have what she never will. There's evidence of her existence as a photographer took a picture of her in '80s while doing a piece on this very story.
10. The Headless Woman of Lydia Mill in Clinton
Some say she lost her head in an accident on the train tracks and others believe it was a different reason. I'm not sure anyone really knows, but she haunts the Lydia Mill and the surrounding areas. Does anyone know how she lost her head?
11. The Bride of West End Cemetery in Newberry
How long would you wait? Apparently, for this woman eternity is the answer. On certain nights, you can see a woman in her wedding gown. She may be sitting by her grave, standing in the trees, or roaming about the fields. She is waiting for her love to come and get her, take her away, and make her his wife.
12. The witch of the Winnsboro Courthouse
Mary Ingleman was the first woman to be pronounced a witch and sentenced to hang. The townspeople tried to hang her in the Magnolia tree just outside the courthouse, but a gentleman cut her down before she was dead. Many times they tried to kill her, but they were quite unsuccessful. However, after her natural death she came back to haunt the courthouse. Late at night you can see her on the steps of the courthouse and walking the surrounding grounds.
13. The ghost of Martha Walker of Spartanburg
There are some strange goings on at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. Martha Walker was a strong woman who took over the workings of the school during the Civil War and ran it well. Today, you can still find her in the main building going from room to room checking on the students. Many have reported seeing her including one of the Presidents of the school.
What do you believe? Does your heart beat fast when you hear things going bump in the night or a scream from nowhere? Are you one who believes that everything has a scientific explanation?
Do you have a favorite ghost story or legend you like more than another? I can tell you that some of the ones that I like best are Alice Flagg, Agnes of Glasgow, and The Bride of the West End. I’m a sucker for a sad romance. If you have one that you like more or one that was not mentioned please tell us in the comments below!