You'll Be Haunted By The History Of The Old Charleston Jail In South Carolina
South Carolina’s Holy City (for newbies to the state, that’s Charleston) is filled with hundreds of years of recent history. The site of Civil War and Revolutionary War battles and myriad maladies, murders, and such, Charleston is also possibly the most haunted place in South Carolina.
Among the spookiest of places you can possibly explore is the Old Charleston Jail on Magazine Street, tucked away in the heart of the historic district and not far from beautiful Broad Street.
During the day, the old jail, which was shuttered for inmates in 1939, has a looming presence in the tight neighborhood surround. At three stories in height and smattered with stucco, the building is eerily beautiful.
The grounds of the old jail, where inmates at one point were executed, are as disorderly as the spirits that haunt the place.
The jail first opened in 1802 and in the following 137 years it housed some of the most hardened criminals in the area. Many of them perished here, either by natural means or by execution. So you can imagine the vibe here is a bit unnerving and most definitely creepy.
While tours of the Old Charleston Jail are available both during the daylight hours as well as nighttime, it's the after dark tours that seem to elicit the most malevolent of spirits.
In the early part of the 19th century, an entire crew of a pirate ship was jailed here. In a matter of time, each one was hauled over to White Point Gardens on the Battery for a public execution. You can read more about that in
Additionally, the woman widely regarded as the nation's first female serial killer was jailed her, also awaiting execution.
Lavinia Fisher and her husband were both jailed in this structure and to this day she is known to still haunt the building. You can read more about Lavinia Fisher
Tours of the building are hosted by Bulldog Tours and provide a large amount of historical accounts of the jail and its known ghosts.
Several paranormal investigation teams, including Zak Bagans and Ghost Adventures, have spent overnight lock downs within the old jail. The team of Ghost Adventures actually captured video and audio of the spirits trapped within these creepy walls.
In recent years, the Old Charleston Jail was purchased by a major development company in the region.
We're not sure yet if this means the tours of the building will go on forever (as we'd like to see). So be sure to take your tour soon, in case the availability changes.
Tours of the Old Charleston Jail start at $34 for adults and $24 for kids ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free.
You can book your ticket(s) and get other questions answered at
Several tours times are available throughout the day. But for the spookiest, most harrowing of experiences, make sure yours begins well after dark.
Bulldog Tours is widely regarded as one of the best tour experiences in Charleston. They offer a number of tours including ghost tours, history tours, and food tours. Check out the full list of
Bulldog Tours here.
Have you ever toured the Old Charleston Jail? Did you get a weird vibe while inside the building or on the grounds? Tell us in the comments!
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Old Charleston Jail, 21 Magazine St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA