With Barry’s heart still racing from cuddling up to some ‘big celebrities’, we jumped back in the car and made our way to Charleston. As per the theme of the last couple of days, it rained all the way there and continued to rain once we arrived so we couldn’t get out to explore the town as we had hoped. Luckily though, the rain did clear up by the evening. I say luckily, because we had booked to go on a walking ghost tour with Bulldog Tours. There were a few companies that did ghost tours in Charleston, but this was the only company that had night time access to a local graveyard and dungeon.
As the clock struck 9pm, our guide Lisa came out of the Bulldog Tours office to meet us. She told us she was a born and bred Charleston girl so I was confident that she would know all about the ghost and ghouls of the town. After introductions between us and the rest of the group, we started our walk to the dungeon. Once we arrived we were met by a security guard who let us into the dungeon. It was dark and damp but surprisingly very warm. Lisa proceeded to tell us lots of tales about all the scallies that were kept in the dungeon, including a number of pirates. We were then left to walk around and take some pictures in the hope that we’d see ghosts or other strange and creepy things. Barry and I didn’t see anything, but Lisa had some scary stories of things that people had encountered down there in the past.
After the dungeon we continued our walk through the town. Our next stop was a bright white church, St Michael’s, with it’s tall steeple. From the outside you wouldn’t possibly think that there were any ghostly stories to be told about here, it looked so heavenly, but Lisa told us how it was haunted. I won’t spoil it by telling you the story, but it did make me wonder and it was enough to put Lisa off getting married there!
We continued on with lots of chilling stories along the way and finally came to the graveyard in the grounds of the Circular Congregational Church. Lisa opened the gate and in we went. As we wondered round, Lisa pointed out the spooky images engraved onto the headstones. They were very creepy and strange looking. Our last stop in the cemetery was a family crypt. It had been emptied out when they used the cemetery for a base in the war so there were no longer any bodies in it. Imagine that…you pay for a crypt so that your family can be kept together forever after death and then you just get turfed out for some war victims! I’m not sure I’d be too happy about it! Here Lisa told us a story about a family who had a crypt on one of the islands near Charleston. The family had a young daughter who died one night and due to the lack of an autopsy back then, there wasn’t a real reason why, so they put her to rest in the crypt. The next day the mother went and laid flowers in the crypt and sealed it. 15 years later their son died, so the family re-opened the crypt to lay him with his sister. When they opened it up, they found a pile of bones behind the door and scratch marks on the back of the door. The little girl obviously wasn’t dead, had woken up and tried to get out. After laying the boy there, the parents went back the next day and found the door to the crypt was open. This happened again and again for the next few days. Finally the dad had enough and took the door off, laying it by the entrance to the crypt. Legend has it that the boy and girl didn’t want anyone to be trapped again, so they kept opening the door.
This spooky story was one of many, including a story about a ghost that hangs around the cemetery and is only seen during the day.
Lisa finished the tour with a story about her husband and a Boo Hag. I won’t tell you what a Boo Hag is. I’ll leave you to find that out for yourselves…
The tour was fascinating and even if you don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural (Barry and I are both very sceptical) it was still great to have a tour of the town and see it at night. Lisa was a fantastic guide, injecting lots of humour and her own personal stories of her experiences around Charleston. It was all very interesting and left us thinking ‘what if the stories are true?….