Charleston: things that go bump in the night

Charleston Ghost

Is Charleston the most haunted city in the world?

The south is known for it's "Ghost Stories. Every city, state and county located in the south has a story to tell. Stories of Widows, and soldiers. Slave and master, disgruntled souls who refuse to rest until the war is over. so they still walk the streets and byways looking for answers that are forever lost to them until he end of time.
Charleston has more then its share of Ghost, and so to many it is known as the most haunted city in the world. I am sure Paris, or hambug can also make this claim, but Charleston certainly holds it's own

Ghost Tours

Charleston has it's own league of Ghost tour guides, who will gladly lead you through the cemetery the jail, the hotel around the corner the farmers market. All have been areas of sightings. I know you are thinking that they are civil war sightings, because, well the war did star here and all. But no, not just war sightings. Charleston would seem to be the home of many unearthly folks who have not made it to the other side.
Just as it is the city of choice for vacationers and tourist, those making the ultimate tour seem to stop in and visit our residents surprisilyin on a very regular basis

More about Ghosts in Charleston

Army of the Dead

A laundress, newly moved to Charleston following the Civil War, found herself awakened at the stroke of twelve each night by the rumble of heavy wheels passing in the street. But she lived on a dead end street, and had no explanation for the noise. Her husband would not allow her to look out the window when she heard the sounds, telling her to leave well enough alone. Finally, she asked the woman who washed at the tub next to hers. The woman said: "What you are hearing is the Army of the Dead. They are Confederate soldiers who died in hospital without knowing that the war was over. Each night, they rise from their graves and go to reinforce Lee in Virginia to strengthen the weakened Southern forces."

The next night, the laundress slipped out of bed to watch the Army of the Dead pass. She stood spell-bound by the window as a gray fog rolled passed. Within the fog, she could see the shapes of horses, and could hear gruff human voices and the rumble of canons being dragged through the street, followed by the sound of marching feet. Foot soldiers, horsemen, ambulances, wagons and canons passed before her eyes, all shrouded in gray. After what seemed like hours, she heard a far off bugle blast, and then silence.

When the laundress came out of her daze, she found one of her arms was paralyzed. She has never done a full days washing since.

retold by S.M. Slosser

John and Lavina

The Colonel

The Execution of the colonel

n the winter of 1780, Charleston was amid gunfire and warfare from the Revolutionary War. As America tried to gain its independence from England, Charleston's patriots helped their new nation fight off the Redcoats. England responded with cruel punishments for anyone found helping the colonies. By spring of 1780, Britain had captured the ports of Charleston, and were working on punishing colonial troops for their treason against the King of England.

Many people captured by England were tortured until death, some were hanged, and others were faced against the firing squads. Colonel Isaac Hayne left the war after Charleston's surrender to return to his plantation and be with his family at their deathbed. Smallpox was a horrible plague at this time as well, and many troops returned from battle to learn their families were suffering from this disease. After their death, Hayne was asked to join the English army, but refused, stating he would never turn his back against America.

He was sentenced to death for treason against the King of England, and scheduled to be locked away in Charleston's dungeon until his scheduled date of death. His aunt and two surviving sons visited him daily. On one occasion they pleaded for their father to return to them, and he promised he would, if he could.

Time passed and Hayne's death date approached. Finally when the day came, he was forced to walk by his aunt's house. Watching from above were his aunt and two sons. They called down to their father who responded that he would return to them. Hayne was shot rather than hanged, which only served to make the people of Charleston more patriotic than before. The aunt's house never forgot that day either, the little boys' souls remained at the window calling down to their father, Colonial Hayne's voice could be heard at dusk to anyone standing at that window, and after nightfall, footsteps could be heard coming up the steps, signaling someone's return. Finally, this ended when the Civil War broke out and patriotism faced itself as people from one nation struggled against each other.

Mary Bloomfield

The Gullah People

The Gullah people are descendents of enslaved Africans who settled on isolated sea islands and marshland areas from Jacksonville, Fla., to Wilmington, N.C., in the 19th century. They live in small farming and fishing communities along the Atlantic coastal plain and on the chain of Sea Islands which runs parallel to the coast. Because of their geographical isolation and strong community life, the Gullah have been able to preserve more of their African cultural heritage than any other group of African Americans. They speak a Creole language similar to Sierra Leone Krio, use African names, tell African folktales, make African-style handicrafts such as baskets and carved walking sticks, and enjoy a rich cuisine based primarily on rice. Today, various factors threaten Gullah communities, including developers seeking land to build resorts and condominiums along with younger generations leaving ancestral Gullah lands for college or employment and not returning.

The Legen of the Boo Hag

the legend of the Boo Hags originally comes from South Carolina's rich Gullah culture. According to the myth, Boo Hags are similar to vampires, except they steal your breath by "ridin" you. They are also supposedly much more frightening in appearance. An expression sometimes used in South Carolina is "don't let de hag ride ya." This expression obviously comes from the Boo Hag legend.

If you were ever to meet a Boo Hag, you would recognize them because they have no skin at all and are blood red in color. The Boo Hags are flaxen, which makes them appear raw and also makes them hard to hold on to, and their skin is also very warm. Due to their appearance, they tend to disguise themselves in others' skins. As they wear the skin as we might a costume, they freely go about their business to find people to "ride."

For Hags to go ridin', they must take off the skin and hide it so they can use it later. After a victim has been chosen, the Hag will fly to that person's house and gain access by sneaking in a crack. When the Hag starts to ride the victim (while they sleep), that person is rendered helpless. When the Hag is done ridin' it flies off to retrieve its skin. The victim awakes only feeling tired. The Boo Hag doesn't kill the victim because he or she could be a continuous source of energy for them to ride. But if someone started struggling, the Hag would consider them not worth riding again and would take their skin.

What do you believe?

37% of Americans admit to believing in Ghosts, what about you?

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So finally..

In Charleston we are famous for just about everything. Food, Sights, people, snobbery (Rhett wasn't recieved her you know, and some people stil think he is trying to get back in. Wait! wasn't he a fictional character?)  Well this is Charleston.

and so, rmember next time you ae here, keep your coat tight, and look out for footsteps you never know what is behind you in the most haunted city in the world. 

thanks for reading...

You just never know...

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