Haunted South Carolina

The Palmetto State is well known for its beaches and beauty, but it also harbors a dark past.

Longstreet Theater, a fixture in downtown Columbia that was built in 1855, once served as a Civil War hospital. It housed hundreds of injured and dying soldiers from both the North and South. Eventually, the theater's green room became a makeshift morgue to hold fallen soldiers.

Today, stories abound of strange sounds, apparitions and unexplained footsteps in the building. Workers and visitors alike believe the restless souls of the lost soldiers still haunt the hallways.

Rumor has it University of South Carolina students use the buddy system while in the building to avoid ghostly encounters.

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The legend of the Jacksonboro Light has enthralled South Carolina teenagers for decades. The haunting story began when a local preacher was struck and killed by a train near Parkers Ferry Road while searching for his missing daughter, who was never found.

For decades, locals have claimed that at night you can see the ghostly shine of a lantern swinging back and forth, accompanied by the faint sound of a train whistle. Stories vary on the steps you need to take in order to see the lantern glow; some say you just need to flash your headlights down the road five times, while others say the light will just appear in the distance and move toward you.

Is the preacher still aimlessly wandering around looking for his missing daughter in the afterlife?

America's first known female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher, carried out her fiendish work just outside Charleston at the Six Mile Wayfarer House, an inn she owned with her husband. There, the couple welcomed lone travelers who would check in, never to be seen again.

Chilling tales that have been passed down for generations suggest Fisher would serve guests tea laced with a poison that would put them to sleep. As the unfortunate travelers succumbed to the effects of the poison, the couple would help them to their bedrooms. The guest’s bed sat on top of a trap door that would collapse into a pit below. If the fall didn’t kill the victim, he would be stabbed to death.

When word began to spread about the numerous disappearances, the Fishers involvement came to light. Local authorities were shocked to find hidden passages under the house that held the remains and stolen personal items of the travelers who had been killed.

After Fisher and her husband were arrested and convicted of the gruesome crimes they were sentenced to be hanged at the Old City Jail in downtown Charleston.

In a disturbing twist, after her husband was hanged first, Fisher requested to be hung in her wedding dress with the hope that someone would take pity on her and take her as a wife, as the law stated a married woman could not be hanged. When no one fell for the ploy, she jumped from the platform, hanging herself.

Still in her wedding gown, Fisher’s ghost is said to roam around the jail and nearby cemetery looking for her next victim.

In Historic Downtown Charleston the Old Exchange Building’s deceivingly beautiful exterior hides a marred past. Built in 1771, the Exchange has survived wars, hurricanes and even an earthquake.

Through the years it’s been said that the building’s Provost Dungeon held prisoners during the Revolutionary War and some of the most notoriously violent pirates. Some accounts even suggest Blackbeard was once held captive there.

The prisoners were held in dreadful conditions. Passageways through the underground dungeon were full of rats that spread disease and the area often flooded, drowning those chained to the walls. Those who died were left to rot among the living.

Ghostly encounters from the dungeon include disembodied moans, screams and rattling chains. Some visitors claim to have been choked or pushed.

Are these phenomena the restless spirits of the condemned prisoners?

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