SOUTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Hey South Carolina, got the urge to be creeped out, but don’t want to drive too far for Halloween season?
Sure, you could drive to Charleston, Spartanburg, or Union County. But why go that far when there are three prime Palmetto State ghost tour sites within reach?
That is, if you dare.
Chester County Courthouse
Want a real paranormal tour this Halloween season? Check out the 1914 Chester County Jail on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28.
A longtime favorite of Charlotte ghost hunters, this prime spot offers tours not recommended for children. It’s a 13 and up tour, but children under 18 need an adult to go with them. Those taking the tour must complete a waiver for the four-story building tour.
“It’s very unique,” Chester County Historical administrator Liz Anderson said.
Anderson said the tours are a big fundraiser for the historical society. She told of one tour tidbit involving a police officer story from 2018. The unnamed law enforcement officer noticed a man in the building’s fourth-floor windows after hours. When he went to investigate, he couldn’t locate anyone. For tickets, go here.
Winthrop’s Tillman Hall
Winthrop’s Tillman Hall has quite the reputation. Named after the former South Carolina governor and U.S. senator, the building is known for its architecture.
Built in 1894, Tillman Hall has housed offices, classrooms, a swimming pool, a museum, an art gallery, a library, and a gymnasium, among others.
The tour highlights one forbidden part of the building.
“Staff, let alone students, are almost never allowed on the 4th floor,” Lori Tuttle said.
Tuttle is Winthrop’s executive director of Alumni Relations and Reunion Giving.
She said the floor, which once held classrooms and offices, has not been heavily used since the 1930s because of ADA requirements, climate control issues, and space issues.
“…Many say there are some spirits that linger on this floor,” Tuttle said. “There are many stories from students and staff about happenings and experiences on the 4th floor. It is a pretty creepy place to be on its own.”
The tour means to be both scary and informative. Past years have featured the “Ghost of Ben Tillman” and the unique prisoner stocks in the basement.
The ghost tour is set for Friday, Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. Advance tickets will be sold through Eventbrite next month, and no tickets will be sold at the door. For more, go here.
Fort Mill’s Lanterns and Legends
The Fort Mill Museum is continuing its Legends and Lanterns Tour. A museum tour guide carries a lantern, dons a cape, and takes guests on a .7-mile walk from the museum.
The tour goes from Oct. 5 to Oct. 28 and starts from the 107 Clebourne Street museum. Parking is available behind Hobos on Main St. or at Veterans Park.
Admission is $17 this year.
A Ghost Tour guide’s tips
Artie Beaty calls these S.C. Ghost Tour stops ones he would check out. The Charlotte Ghost Tour expert has taken Charlotte natives and visitors on tours through the Carolina History and Haunts Ghost Tour.
On South Carolina tour stops, Beatty says, “This region has a (haunted) history a lot of people have no idea about.”
Beaty says a good, haunted tour has two key things: History and context. Usually, taking ghost tour participants to a cemetery is something he aims for. The tour performer says he often brings a candle-lit lantern with his garb.
“Once you have the history (behind these stops), that’s when things get interesting,” Beaty said.
People generally have a “curiousness” about ghost tour history and usually want to “take a closer look.” When he takes tours, Beatty says going to public places is essential. They often make the stories better.
Ultimately, the scare factor comes into play. Beaty says he’s not trying to scare anyone because these sites “are creepy by default.”