Best Ghost Tours in Charleston

Ready to take a ghost tour in Charleston? One of the local specialties that kids and grown-ups alike enjoy. Find out all the details below.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

10 min read

Best Ghost Tours in Charleston

Charleston | ©Pedro de Carvalho Ponchio

From the very founding of the city in the 17th century, the first settlers who came to Charleston described it as a place charged with supernatural energy, perhaps because they were engaged in bloody battles with the powerful shamans of the tribes that inhabited the area.

With the passing of time, the successive tragedies and the numerous stories made the mystical and even terrifying air of this charming corner of North America grow. So, if you enjoy unsolved mysteries and sleepless nights, a ghost tour is one of the best things to see and do in Charleston.

In this article I explain all the mystery tours available highlighting the most popular and the most unique so you can choose the one that best suits your requirements.

1. Traditional Charleston Ghost Tour

Charleston Ghost Tour| ©Viator
Charleston Ghost Tour| ©Viator

Rated as one of the best experiences in the city, the traditional ghost tour in Charleston is offered by numerous companies and one of the most requested experiences by travelers.

It is ideal to take if you are visiting the city with friends and family, as an expert guide in local history takes the group of travelers on a tour of the most popular ghost sites and locations to hear chilling stories and the sad fate of their protagonists.

The specific details of the tour may vary depending on the company you decide to hire for the experience. However, most tour companies take visitors through The Provost Dungeon at the Old Exchange.

This is an old Gregorian-looking building considered the most haunted building in Charleston. Among other things, it is said that during the Revolutionary War, its dungeons were prisons and places of torture, so today the place is haunted by ghosts.

This is a short experience that usually takes place in the late afternoon, with tours generally starting between 7pm and 9pm. You'll have a chance to plan this adventure even if you only have a 1-day trip to Charleston to see the city.

Useful information about Charleston

  • Price: From 37€ for an adult ticket; children from 4 to 12 years old pay 27€ and children under 3 years old free of charge.
  • Duration of the tour: You must reserve at least 1 hour and 30 minutes for this tour.
  • Recommended if... You want to take an adventure to know the darkest past of the city. This is the classic tour that every first-time traveler to Charleston should take on their visit.

Book a ghost tour in Charleston

2. Charleston ghost tour for adults only

Charleston by Night| ©Pedro de Carvalho Ponchio
Charleston by Night| ©Pedro de Carvalho Ponchio

In the city of Charleston you will also find a type of ghost tour designed for adults only. To participate in most of them you must be at least 16 or 18 years old, depending on the internal rules of the company you hire for the experience.

It is worth mentioning that this type of tour includes mature themes and language, which is why minors are not allowed. The experience usually takes place at night and is ideal if you go to Charleston in July or go to Charleston in August (summer months) to walk the streets under the cool night.

The organizing company provides travelers with a local guide who is an expert in both the history and customs of the city as well as its most notable legends. You join a group of hikers to learn and listen to macabre tales that include demonic entities, heinous suicides, repudiatory murders.

The result is a glimpse into the darker side of human nature and the city of Charleston. Some of the places you will see range from respectable stately homes to brothels, which served as protagonists of the lurid tales.

Useful information

  • Price: From 35€ approximately.
  • Duration of the tour: This adventure lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, although it may vary depending on the company you hire.
  • Recommended if... you are visiting the city alone, the ghost tour can be a great idea to meet other
    great idea to meet other intrepid travelers like you; also if you visit the city with friends you can spend a really fun night getting to know the mysteries of this beautiful city.

3. Charleston Historical Characters Tour

Inside the Dock Street Theater| ©Ellen Stipo
Inside the Dock Street Theater| ©Ellen Stipo

Are you a history buff? Would you like to learn about the brave characters that shaped the American nation? Well Charleston is a city with an impressive historical burden that has played an integral role in the formation of the American nation.

For that reason, it is possible to find tours exclusively focused on the men and women who fought in defense of America's freedom. This tour is among the favorites of families visiting the city and is considered one of the best guided tours of Charleston by mixing relevant historical events with chilling ghost stories.

The tour includes the accompaniment of an expert guide throughout the tour and while the itinerary of activities may vary from company to company, some of the places you can expect to see include The Dock Street Theatre (the city's most famous haunted theater) or The Haunted Exchange Building (considered Charleston's most historically significant building).

Useful information about Charleston

  • Price: You will pay approximately $35 for the experience.
  • Duration of tour: Although it varies from company to company, these tours generally take 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
  • Recommended if... You are interested in American history and want to learn about the lives of historical figures who fought for freedom and the rights of the nation. This tour is ideal to do with friends and family.

Book a ghost tour in Charleston

4. Charleston haunted cemetery tour

St.Michael 's Church Cemetery| ©jpellgen
St.Michael 's Church Cemetery| ©jpellgen

Does the idea of taking a ghost tour to the next level with a tour of the city's most famous cemeteries appeal to you? In Charleston you will find companies that offer this type of exclusive mystery tour experience through the city's cemeteries.In Charleston cemeteries are endearing places often referred to among the locals as Gardens or gardens.

A tour with a specialized guide will take you through the different tombs to learn about their occupants as well as the spookiest stories that led them to the grave at the wrong time. If possible hire a company that offers this tour at the end of the day, this way it becomes one of the best things to do in Charleston during the night.

Finally, keep in mind that the itinerary and tour may vary depending on the company you hire. Your guided tour may include either an excursion to St. Michael's Church Cemetery. Located on the grounds of the oldest religious building in the city, in the historic center, this place houses the tombs of famous people.

Alternatively, you may be fortunate enough to tour Magnolia Cemetery, a large rural cemetery considered one of the most beautiful in the city.

Useful info

  • Price: From 37€ the adult entrance ticket and about 27€ for young people aged 12 to 17 years.
  • Duration of the excursion: From 1 to 2 hours depending on the company you hire and the itinerary prepared for the experience.
  • Recommended if... you are interested in the architecture of cemeteries and their relationship with the growth of cities. In Charleston these spaces are an important part of the history of the city and its culture, so it is well worth visiting one during your adventure.

5. Charleston ghost tour in a haunted prison

Charleston Haunted Jail| ©ProfReader
Charleston Haunted Jail| ©ProfReader

With an impressive facade that looks like something out of a terrifying monster movie, the Old Charleston Jail is one of the city's most significant historic buildings.

You'll find local companies that will arrange tours of the facility as long as it's not undergoing repairs or renovations.

The jail was in active operation from 1802 to 1939. For more than 100 years, it housed some of the most notorious and dangerous criminals of the 19th century and later numerous Civil War prisoners. From notable pirates to true revolutionary heroes, they spent long nights of torture in dank, dreary rooms.

Join an expert guide to learn the sad history of famous characters and to tour the old building.

Useful information about Charleston

  • Price: From 37€ for an adult ticket.
  • Duration of the tour: You should reserve between 1 and 2 hours for the experience.
  • Recommended if... You want to get to know an outstanding historical monument of the city and at the same time take a tour of mysteries with surprising narrations.

Book a ghost tour in Charleston

6. Ghost tour in U.S.S. Yorktown

U.S.S. Yorktown| ©jalexartis Photography
U.S.S. Yorktown| ©jalexartis Photography

The U.S.S Yorktown is the name of one of the most famous aircraft carriers in American history, serving primarily during World War II. It arrived at Pearl Harbor in 1942 for the historic battle of the Coral Sea.

In Charleston it is possible to take a tour of this important historical site and also a ghost tour to connect with the spirits and stories of the fallen heroes who once served on the ship.

You'll find a few local companies offering this type of experience, including an expert guide who accompanies the group of travelers every step of the way. Children and teenagers enthusiastic about warships or ships in general, are the ones who enjoy this type of experience the most,
if you are going to New Orleans with children, consider this alternative in your travel itinerary.

This experience is done in small groups of travelers, and depending on the company you choose, it is very likely to take place in limited hours and specific days. This is why I recommend booking in advance.

Useful Info

  • Price: The guided tour can cost about 70€ for an adult ticket.
  • Duration of the tour: You should book 1h or 2h depending on the company you hire.
  • Recommended yes... the boat is impressive and worth the excursion itself; now if you enjoy or like the stories of wars and heroes, you will find the stories extremely interesting and fun.

7. Ghost Tour and Pub Crawl in Charleston for adults only.

On the Pour Taproom| ©Jeannie
On the Pour Taproom| ©Jeannie

Few things are as fun as taking a pub c rawl to get a feel for the nightlife scene in a given destination. In Charleston, the Pub Crawl experience is taken to the next level by mixing this experience with a ghost tour designed to sneak terror under your skin.

In the city you will find several companies offering this type of experience and the main difference between them is usually the price per traveler. Take into consideration that the cheapest options usually do not include any drinks, while the more expensive alternatives include a selection of complimentary drinks. I recommend reading carefully before booking.

Since the experience involves alcoholic beverages, companies will require the participant to be of legal drinking age in the USA; you will need to have a document to prove it.

Useful info

  • Price: The most economical option is available from 29€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the tour: This type of tour usually takes at least 1 hour to complete.
  • Recommended if... you are going to be in the city for a short time, 2 days in Charleston or less, and you are looking for a tour to get to know the best of the nightlife in this destination.

Book a ghost tour in Charleston

8. Combined experience: traditional ghost tour and boat tour in Charleston.

Boat in Charleston| ©allisonmseward12
Boat in Charleston| ©allisonmseward12

Another interesting alternative to consider are combination tours that include the ghost tour experience with a boat tour to get two of the city's best experiences at a generally cheaper price.

Although the experiences are paid for together, you may have to do them separately and at different times.

ACharleston boat tour will include a certified tour guide accompanying you on the tour and you will learn about the history of the city as you navigate the waters of the harbor.

Meanwhile, the ghost tour is a walking tour that takes place in the old city. The group will walk through the haunted and terrifying places of Charleston to learn about the city's most famous scary stories.

Useful information about ghost tours in Charleston

  • Price: Adults pay approximately $65 for both experiences, while children ages 4 to 12 pay approximately $40. Children under 3 years old participate for free.
  • Duration of tour: Each experience will take at least 2 hours to complete and are conducted at separate times.
  • Recommended if... you are looking for alternatives to save planning time and money during your vacation. Packages with combined experiences often offer travelers interesting discounts not to mention the advantages associated with having a better structured itinerary.

Tips for a ghost tour in Charleston

Packing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes
Packing your luggage| ©Marissa Grootes

When going on guided tours and adventures through the city of Charleston there are some general recommendations that all travelers can follow in order to have the most enjoyable experience possible; take note of the following suggestions.

  • Wear comfortable shoes Although the tours vary depending on the location, all ghost tours involve some walking and require you to be on your feet for some time; therefore, comfortable shoes are essential to avoid sore feet, injuries or blisters. Sneakers are usually sufficient.
  • Eat a snack before the trip Ghost tours are done at night and you may want to have dinner after finishing, however it is not a good idea to walk long distances hungry so I recommend eating a light snack a while before the booked time.
  • Take a backpack: If you are taking personal belongings on the hike, take a backpack that you can carry on your back. This will free your hands and allow you to be more comfortable.