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13 Best Ghost Tours in Charleston, South Carolina

Every city has its own unique history, some more disturbing, fascinating, and haunting than others. Among the most allegedly haunted cities in the United States is Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston has a tumultuous past that goes back hundreds of years and is a place allegedly filled with restless spirits that sometimes interact with residents and visitors in certain places throughout the city.

To experience the paranormal activities for yourself, consider booking one of these ghost tours in Charleston, South Carolina.

Haunted Evening Horse and Carriage Tour of Charleston Plenty of thrills with no walking
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Haunted Evening Horse and Carriage Tour of Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its iconic horse-drawn carriage tours, but there are haunted versions of these tours that are really fun if you’re looking for a spooky experience. Here’s a 40-minute tour that allows you to cover more ground throughout the city without having to walk. The ride travels down cobbled alleyways and side streets as you hear about scary stories from the city’s haunted past. You’ll pass by the Circular Congregational Graveyard, Mills House, and Provost Dungeon. This is a fun and relaxing way to do a ghost tour, and it’s wheelchair accessible, too, if you have mobility challenges. The departure and endpoint are the same and centrally located in the downtown market district.

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Ghosts of Charleston Night-Time Walking Tour with Unitarian Church Graveyard Ghosts of Charleston Night-Time Walking Tour with Unitarian Church Graveyard
Credit: Ghosts of Charleston Night-Time Walking Tour with Unitarian Church Graveyard by viator.com

Ghosts of Charleston Night-Time Walking Tour with Unitarian Church Graveyard

You can learn about some of Charleston’s darkest secrets on this ghost tour that takes you through the heart of the old city and through a cemetery. A local guide will tell you about the city’s haunted past on a tour that takes about an hour and a half. You’ll get special after-hours access to the haunted Unitarian Church Graveyard and can choose an early or late evening departure time. The meeting point is Buxton Books, and the endpoint is just across the street from there at the graveyard.

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Narrated Haunted Ghost Cruise of Charleston Harbor Narrated Haunted Ghost Cruise of Charleston Harbor
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Narrated Haunted Ghost Cruise of Charleston Harbor

A really unique way to experience the haunted side of Charleston is to take a haunted ghost cruise. These cruises last for about an hour and a half and give you access to sites that you cannot reach by walking. Guests ride on a 45-foot catamaran and sail on the Charleton Harbor. You’ll learn about pirate attacks and naval battles that have created some of the city’s most haunted sites. It’s a fun alternative to a standard ghost tour and eliminates the prolonged walking issue. The start and end point of the tour is the Charleston Maritime Center.

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Lizzie Borden House Ghost Tour Lizzie Borden House Ghost Tour
Credit: Lizzie Borden House Ghost Tour by Lizzie Borden House Ghost Tour

Lizzie Borden House Ghost Tour

The Lizzie Borden House is a home in Charleston where an older couple was mercilessly murdered many years ago in 1892. The home was stained with blood, and although now clean, it retains the original hardware and doors, with décor that has been duplicated and memorabilia from the era on display. The owners of the Lizzie Borden house offer ghost tours that meet in front of city hall. You can even stay the night at the house, which offers two suites and four rooms for rent. Ghost tours are held in the evenings, and there are also ghost hunts where you can enter the home’s basement and use ghost-hunting equipment.

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Charleston Haunted Jail Tour Once home to the city’s most disturbed criminals
Credit: Once home to the city’s most disturbed criminals by bulldogtours.com

Charleston Haunted Jail Tour

Charleston is also home to a haunted jail that is one of the creepiest buildings in town. The jail was built in 1802 and housed men, women, and children inside until 1939. Tour guides will tell you the stories of the former residents, including Civil War prisoners, slaves, and pirates. The jail has been featured in multiple paranormal investigation TV shows. Visitors who have come here have claimed to hear voices and see objects move. The historic jail has been getting ready to invite visitors inside once again after undergoing restoration.

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Daytime Ghost & History Tour Daytime Ghost & History Tour
Credit: Daytime Ghost & History Tour by charlestonpiratetour.com

Daytime Ghost & History Tour

If you’re looking for something fun to do during the day, there are also ghost tours available before dark. On a day tour, you’ll also be able to go to some places where organized tours are not allowed at night. These tours offer insights into Charleston’s history with a spooky twist. Adult ticket prices are typically $25, and the price for children ages four to 12 is $15. You can select your date and buy your tickets in advance online. The tour lasts approximately two hours.

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Charleston Ghost & Dungeon Night-Time Walking Tour with Entry to Provost Dungeon A pre-Revolutionary dungeon steeped in history
Credit: A pre-Revolutionary dungeon steeped in history by viator.com

Charleston Ghost & Dungeon Night-Time Walking Tour with Entry to Provost Dungeon

Another fascinating place to visit in Charleston is the Provost Dungeon, and this tour takes you inside the dungeon to learn about its history. It is a 90-minute ghost tour that takes you through the historic district’s graveyards and corridors while hearing stories of ghosts, voodoo, and superstition. Then, you’ll have a visit to the dungeon that is steeped in disturbing history. The tour starts at 18 Anson Street and ends on Market Street. It is wheelchair accessible, and the pace of the walking tour is leisurely.

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Charleston Haunted Booze and Boos Tour Charleston Haunted Booze and Boos Tour
Credit: Charleston Haunted Booze and Boos Tour by viator.com

Charleston Haunted Booze and Boos Tour

If you’d like to combine your ghosts with a cocktail or two, you’ll love the tours with Nightly Spirits – Ghost Tours & Pub Crawls. With a pirate as your guide, you can join the small-group ‘Booze and Boos Tour’ walking tour and see haunted spots, such as Charleston City Market, Washington Square, and Powder Magazine. This is a 21+ tour, and cocktails are at your own expense. You’ll take home a commemorative cup or cooler from the experience as a souvenir and be on the tour for about 2.5 hours. Henry’s on the Market is the meeting point, and the endpoint varies. Participants should have a moderate level of physical fitness. The tour has a maximum participant number of 14 people.

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Paranormal Investigation: YOU are the Ghost Hunter Paranormal Investigation: YOU are the Ghost Hunter
Credit: Paranormal Investigation: YOU are the Ghost Hunter by viator.com

Paranormal Investigation: YOU are the Ghost Hunter

Travelers interested in getting hands-on experiences with paranormal encounters will enjoy this Charleston tour that lets you be a real paranormal investigator and learn about the tools of the trade. With a thermal imaging camera and other equipment in hand, you’ll learn how to use the devices and get access to the data recorded during your investigation. The tour typically lasts between two and two and a half hours. It’s a family-friendly tour and open to participants of all ages. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and plan to start your investigation at 9 p.m. on your tour date.

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Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Solo Smart Phone Guided Tour Go at your own pace and schedule
Credit: Go at your own pace and schedule by viator.com

Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Solo Smart Phone Guided Tour

For an affordable tour that you can do on your own and at your own pace, consider this self-guided tour with a downloadable app. You can start the tour whenever you want and navigate the route with turn-by-turn directions. On the tour, you’ll see some of the most haunted sites in the city, including the Dock Street Theater, Pirates Courtyard, and Circular Church Graveyard. You can listen to the stories on the audio tour again once you’re done walking. The tour starts across the street from the Old Exchange Building on the corner of East Bay and Broad.

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USS Yorktown Ghost Tour Come on aboard for something truly unique and spooky
Credit: Come on aboard for something truly unique and spooky by bulldogtours.com

USS Yorktown Ghost Tour

Head just outside of Charleston to the USS Yorktown for a memorable ghost tour that’s just a 10-minute drive from downtown. This ship once held over 3,000 people and now gives nighttime guests access to the areas of the ship that are closed to the public. This guided nighttime ghost tour of an impressive aircraft carrier is a one-of-a-kind experience with high-caliber storytelling and knowledgable, licensed guides. It is highly recommended to purchase your tour tickets in advance. The tour is family-friendly but is not feasible for strollers or wheelchairs due to the tight passageways and narrow stairs.

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Charleston Pirates and Ghosts Tour Charleston Pirates and Ghosts Tour
Credit: Charleston Pirates and Ghosts Tour by Charleston Pirates and Ghosts Tour

Charleston Pirates and Ghosts Tour

Pirates hold a special place in Charleston’s history and are part of many ghost stories in the city. You can get the best of both worlds with this tour, which is history-based and makes stops at old pirate bars, an old prison, and haunted cemeteries. You can book your tickets online in advance and select the date and time you prefer. Tour times are typically 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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Charleston Adults-Only Ghost Tour: Death and Depravity A mix of history and terrifying paranormal activity
Credit: A mix of history and terrifying paranormal activity by breakawayexperiences.us

Charleston Adults-Only Ghost Tour: Death and Depravity

To learn about the truly sordid side of Charleston’s past, this adults-only tour is an option for your ghost story experience. It makes various stops on the tour route, possibly including the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, Pink House, Chalmers Street, Dock Street Theater, and Powder Magazine. There are usually six to eight stops on the tour, and is run rain or shine, so dress accordingly. The tour includes access to the Powder Magazine and is led by an entertaining guide. It lasts for about 90 minutes and is available year-round at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Be prepared for graphic subject matter and mature language. Pets are welcome to join you on this tour.

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