The Haunted Jail Tour offers a historical and intimidating look into the city’s most haunted building: the Old City Jail. A grey and grim castle-like structure in downtown Charleston, the Old City Jail was once home to the city’s most disturbed criminals. From the time it was built in 1802 until 1939, thousands of men, women, and children — wrongly jailed or not — died inside the confines of the prison.
It’s the unsettled spirits of those people that linger in the jail still today — from a young boy and runner for the wardens who was accidentally shot to a demented warden who took his job a little too seriously; their spirits have no qualms about making themselves known from time to time. Our respectful guides tell the stories of its former residents — the 19th-century pirates, slaves, Civil War prisoners, and thieves, including its most infamous prisoners of all, Lavinia and John Fisher.
The ghosts like most of our guides, though, so don’t be afraid to stroll with them through the halls and up the steps and into the jail that were featured in numerous paranormal investigative television shows like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, and Paranormal State. Some visitors claim to have seen objects move, while others hear voices and the slamming of doors — but regardless of what you may or may not believe, no one leaves without a lot to think about.