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The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours
Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.
Wind your way through Charleston's haunted streets and past its famous oaks on a ghost tour.(Getty Images)
Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
Though many tourists travel to Charleston, South Carolina, to see attractions like the Battery or Rainbow Row, or to sample the city's low country cuisine, others visit to learn about the dearly departed. Thanks to its pre-Revolutionary heritage, its wealth of ancient tombstones and ghost-centric folklore, Charleston is often considered one of America's most haunted cities. With that in mind, U.S. News gathered eight of the top ghost tours using both expert opinion and ghost hunter sentiment. Whether you venture out in the twilight hours or well after dark, Charleston's ghosts are not to be missed.
Tour Charleston at Buxton Books – Ghosts of Charleston Tour
This 1 1/2-hour jaunt takes you through the city's most historic (and haunted) areas, including the Unitarian Church graveyard, to which this tour has exclusive after-hours access. Many tourgoers report local spirits reaching out to them during the tour while guides regaled them with stories. Reviewers also applaud the amount of history shared and seem to appreciate that the tour isn't too frightening. This tour departs every day at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost approximately $25 for adults. Discounts are available for seniors, students and children. Tour Charleston also offers several historical tours that highlight the city's heritage.
Walks in History – Supernatural Charleston Tour
Tourgoers will hear tales of hauntings, hangings and amputations during this 60- to 90-minute tour, which includes stops at the Old Citadel and the College of Charleston. Most reviewers appreciate the guides' vast knowledge, though some note that guides' storytelling abilities could use some polishing. Tours run daily and specific times vary each day, though most excursions depart on or after 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20 for adults with discounts for students, seniors and children. History buffs may also want to consider the company's Historic Charleston French Quarter Walk.
Bulldog Tours – Charleston Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour
This unique walking tour – which lasts up to 90 minutes – takes you to one of the city's oldest graveyards after dark. As you traipse through the cemetery, your expert guide will tell you about notable graves and explain some of the town's spookiest paranormal stories. You'll even hear how past Charleston residents may have been buried alive. Travelers call this tour captivating and spooky. They especially enjoy seeing the picturesque cemetery at night. Tickets start at $29 for adults and $19 for kids 7 to 12. The tour departs daily at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Bulldog Tours offers a variety of other walking tours focusing on history and food, among other topics.
Ashley on the Cooper – Charleston Macabre Ghost Tour
Hear some of the most gruesome ghost stories and accounts collected throughout Charleston's history on this 90-minute tour. During the walking tour, guides share chilling stories of the area's most famous residents, including poets, pirates and murderers. Reviewers extol the guides' storytelling abilities and attention to detail. You can book this tour at 7 or 9 p.m. every day of the week, and tickets start at $20 for adults and $12 for children 7 to 11. For a more interactive experience, check out the company's Murder Walk, an entertaining whodunit tour that tasks patrons with figuring out an unsolved crime.
The Pleasing Terrors Tour takes you through Charleston to (possibly) meet some of the city's former residents. (Courtesy of Old Charleston Walking Tours)
Old Charleston Walking Tours – Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tour
This 90-minute tour starts in Charleston's Washington Square Park, taking ghost seekers on an alluring stroll through the historic city to learn about its otherworldly – and often gruesome – past. Tourgoers call the experience thought-provoking, excellent and a must-do in Charleston thanks to the thorough guide. Tickets cost approximately $20 for adults and $10 for kids. You can choose to start the tour at 7:30 or 9:30 p.m. any day of the week.
Ghost City Tours – The Ghosts of Liberty Tour
The Ghosts of Liberty Tour focuses solely on stories about patriotic men and women who fought for America before their demise. You'll learn about these ghosts and their hard-fought battles, as well as Charleston's unique history and its famous churches. Patrons say these 90-minute excursions are wonderful and enthralling. Tours depart at 8 p.m. daily. Tickets cost approximately $20 for participants 12 and older and around $10 for children 6 to 11. Kids 5 and younger can join for free. For even more thrills, consider the company's Death and Depravity Tour, which explores famous sites associated with the city's seedier history.
Sandlapper Water Tours – Charleston Ghost Tour
This boat tour takes you to corners of the city that are unreachable on foot to share ghostly tales of pirates, wars and the many ships lost in Charleston's harbor and just off its coast. Most reviewers say they would recommend this tour and give it high marks, calling it fun and insightful. Tours depart at 8 p.m. on Monday and at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $20 for kids 4 to 12. Not a fan of the supernatural? Consider Sandlapper's other tours, including its sunset cruises.
Charleston Pirate Tours – Charleston Ghost & Pirate Tour
Learn about the Holy City's pirate folklore, legendary ghost stories and Gullah culture on this 90-minute tour, led by a costumed guide. Visitors call this tour informative and a great experience for all ages, especially kids. Tours depart daily at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and military members, and $13 for children 4 to 12. Charleston Pirate Tours also offers a daytime pirate tour as well as a treasure hunt tour for kids.
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