I love a good scare. But the kind of things that scare me most aren’t just people dressed up like goblins and ghouls at haunted houses and trails during Halloween season—they’re real ghost stories taken from history. If you’ve never been on a haunted walking tour, give one a try. Some are great for families with kids (albeit not exactly young kids) and some are better for adults. Here are three haunted walking tours to try in America’s Southeast. Offered throughout the year, these tours are a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit no matter when you visit.
Haunted jail on the Charleston Ghost Tour (Photo by Elizabeth Hamilton)
Charleston Ghost Tour – Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina claims to be one of the ‘most haunted’ states in the US. My husband and I embarked on this tour years ago when we first moved down South from the Midwest. It was about this time of year that we drove the three hours or so from the Upstate to stay in Charleston. Kid-less back then, we could do what we like when we liked, so we picked a midnight haunted walking tour on Halloween. I still remember many of the places on the Charleston Ghost Tour—including the old slave port, the haunted brothel where the woman who inspired Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Belle’ was said to live, and the oldest and creepiest graveyard I have ever seen. The tour itself lasted just under three hours and is, if not scary, at the very least an interesting twist on history lessons that aren’t taught in school textbooks.
Is that an orb? Just a flash? Hmm.. you decide. (Photo by Farrah Ritter)
Downtown Ghost Tour – Greenville, South Carolina
The Greenville Ghost Tour has tales of ghosts that range from the 1920s to as recently as 2011. I attended the Downtown Ghost Tour with my friend on a chilly October night this year. Recently voted Upstate South Carolina’s #1 unique date night idea by Upstate Parent Magazine, our tour was filled with historical anecdotes and enough creeps to last me through Halloween. Starting at 7 o’clock in the evening, the tour lasted until almost 9 p.m. We were taken all over the downtown area and told and interesting tale (or two, or three) at each stop. Encouraged to take photos whenever the mood should strike, those in our small group happily snapped away hoping to catch an ‘orb’ or something odd. Each tour is a little different and the ‘Late Night’ tour has completely different tales than the earlier tour that we took.
Tour Guide “Nicodermis” on Savannah’s Ghost City Tour (Photo courtesy of Ghost City Tours)
Ghost City Tours – Savannah, Georgia
Also one of the oldest and most historic cities in our country, there’s enough mystery and intrigue in the Ghost City Tours in Savannah to keep anyone interested. The eerie moss hanging in the trees and old homes and graveyards have so many tales to tell you’d never have time to hear them all in one night. Savannah also proclaims to be the most haunted city in America, so I suggest scare-seekers visiting this region of the South try both the Charleston and Savannah tours and decide for themselves. City Ghost Tours also offers a kid-friendly tour complete with a Halloween treat for the kids.
Have you ever taken a haunted walking tour in your city? What’d you think? Let us know in the comments!