The Best Charleston Ghost Tours Reviewed
This post reviews and compares the various Charleston ghost tours to help you decide which one is best for you.
Ghost tours are a great alternative to traditional history tours as they offer insight into the city’s darker history and supernatural legends. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, ghost tours can be a fun way to explore Charleston’s city center.
Tour types include walking tours, but also carriage, prison, pirate the true crime tours. For the 21+ crowd, there are even ghost pub crawls.
Below, we’ve broken down the various types of ghost tours available in Charleston and compared each by price and availability so that you can decide… which is the best ghost tour in Charleston?
- Ghost Tours
- Paranormal Investigations
- Dark Side of History Tours
- Ghost Carriage Tours
- Pirate Ghost Tours
- Ghost Pub Crawl
- Deals & Discounts
Ghost tours are a fun and informative way to learn more about a city’s history. There are many different companies offering ghost tours in Charleston. The tours listed under this section are more traditional ghost tours in the sense that they combine both history and ghoulish lore, but do not use any investigative technical equipment.
They also differ from “dark side of history” tours, as these are more concerned with paranormal legends rather than prostitution, thievery, and other forms of debauchery.
There are 8 different companies offering these types of tours. Prices range from $20-$25 per adult for a 1-1.5 hour tour.
We have listed the tours with consideration to the quality of their customer reviews, but with particular consideration given to the companies with the larger offerings. All of the tours welcome families, though some (as we note) are scarier than others.
Bulldog Tours’ Ghosts and Graveyards Tour
In addition to city history and culinary tours, Bulldog Tours offer the widest selection of ghost tours in Charleston. Guests can choose between their Charleston Ghost and Graveyard Tour, Haunted Jail Tour, Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour, and the Haunted Arsenal Tour. Each tour introduces visitors to the haunted history of some of Charleston’s most famous buildings and neighborhoods. Though many ghost stories are told throughout the evening, these tours are not intended to terrify guests. More so, Bulldog Tours aim to offer insight into the darker history of Charleston, with the added potential of encountering paranormal activity!
NOTE: Bulldog Tours has exclusive access to the Provost Dungeon, the Old City Jail, and Charleston’s oldest graveyard.
- All tours are $29 per adult; $19 per child (7-12)
- More info or to book
- Charleston Ghost and Graveyard: 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm every night (though check availability)
- Haunted Jail: 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm every night (though check availability)
- Charleston Ghost and Dungeon: 7 pm and 9 pm from Tuesday – Saturday (not available in December, January, or February)
- Haunted Arsenal: 8 pm on Monday- Saturdays
- See their full schedule here
Bulldog Tours come highly rated on TripAdvisor with a 4-star rating on well over 1600 reviews. Most of the reviews are for their historic or food tours, although there are also many positive reviews for their ghost tours. Families seem to be the ideal audience, as many adults praise the interesting history that they learned on the tour, while their children enjoyed the spooky ghost stories.
Some guests express disappointment with the lack of paranormal experiences, while others appreciated the historical approach. Those who are less interested in history and more concerned with experiencing the paranormal should go on their Paranormal Investigations Tour, which we also review below!
Ashley on the Cooper – Macabre Ghost Tour
Ashley on the Cooper is another popular tour company offering a ghost tour. Named the Macabre Ghost Tour, this is perhaps one of the spookiest ghost tours on offer in Charleston. All the guides are firm believers in the afterlife and do an excellent job of weaving history with ghost stories.
- $20 per adult; $12 per child for 90 minutes
- More info and to book now
- 7 days a week at 7 pm and 9 pm
Ashley on the Cooper also offers several different types of tours, though their ghost tour is one of their most popular. Most guests rate the tour with 5 stars, commenting on how much fun they had and on how engaging their guide was throughout.
As is often the case with ghost tours, some reviewers were disappointed with the lack of actual paranormal activity. However, the general consensus seems to be that the tour is a great way to spend an evening exploring Charleston.
Tour Charleston, LLC – Ghosts of Charleston Tour
The Ghosts of Charleston Tour led by Tours Charleston, LLC is another solid option for those keen to take a ghost tour in the city. This is the only company with night-time access to the haunted Unitarian Church Graveyard, which was established in 1772. Additionally, this is the oldest ghost tour offered in Charleston. Tours last 80 minutes.
- Adults: $25
- Senior/Military/AAA Member: $23
- Students (w/ID): $19
- Children 7-12: $15
- Ages 6 & Under: Free
- Nightly at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm
- More information or to book
Tour Charleston, LLC has earned a 4 star TripAdvisor rating and nearly 200 reviews for all of their tours. Reviewers of the ghost tour praise the guides in particular, who they describe as “fab” and “informative.”
An excellent way to learn a bit of Charleston’s history as well as a number of very entertaining ghost stories.
Walks in History – Supernatural Ghost Tour of Charleston
Walks in History is another very popular tour company that offers a 60 or 90 minute Supernatural Ghost Tour of Charleston. This tour is also led by local authors who have extensive experience in researching the supernatural. However, what differentiates this tour from some of the others is the guides’ attention to historical facts and details.
- $24 per person
- More details and to purchase
- Nightly at 7:30 & 9:30pm
The reviews for the Supernatural Ghosts of Charleston Tour are also very positive, with nearly 300 tours and a 5 star TripAdvisor rating. Guests with young children are particularly impressed as the guides make an extra effort to engage visitors of all ages.
One reviewer commented, “I feel like what I learned on that tour is what Charleston doesn’t want you to know”.
Old Charleston Walking Tours
Of all the ghost tours included on this list, the Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tour led by Old Charleston Walking Tours is rated the highest. Unlike the other tours, this one is led by a guide who has personal connections to every story he tells.
Photographs accompany each tale, and the guide does an excellent job of mixing history with recent encounters. Also, unlike other tours, all Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tours are led by the same tour guide, Mike Brown, so you are guaranteed the same quality and experience described in the reviews. Tours are 90 minutes long.
- $20 (if purchased online)per adult
- $10 per child
- Reservations and pre-payment are required.
- Every day at 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm
As stated in the description above, this tour comes highly rated. Old Charleston Walking Company offers several different tours and has an average TripAdvisor rating of 5 stars with nearly 800 reviews. Their ghost tour is one of their most popular, as many guests comment that it is the best ghost tour they have ever been on. The booking system is a bit dated.
Walks of Charleston – Haunted History Walking Tour
In addition to their several historic tours, Walks of Charleston also offer a Haunted History Tour, which reveals the darker side of the city’s past. Guests will visit several of Charleston’s eeriest places and learn the stories of why they are haunted today.
Like many of the other tours included in this section, the Walks of Charleston ghost tour is a healthy mix of both ghost stories and history. Tours are 90 minutes long.
- Adults: $20
- Children 7-12: $10
- Children 6 and under: free
- More info or to purchase
- These tours don’t run year-round so be sure to check the schedule online for tour times.
The ghost tour by Walks of Charleston is one of the most highly rated on TripAdvisor. The company averages 4.5 stars and nearly 200 reviews on TripAdvisor for all of their tours. Guests comment that their Haunted History Tour is “excellent” and a great way to learn about the “ghosts, pirates, and history of the city.”
Compared to the other ghost tours included on our list, this tour is arguably the scariest.
Black Cat Tours – Haunted Charleston Tour
As the name might suggest, Black Cat Tours specialize in dark history and ghost tours. Their Haunted Charleston Tour is led by a guide with a lantern who brings guests to some of the scariest places in the city. In comparison to some of the other ghost tours, this one is much more theatrical and so suits guests who prefer that style of delivery.
- $17 per person
- These tours don’t run year-round so be sure to check the schedule online for tour times.
As a smaller company, Black Cat Tours has fewer than 100 reviews on TripAdvisor. However, their current rating is very positive with 4.5 stars. Some guests found the guide for this particular tour to be too eccentric for their liking, though most thought the tour was excellent and entertaining.
Charleston Pirate Tour – Daytime Ghost & History Tour
Charleston Pirate Tour began with just pirate tours of Charleston (hence the name) but has grown over the years and expanded into a number of specialty tours, including a Daytime Ghost & History Tour. The tour is full of history and ghosts, and the price of admission also includes admittance to the Powder Magazine Museum.
- Adults: $22
- Senior & Military: $20
- Children 4-12: $13
- Kids under 4: Free
- Monday-Sunday at 1 pm
This company is very highly rated, with 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. They offer a number of tours great for all ages, so it’s easy for groups to pick what best suits their needs, whether it’s family-friendly or more geared towards adults. With the variety, guests aren’t accidentally going on tours not suited for them, and it seems that every experience is a great one for guests.
Similar to ghost tours, paranormal investigations explore haunted areas with the use of technical equipment, such as infrared cameras and audio devices. These investigative tours are for serious ghost hunters who want to do more than just learn about a haunted space…they want to experience it!
The only company in Charleston that offers a Paranormal Investigation tour is Bulldog Tours, who runs them sporadically throughout the year.
The tours are offered for 2 or 4 hours and always begin at midnight. At $35 per person for the 2-hour tour, this option is slightly more expensive than other tours offered by this company. However, for the true paranormal enthusiast, it is worth every penny!
Bulldog Tours – Paranormal Investigations
Unlike their other ghost tours, the Paranormal Investigations Tour offered by Bulldog Tours takes a much more serious approach to learning about Charleston’s haunted history. Guests will explore the Old City Jail with special equipment including a ghost meter, an infrared camera, and special audio equipment. Beware… this tour is not for the faint of heart! Tours are for ages 18+.
- $50 for 2 hours; $100 for 4 hours
- Tickets for this experience are not sold online.
- All tours start at midnight; call 843-722-8687 to learn specific dates
Guests who have attended the Bulldog Tours Paranormal Investigation rate it very highly, with many commenting on the unexplained supernatural encounters they had. Some visitors even brought their own equipment to further enhance the experience.
This trip focuses less on history and more on discovering what may lie beyond the veil. If you want to learn more about the spooky stories of Charleston, consider Bulldog’s Ghosts and Graveyards Tour instead. Consider this tour if you are hoping to witness some serious paranormal activity!
DARKSIDE OF HISTORY TOURS
Darkside of History Tours are exactly what their name suggests. . . tours that introduce guests to the darker side of history! You will hear stories about murder, prostitution, and infamous debauchery. These tours aren’t necessarily ghost tours, but some of the tales are dark enough to give anyone a fright!
Each of these 3 tours targets mature audiences and are unlikely to appeal to families. Prices range from $17-$25 per person, and each tour lasts between 1-1.5 hours.
Unlike the dark side of history tours offered by Bulldog Tours and Black Cat Tours, the tour offered by Ashley on the Cooper is unique as it is an interactive murder mystery walk that prompts guests to determine the identity of a murderer after learning all of the clues of the crime.
Bulldog Tours – Darkside of Charleston
In addition to their other ghost tours, Bulldog Tours also offers a Darkside of Charleston Tour for mature audiences. The tour “takes an uncensored look at history” as it tells tales of prostitution, crime, and other sordid affairs. This is not a ghost tour, but rather a history tour that focuses on the more graphic and gruesome side of Charleston. Tours last 90 minutes.
- $29 per person (18+)
- More info and to purchase tickets
- Nightly at 8 pm and 10 pm
Bulldog Tours averages an overall 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. The reviews for this tour are generally very positive. It’s important to consider the content that is discussed during this tour, as it is designed to entertain a particular audience and therefore may not be for everyone.
Small groups such as couples and those who brought their friends were more likely to give a positive review of this experience.
If you’re looking for a spooky and mature adventure, Bulldog Tours has got you covered with this fascinating look at the history of Charleston.
Ashley on the Cooper – Murder Walk
In addition to their Macabre Ghost Tour, Ashley on the Cooper also offers a Murder Walk – an incredibly engaging and interactive tour that asks guests to help solve a murder! The guide reveals more clues about the crime at hand at each stop and prompts guests to try and piece together the crime.
This is an excellent tour for families with older children as it engages them but is not nearly as dark as some of the other tours of this variety. Group size is limited and advanced purchase is required as tours often sell out. This is an interactive tour, but you are not asked to perform. The tour is 60 minutes long.
- $20 per person (ages 12 and up only)
- More information and to purchase
- 8 pm on certain nights (see their calendar for details)
Though their ghost tour is more popular, Ashley on the Cooper’s Murder Walk is even more highly rated. As the tour prompts guests to solve the murder mystery at hand, it is extremely engaging and entertaining throughout. Guests comment that the tour is “fun”, “energetic”, and “informative”.
Black Cat Tours – Wicked Charleston Tour
In addition to their ghost tour, Black Cat Tours also offers a Wicked Charleston Tour which is an adults-only tour that tells stories of murder, scandal, and sin! The tour itself is conducted by the author of Wicked Charleston, which is a book that specifically discloses much of Charleston’s unsavory history.
If you were hoping to attend a dark history tour as a family, then this is not the tour for you.
- $17 per person (adults only)
- 8 pm on Tuesday – Saturday
As a smaller company, Black Cat Tours has fewer than 100 reviews on TripAdvisor. However, their current rating is very positive with 4.5 stars. Though this tour is not as popular as their traditional ghost tour, it still receives several positive reviews from guests.
GHOST CARRIAGE TOURS
Haunted carriage tours are a unique way to learn about Charleston’s dark past. As carriage tours tend to be somewhat of a novelty, this is a great way to combine the experience of riding in a carriage with a ghost tour.
Old South Carriage Company Ghost Tour
Old South Carriage Company offers a range of carriage tours throughout Charleston, including their Haunted Carriage Tour that covers several historic landmarks. This is the only haunted carriage tour offered in Charleston.
As it is only 40 minutes long, the Haunted Carriage Tour is also the shortest of all ghost tours offered.
- Adults (12+): $28
- Children (4-11): $20
- Infants (3 and under): Free
- More information and to book tours
- Available seasonally
Like their many other types of carriage tours, the Haunted Carriage Tour by Old South Carriage Co. comes highly recommended with an average of 4.5 stars and nearly 2,300 reviews for all of their tours. Guests describe it as very entertaining and informative and praise the guides for their in-depth knowledge.
PIRATE GHOST TOURS
Pirate ghost tours are another interesting alternative to the standard ghost tour experience. Charleston Harbor is the perfect setting in which to learn more about Charleston’s haunted history and maritime folklore. There are currently 2 different companies offering pirate ghost tours in Charleston.
The first is run by Charleston Pirate Tours who lead a daytime and evening walking tour of the area near Charleston Harbor. The other is Sandlapper Water Tours, which offers a pirate ghost tour on a boat that cruises around Charleston Harbor.
Both are more lighthearted than some of the ghost tour options, though Charleston Pirate Tours tends to be a favorite with children, while Sandlappers Water Tours is preferred by adults.
Charleston Pirate Tours
Charleston Pirate Tours offer 2 ghost tours: a daytime ghost tour and an evening pirate and ghost tour. The daytime tour visit sites that do not allow for nighttime entry, such as the Powder Magazine Museum. The evening tour, on the other hand, takes guests around the city to share some pirate and ghost lore.
Guides dress up in period costumes for the evening tour, making it most suitable for guests who prefer a more theatrical ghost tour. This tour is more funny and entertaining than scary.
- Daytime Ghost Tour:
- Adults: $22
- Children (4-12): $13
- Seniors/Military: $20
- Children under 4: Free
- Evening Pirate and Ghost Tour:
- Adults: $22
- Children (4-12):
- Seniors/Military: $20
- Children under 4: Free
- Purchase tickets here
- Daytime Ghost Tour: Monday-Saturday @ 1pm, Saturdays @ 2pm
- Evening Pirate and Ghost Tour: Monday-Sunday @ 7:30 pm
Charleston Pirate Tours is a very popular tour company with an excellent reputation. They average a 5 star rating and nearly 400 reviews for all their different tours on TripAdvisor. Families are particularly fond of the Pirate and Ghost Tour, as it appeals to younger audiences.
Sandlapper Water Tours
The Charleston Ghost and Pirate Harbor Tour offered by Sandlapper is the only pirate ghost tour to take place on the sea! Guests embark on a 90-minute cruise around Charleston Harbor while listening to the captain share some of Charleston’s spookiest ghost stories and pirate lore. There is a bar on the boat as well, which is another unique feature of this particular tour.
- Adults: $30
- Children (under 12): $20
- Children under 4 not permitted
Sandlapper Water Tours maintains a 4.5-star rating and nearly 300 reviews for all their tours on TripAdvisor. Guests who were looking for a fun night out and a lighthearted tour are especially complimentary of Sandlapper’s pirate ghost tour.
On the other hand, those who wanted a scarier and more serious ghost tour commented that this one did not meet their expectations.
GHOST PUB CRAWLS
Ghost pub crawls can be a fun and interactive way to discover Charleston’s haunted history while also enjoying a few drinks at some of the city’s most popular pubs.
Obviously, this is an adults-only type of tour, so best for those who are not traveling with kids.
Bulldog Tours is the only company that offers a ghost pub crawl. Their tour takes guests to 3 different taverns in the city while sharing local ghost stories. Drinks are not included in the price of the tour, though guests are welcome to purchase them on their own.
This tour is slightly more expensive than other ghost tours, but well worth it for guests hoping to combine the experience of going on a ghost tour with a pub crawl.
Bulldog Tours – Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market
In addition to their several other ghost tours, Bulldog Tours offers a Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market – a ghost tour that doubles as a pub crawl! Guests hear stories about the many ghosts haunting Charleston whilst visiting several traditional pubs and taverns. Additionally, guides share the superstitious history behind certain late-night spirits like Plateyes and Boo Hags.
- $35 per person (21+)
- Learn more and purchase tickets here
- 4 pm on Wednesday – Saturday
Though reviews of the Bulldog Tours Haunted Pub Crawl were not very positive a few years ago, recent reviewers praise the tour as “fantastic” and “a must,” which suggests that the tour has been recently redesigned in some way. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that this company has listened to the criticism they received and made improvements to its service.
Guests also highly rate the pubs that are visited during the tour, saying that they in and of themselves were “awesome.” This is a popular activity to enjoy with a friend, so consider bringing along your best buddies for this spooky trip through the haunted pubs of Charleston.
DEALS & DISCOUNTS
For the budget-conscious traveler, there are several websites that regularly offer discounts on ghost tours in Charleston. Living Social promotes different local ghost tours on their Charleston pages, so be sure to check their websites before visiting to see if there are any great deals you can score!
Though ghost tours are not included, consider purchasing the Charleston Heritage Passport for further discounts to historic attractions.