Ghost Tours in Charleston SC

Updated: 10 noviembre 2023

Charleston is widely considered one of the most haunted cities in the United States of America.

This post reviews and compares the various Charleston ghost tours, including our "pay-what-you-wish" option.

There are many options, including walking tours, carriage trips, prison visits, and pub crawls.

The Best, Scariest, most Educational, and Family-Friendly Charleston Ghost Tours

Disclosure: While we think you should take our tour, we have listed several other options. Our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


GHOST TOURS

The tours listed in 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.

All of the tours welcome families, though some (as we note) are scarier than others.

Can't attend this tour - we also have a GPS-led audio Ghosts of Charleston tour for those brave enough to go at it alone.

And if you're interested in spooky experiences, consider visiting Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon.

Listen to a sample.


FREE TOURS BY FOOT

Frighteningly fun ghost tour within the former confines of the original walled-city of Charleston. Haunted places visited include Philadelphia Alley, St. Philip’s Cemetery & Graveyard (from the outside), Circular Congregational Church Graveyard (from the outside) and Washington Square.

Bring a camera, if you’d like, as your guide will point out places of heightened spirit activity.

Book now for darkly delightful fun! 

Stops include:

  • The Harbor
  • Old Exchange and provost
  • St. Michaels Church
  • St. Phillips Graveyard
  • Philadelphia Alley

Tours are 2 hours long.

Información sobre el viaje

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should review our group booking policy.

Charleston city regulations allow only 20 participants (including children) per tour guide. This is a hard cap.  Reservations are required and must be an accurate number of persons, regardless of age.

Where: The tour meets at the steps of Custom House on East Bay Street (map) at 200 East Bay Street

Duración: Approximately 2 hours

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

Though our tours work on a pay-what-you-like basis, we must charge $3 upfront cost per ticket to cover an admin fee and the tour tax that the City of Charleston imposes per participant on any tour within the city plus the administrative fees to handle.

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Bulldog Tours

This company offers the widest selection of ghost tours in Charleston.

Guests can choose between their Ghost and Graveyard Tour, The Dark Side of Charleston Tour, the Ghost and Dungeon Tour, the USS Yorktown Ghost Tour, and more.

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.

Bulldog Tours aims to offer insight into the darker history of Charleston, and they have exclusive access to the Provost Dungeon, the Old City Jail, and the oldest graveyard in the city.

Ticket Details

NOTE: Two of the tours provided by this company are included with a Charleston tourist pass. For more details on this service, please read our deals and discounts section.

Reviews

This company comes highly rated on TripAdvisor thanks to a 4-star rating with well over 1600 reviews.

There are also many positive reviews for their ghost tours.

This tour is typically a hit with anyone who wants to learn about the haunted history of Charleston, but visitors looking for actual paranormal experiences should probably look elsewhere.

It's worth noting that this company offers what they call a "Great Tour Guarantee," which means that if you didn't enjoy the outing, they will do whatever it takes to make it right, including the possibility of a full refund.


Tour Charleston, LLC

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!

Ticket Details

  • Prices: $35/Adults | $25/Students | $22/Children (7-12)
  • Senior/Military/AAA Discount: $3 off
  • Kids 6 and under are free.
  • Availability: Daily
  • Hours: 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm & 9:30 pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Meeting Location: Buxton Books
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews

This company has earned a 4.5-star TripAdvisor rating and nearly 1,200 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.

According to guests, the addition of a visit to the Unitarian Graveyard is one of the best things about this outing.


Revolutionary Charleston

This company also offers a Charleston ghost tour which covers a variety of creepy subjects.

During the course of this outing, you can expect to learn about pirates, lost loves, burial practices, and even reported hauntings.

Revolutionary Charleston offers significantly lower prices than their competitors, so if you're looking for something more affordable, this is an excellent option.

While their main ghost tour is open to the public, they also offer private tours for up to 20 people at a price of $450.

At $22.50 per person, that's actually cheaper than the public tour price!

Ticket Details

  • Prices: $25/Adults | $15/Children (6-11)
  • Discount of $5 off for Military, Veterans, Police, Fire & Rescue
  • Ages 5 and under are free
  • Availability: Daily
  • Hours: 7 pm and 9 pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews

This is a relatively new tour company in Charleston, but currently, they have a full 5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor.

There really aren't enough reviews to make any conclusions yet, but it's definitely a good sign.

The reviewers who have left comments report that their tour guides are very friendly and informative.

At least one guest suggested the tour was appropriate for kids under 13, so it's definitely family-friendly.


Old Charleston Walking Tours

This is another popular tour company offering a spooky tour covering the haunted history of Charleston, SC.

Lead by Mike Brown, the host of the Pleasing Terrors Podcast, guests can expect this outing to cover a lot of the more frightening and disturbing stories from throughout the history of this city.

One notable location you'll visit is the Charleston Library Society, which is reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the area.

  • $28/Adults | $15/Youth (6-14)
  • Availability: Tueday - Sunday
  • Hours: 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Meeting Location: Washington Square
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews

The Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tour currently has a full 5 star rating on Viator and has received their badge of excellence.

Guests report that their guide is a great storyteller, managing to keep both adults and children captivated throughout the tour.

There really aren't many negative reviews, but among the few that were left, it appears some had to do with bad weather, which isn't necessarily the fault of the tour company or their professional guide.


Honorable Mentions

In addition to the three most popular ghost tours listed above, there are several additional options you may want to consider.

Here are a few of the other haunted tours available in Charleston.


DARKSIDE OF HISTORY TOURS

These tours aren’t necessarily ghost tours, but some of the tales are dark enough to give anyone a fright.

Rather than focusing on the supernatural, this type of tour will introduce guests to the darker side of history! 

You will hear stories about murder, true crime, prostitution, the city's brothels, ghost encounters, and infamous debauchery.

While some of these outings are more theatrical, others dig deep into the historical background of Charleston.


Darkside of Charleston Tour

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’s past.

Due to the descriptions and details provided on this outing, this tour is only available for ages 18+.

Ticket Details

Reviews

This company averages an overall 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and the reviews for this tour are generally very positive. 

Small groups such as couples and those who brought their friends were more likely to give a good review of this experience.


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 which 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.

Ticket Details

  • Prices: $50/Adults | $40/Children
  • Kids 3 and under are free
  • Availability: Feb - Oct
  • Hours: 5:30 pm - 10 pm
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews

Like their other services, the Haunted Carriage Tour by Old South Carriage Co. comes highly recommended with an average of 4 ½ stars and nearly 2,300 reviews for all of their tours. 

Guests describe it as very entertaining and informative, praising the guides for their in-depth knowledge.


HAUNTED JAIL TOURS

This section will provide details about each of the Charleston tours which include a trip to either the Old City Jail or the Provost Dungeon.

If you're a fan of popular television shows such as Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and Paranormal State, chances are you'll be familiar with this historically haunted jail.

These outings cover both the disturbing history of each location and some of the reported hauntings that have taken place.


Old City Jail and Provost Dungeon

There are a lot of reportedly haunted locations in Charleston, but few are as spooky as the Old City Jail and Provost Dungeon.

These historic locations housed a variety of criminals from Civil War prisoners to 19th-century pirates!

In addition to housing disturbing criminals, these landmarks were also the site where several people spent their final days, which makes one wonder whether or not their spirits are still hanging around.

These tours aren’t recommended for small children, but they do provide tickets for kids 7 and older.


Haunted Jail Tour

  • Ticket Prices: $37/Adults | $27/Children
  • Hours: Every 30 minutes from 7 pm - 10:30 pm
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Availability: Nightly
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Ghost & Dungeon Tour

NOTE: The Ghost & Dungeon tour is included with the Charleston Tour Pass. If you’re looking for a way to save money on tickets, check our discounts section for more details about this opportunity.

As we’ve mentioned in our ghost tours section, this company has very good overall ratings on TripAdvisor. 

Customers indicate that they learn a lot about the history of the landmark and some even report feeling or experiencing something haunting!


GHOST PUB CRAWLS

Ghost pub crawls can be a fun and interactive way to discover Charleston’s creepy history while also enjoying a few drinks at some of the city’s most popular pubs.

Needless to say, this is an adults-only type of tour, so best for those who are not traveling with kids.


Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market

In addition to their other ghost tours, Bulldog Tours offers a Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market – a ghost tour that doubles as a bar crawl! 

Guests hear stories about the many ghosts haunting Charleston whilst visiting several traditional pubs and taverns, where they'll have the opportunity to grab a few beers or even a cocktail or two!

Additionally, guides share the superstitious history behind certain late-night spirits like Plateyes and Boo Hags.

Ticket Details

Reviews

Recent reviewers praise the tour as “fantastic” and “a must.”

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.


US Ghost Adventures

Discover some of the most haunted bars and speakeasies in Charleston while on the Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl.

Much like their competitors, this company also covers notable local legends such as the Boo Hag and Angel Oak.

You'll also visit locations such as the Powder Magazine. Charleston City Market, Washington Park, and more.

Reviews

This outing is just as popular as the pub crawl offered by their competitors, with an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

Guests note that the pubs (while great) aren't even the best part of this outing, as most people indicate that the storytelling and haunted stories are the real highlight of the service.

If you decide not to take this tour, they offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the pub crawl is scheduled to begin.


DEALS & DISCOUNTS

This section will cover several different ways to save money on various ghost tours in Charleston.

In addition to providing details about tourist passes, we will also include information about discount sites.


Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

Several ghost tours are included with the Charleston Tour Pass, as are some of the most haunted locations in the city.

This pass will allow you to pay one flat price for tickets to each of the included activities and attractions, potentially saving you 50% or more off general admission prices.

Each pass is valid for 3 days, which means you’ll probably have an opportunity to take at least 3-4 different ghost tours if you want!

Here are the haunted tours and sites included with this service:

  • Ghost & Dungeon Tour | Bulldog
  • Spirits of Magnolia Cemetery Tour | Bulldog
  • Powder Magazine | Historic Site
  • Provost Dungeon | Historic Site

If you want to save money on tickets for any of these activities, make sure to read our post about Charleston tourist passes for more information about how to use these services.


Discount Sites

For budget-conscious travelers, there are several websites that regularly offer discounts on ghost tours in Charleston. 

Both Groupon and Living Social promote a variety of 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.

In addition to the discounts they provide to begin with, these sites also offer coupon codes every now and then which allow you to save even more money on tickets.

Make sure to check for these coupon codes on banners either at the top or bottom of the page when you visit the site.

About The Author

Scott Nelson

Scott has led over 2,000 tours of Charleston and has more than 1000 5 star reviews. He started working in museums at the age of 16 (Unsinkable Molly Brown House) and hasn't looked back. He was the Executive Director of Heurich House and on the historic interpretation/ education staff at Mount Vernon, both in Washington DC, for over 6 years. Scott moved to Charleston in 2012 for a job with the Historic Charleston Foundation and began leading tours for Free Tours by Foot.
Updated: noviembre 10th, 2023
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