Haunted Charleston: The Old City Jail Building

charleston's old city jail at 21 magazine st.

Built in 1802, the Old City Jail housed some of Charleston County’s most infamous criminals, including 19th-century pirates, errant slaves, and Lavinia Fisher, America’s first female serial killer. Thousands of inmates died within the structure’s imposing walls and it’s these tormented spirits that reportedly haunt the 210-year-old building today.

Now owned by Charleston’s School of the Building Arts (SoBA), the jail is generally off-limits to the public, though tourists can take the Haunted Jail Tour offered by Bulldog Tours. Spooked visitors describe objects that disappear, an alarm that goes off for no apparent reason, cell phone batteries that mysteriously die and recharge, heavy doors that open and close on their own, and the sound of heavy breathing in empty cells, among other eerie events. Visitors have also seen a black specter wandering about the halls. A former warden, perhaps?

Check out this creepy pic taken at the jail a few years ago.

old city jail ghost photo

I worked at Bulldog Tours from 2005 – 2006 and toured the jail many times. Though I didn’t experience anything strange, the tour guides insisted the jail was haunted and I heard numerous stories from customers who visited the facility. Here are a few photos I took during my time in the jail. See anything strange that I might have missed?

orb in charleston's old city jail

Inmate wall inscription charleston old city jail

creepy old wheelchair

torture ropes

charleston old city jail orbs

old jail keys

creepy old jail cell door

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4 thoughts on “Haunted Charleston: The Old City Jail Building

  1. Pingback: 6 Signs a Ghost Story is Probably BS | Ghosts and Ghouls

  2. Hey CR,Thanks for suggesting the link, but ohhhh yes I’ve heard it, those guy’s at Lawful Rebellion are biolwng my mind! Hero’s amongst us! I need to make time to review all the data and craft a new notice.It was only 12 months ago I discovered “legalese” actually existed and was another language. 6 months down the line I’d managed to figure out it was ALL down to “contract” and “legal fictions” hence the name change. Couldn’t get my head around the Winston Shrout stuff, well, the basics I could i.e. public vs private, but the “remedies” were a bit “whiffy” to my as I couldn’t confirm them independently and they seemed specific to America. I could find no reference at the time to Uniform Commercial Code being used in England.I never considered myself retarded (a humble fool maybe), but the complexity behind the deceit of the “system” I find myself “navigating” is mind-spanking, it really is evil genius at work! I’m just discovering “Trusts” and sincerely hope that Guy Euden’s new YouTube Brotherhood channel will shed enough illumination on the reality I find myself inhabiting to enable me to “firm-up” my stand and reinforce my “line in the sand”.Cheers for now sir,Dream

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