Are the Old Sheldon Church Ruins Haunted?

On Sunday, we visited the Old Sheldon Church ruins, a historic site located about 17 miles north of Beaufort, South Carolina.

As you can see from the photos, the site is quite beautiful, if not a little haunting. Built between 1745 – 1755, the church was originally a place of worship in Prince William’s Parish and was burned by two warring armies: the British army in 1799 and the federal army in 1865. The outer shell and a few brick pillars are all that remain of the once majestic structure.

Though the church ruins and surrounding cemetery seem perfect for ghosts, I could only find a handful of tales online. One story tells of two visitors who heard heavy footsteps in the grass even though no one else was around. A paranormal investigation team snapped “a photo of interest.” One woman reported bright lights flashing behind her car as she drove by the old church. The most well-known tale features a woman dressed in a simple brown dress standing over a baby’s grave. A feeling of sorrow reportedly comes over visitors who walk near the child’s tombstone.

Are the ruins haunted? Who knows. Has anyone out there had a paranormal experience at Old Sheldon Church?

UPDATE 7/18/14

A reader recently shared her experience at the Old Sheldon Church ruins:

old sheldon church graves“I Googled the Old Sheldon Church because I wanted to find out if anyone had ever seen anything and talked about it. What got me was that you have a photo of Ann Bull Heyward’s grave stone. I have been haunted with this for so long that I had to find out who she was. So, here is the story…

In October 2005, I was on my way from Charleston to Savannah and turned off Route 17 to go see the graveyard and ruins. This was 10 a.m. and I was wearing dark clothes. It was an Indian summer, and I felt a chill in the air, but it was still a gorgeous day.

Once there, I stood reading a head stone when I slowly looked up and saw a woman. Her right arm was resting on the top side of Anna Bull Heyward’s stone (above). She had on a pale blue Quaker bonnet which was resting slightly back because I could see her light brown hair which was parted in the middle. The rest of of the woman was behind the stone, so I don’t know what color her dress was.

I could not talk as I was sort of in shock. I was especially shocked that she allowed me to see her. I was with a guy friend who was off to the right at a distance, looking at other stones. I then heard her say ‘Go to him.’ She looked over at my friend and I turned my head away to follow her direction and saw him there.  I looked back at her, and she was still there. I did as she asked and have not seen her since.

I was not afraid, and this experience answered a lot of questions about a woman who allegedly watches over the grave of her child, assuming the story is true and the woman I saw is Ann Bull Heyward. The stone says she was 31-32 when she died.  This female I saw was about that age.”

UPDATE 10/14/2014

“I am so glad that I found this article! I grew up close to the church and always heard of strange things happening but never saw anything myself until a few years ago. I was taking pictures, and I tried to take a picture of Ann Bull Heyward’s gravestone. However, all l I could see was a green light coming out of the top of her stone, and the photo was completely blurry. I have never before or since seen anything that has given me such pause. Now I see that I am not the only one who has experienced a weird happening with Ann Bull Heyward!”

infant grave old sheldon church


old sheldon church

old sheldon church interior

old sheldon church graves

old sheldon church ruins

22 thoughts on “Are the Old Sheldon Church Ruins Haunted?

  1. I grew up there, we use to go as teenagers at night all the time for a good scare! We have heard some creepy things out there, and not heard things when u should! Never saw anything tho.

  2. I visited this site 6 or 7 times at night with various friends and experienced strange noises of footsteps, an apparition of a young girl in a white dress in the road outside the property, strange touch sensations, a non-demonic “possession” and had my radio stations reset while it was parked outside the church.

    • I was knocked unconscious by an unknown entity. I woke up in the ditch out front, naked, with a rubber hanging out my rear!

  3. I have been there many times and find it to be one of the most peaceful places on earth.

  4. I am so glad that I found this article! I grew up close to the church and always heard of strange things happening but never saw anything myself until a few years ago. I was taking pictures and I tried to take a picture of Ann Bull Heyward’s gravestone and all I coiuld see was a green light coming out of the top of her stone and completly out of vision. I have never before or since that has given me such pause. and now I see that I am not the only one who has experienced a weird happening with Ann bull Heyward!

  5. Sept 02 2014 @ around 10am My Fiance was down from Canada visiting and I wanted to show her some of the sites in the beautiful state of S.C. I knew of this site and had visited this place 1 time before. This was the first time something unusual happened. Upon entering the grounds to look around and take pictures, both of us begin to feel a sense of unease like someone had dropped a boatload of sadness and grief on us. My fiancé felt compelled to stand underneath a large Spruce tree. The tree was directly across from the gravesite of Ann Bull Heyward. While under the tree she told me that she began to fell weird and suddenly felt a stinging and burning sensation on her right upper arm. She looked and showed it to me and there was nothing there. I went under the tree and suddenly begin to feel as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the air and felt the need to immediately leave from under the tree. Both of us felt a sense of relief as we were leaving the grounds to get back in the car. While in the car, my Fiance looked at her arm again and to both of our amazement her upper arm has 4 red and swollen scratches on it that looked like claw marks. She has photos of her arm on her camera to prove these statements. I was happy to find this site so I could tell of our experience while there. I don’t feel the need anytime soon to return.

  6. I have visited many times. But, since the first visit, this site beckons me to return. It is beautiful, serene, spiritual,and hautinly majestic.

  7. I’ve been there a few times and get diarrhea as soon as I get out of my truck. I can’t remember what the speed limit is on that road but we always go slow out of respect for the locals. If you keep going you’ll see a gas station. There’s diesel there for your rig. Dad used to fix the radiator there by braising it. You never saw him without a beer in his hand. It don’t surprise me that the one dude woke up in a ditch after having anal intercourse with a stranger. I’ve been told that it’s nasty and hurts to the point someone might pass out. He should’ve not been out doing what he was doing. If it were raining he probably would’ve woke up sooner. They used to ride around and after they finished their beer, they would throw it at the road signs out there. Dad could do it out the passengers window in his 351 needlenose Pete. He even turned the injector pump up so he could go faster. They didn’t sell regular Pepsi at those gas stations down there in the late 70’s and the early 80’s. That’s when I used to drive before I threw my back out and got on disability. Me and the bossman ain’t never saw eye to eye anyhow. You can go 70 on the interstate down there now too. So don’t get mad if you pass and exit. You can get a pickled pigs foot at several of those gas stations. Dad used to keep one in his pocket for later. After he got done with his chew of Beechnut. That’s after momma made him quit smoking Lucky Strikes. He said he still had some from his WW2 rations that he had left. He said they ain’t never put enough toilet paper in those things. I reckon you get diarrhea from drinking too much beer and liquor. I ain’t no doctor though. Momma wanted to plant some tomatoes there in the spring but dad wouldn’t help here because of his disability. He said they were always watching him.

  8. I saw my friend and my girlfriend in his truck there one night. I went to see what they were doing and there was a huge bulge in his pants. That’s when they told me about this place being haunted by prostitute ghosts. Not what you’re thinking…they were just studying for a social studies test. Anyway, they go there all of the time now. I’m thinking about taking her there but I’m kind of scared.
    Any suggestions?

  9. The child’s grave in the picture above is actually my great uncle. My paternal grandfather, Charles William Moffitt, was born 5/7/1910, and this was his baby brother. My father, Harold William Moffitt, is his namesake. My grandfather told us he died from malaria, as he too, contracted it as a child, but lived with it until his passing in 1999. His family lived there when he was a child and they moved to western North Carolina in his teenage years. This is where he met my grandmother and they lived and raised a family here.

  10. I got married there last saturday. I was married with my late grandfathers ring. I have video footage of my wifes veil moving as the paster talked about me being married with his ring and when she put the ring on my finger the veil moved back to its original position. spooky

  11. I visited the church many times back in 97 and I find that this place is very piecefull and haunted . I find that there is a glow around the church but there is no light source . it has a working water pump and the water is soothing to the taste .I only saw one ghost of a gentleman around back . what I find relaxing is to have a drink of water from the pump and walk around or sit near the church .things you might hear are horse and carriage noises . even with the floor grass and no chairs inside there is a full feeling inside like you are definitely not alone but I say it seems they don’t want to scare , but to welcome . indeed spirits have a strong foothold there . I charge you to visit and have a drink of water and spend some time especially at night for a full experience .

  12. I visited the church and grounds just a short time ago..It is beautiful and peaceful. There are tombstones around the grounds. I also think the road there is narrow and winding. The water pump is very inviting.

    • I just loved this place. My boyfriend and I stopped by on a road trip just last week and were there alone. We were mindful of a possible haunted site so we were very gentle with our visit. We both felt at peace there and didn’t want to leave. .just amazing

  13. We visited there this past week (9/30/2016) on a rainy day! It is a very peaceful place full of beauty and solitude!

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