Is South Carolina’s Most Infamous Lake Haunted?

In 1994, South Carolina’s John D. Lake became the site of an infamous murder, and a horrific accident followed just two years later. Now, some locals say ghosts lurk near the water.

The Susan Smith Murders 

On October 25, 1994, Susan Smith strapped her two young sons into their car seats, drove to John D. Long lake, and rolled her car down a steep boat ramp. The boys, ages 3 and 13 months, drowned in the murky water, where they remained until divers discovered their bodies nine days later. The case gained international notoriety both because of Susan’s heinous act and because she originally claimed a black man kidnapped her children. Sadly, there were more deaths to come.

Subsequent Drownings 

Soon after Susan’s arrest, the site of the murders became a major tourist attraction, attracting dozens of people a day. On the night of August 31, 1996, an SUV full of 10 people parked near the boat ramp and adjacent memorials. As five people got out of the vehicle, the SUV rolled down a steep embankment and into the water, just as Susan’s car had two years earlier. Four children and one adult drowned inside the vehicle, while two others died trying to save them. The victims included an entire family, and the drownings led the state to close the infamous boat ramp and grass it over.

The Ghosts of John D. Long Lake 

It wasn’t long before talk of ghosts began.

“It’s like the lake is haunted or something,” a local man told The Associated Press. “It keeps taking lives.”

Soon after the accidental drownings, the Weekly World News published an article claiming an ancient Indian curse was responsible for the deaths at John D. Long Lake.

“According to the centuries-old oral tradition of the local Yamasee Indians, the ‘jinxed’ lake is inhabited by an evil spirit with the power to draw humans to their deaths,” the tabloid reported. “This latest tragedy brings the the total known deaths to 23. One might say the water spirit is quite powerful!”

Today, visitors hear disembodied laughter or the faint sound of a baby crying. Sightings of strange mists, orbs, and shadowy figures are also common according to reports on paranormal-themed sites like and A stranded fisherman also reported seeing a strange light in the sky after dark.

What do you think? Is John D. Long Lake truly haunted, or has its tragic history caused imaginations to run awry?

Have you seen a ghost? Share your story here! 

2 thoughts on “Is South Carolina’s Most Infamous Lake Haunted?

  1. Interesting up until the “Weekly World News” citation. That was the “newspaper” that created BatBoy and published an laughably photoshopped picture of Bill Clinton shaking an aliens hand. I used to buy it for laughs….everything in it was outright fiction.

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