On Death and Depravity – A Charleston Ghost Tour Review

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Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s most haunted cites.  Depending on the year, it is usually ranked number two in hauntings just after Savannah, Georgia.  The city is over 350 years old.  Being a city that is on the forefront of American history, the city has had plenty of events that have spawned stories of tragedy, crime, supernatural events. The best way to learn about the haunted and unusual history of Charleston is thru one of the many ghost tours operators.  I was invited to check a Charleston ghost tour called On Death and Depravity: The Tour by Ghost City.

I will be the first to admit.  I don’t believe in ghosts that being said.  I don’t discount that things happen or weird things show up in photographs that can’t be explained.  I just don’t know and have never had an encounter with a ghost that I am aware of.  I have watched the ‘ghost hunters’ from a SyFy ghost show do their ghost hunting at Dry Tortugas National Park.  I am not impressed with their methods.  That being said. I have done several ghost tours around the world and I love hearing the stories, legends, and just plain weird things that have happened.   I was looking forward to my Charleston ghost tour.

On Death and Depravity is an adult only ghost tour.  Ghost City has these tours start at 10:00 pm after most of the other Charleston ghost tours have ended.

The Meeting Spot

I meet my tour guide at the intersection of Concord and Vendue Range Street by the fountain.  This was only about a block off the Bay Street at the start of Waterfront Park.  I even had time to get dessert at the nearby Carmella’s.  Locating my guide was pretty easy. Look for the friendly person with a tablet or phone asking people if they are here for a ghost tour.  Macy was doing the check-in for my tour.  She was pretty good at spotting people who were here for the ghost tour but weren’t sure they were in the correct spot.  Once she check me in, she gave me directions to the closest bathroom.  Tours leave on time so be sure to get there a few minutes early.  Ghost City had about 60 people for the On Death and Depravity Tour but we were broken up into groups of 20.  This is a city of Charleston regulation and is heavily monitored.

Parking in Charleston can be a chore and expensive. In the evening the metered parking is free after 6pm.  I was lucky and found this nice little side alley that always had spaces to park in.

The Tour

My tour guide for the night was Will.  He was a native Charlestonian who had only lived in Charleston (except for a small stint in the army).  Like all guides in Charleston, he is a registered guide who has past the required history of Charleston test. Yes, there is actually a test all guides must past and only 40% pass their first time.  My tour had 19 other people on it.  There was a no-show.

Will walked us away from the fountain and gave us a brief overview of the tour and asked a quick couple of questions about what stories we wanted to hear.  He then had everyone close their eyes and take a vote on if we wanted to hear the brothels and prostitutes.  I figure this is to protect men from their wives and girlfriends getting upset over them wanting to hear stories about Charleston brothels.  My tour group had several couples and the vote was unanimously in favor of hearing those stories.  I guess it isn’t an issue when the wives and girlfriends want to hear the same stories as well.

I am not going to spoil the tour by sharing the stories that Will told.  We didn’t run into the other two Ghost City tours.  I assume that each tour gets a different selection of stories based on the route the guide takes.  We visited a dark and smelly alley and learned the story of the Annabelle Lee from Edgar Allen Poe’s Poem, we visited the Pistol Dulling alley, checked out some of haunted Charleston graveyards, and learned about the pirates and the history of Rainbow Row (it’s not a cute and pastel as you would think).

Don’t let the cute colors and million dollar price tags fool you. These house don’t have a pretty history.

Will was excited and every knowledgeable out his city. Overall, we walked about a mile in an hour and a half. Alas, we didn’t see any ghost or have a spoke encounter but later that night I did get an orb in a photo!!!

No orb in this photo.
Look no orb in this photo.
In the upper left corner, there is something there that wasn’t there before. It’s my orb.

The Cost

The tour cost $29.95 plus taxes. This is just a little pricier than other tour operators as well as Ghost City’s own The Ghosts of Liberty Tour. But that extra cost is worth the guide not having to sanitize ghost stories for little ears.  As well, it means no interruptions of little kids during the exciting part of the guide’s story.  Starting late, also means most other tour operators are finishing up their last tours as the tour starts.

Would you take a Haunted Ghost Tour in Charleston, SC? What do you think of a Charleston Ghost Tour?

Disclaimer: I was invited by Ghost City tours and was compensated for this tour. All opinions are my own.

20 thoughts on “On Death and Depravity – A Charleston Ghost Tour Review”

  1. I’d go to the tours just for the history, though I think I’d be a bit nervous to actually join them so it’s good I read about them from others lol

    1. I both love and hate tours. They can be a lot of fun or really limit what I do while traveling. I like little tours like these because I can pick which tours fit my need and interests.

  2. This sounds like it would be a fun tour to take. I love history, night time, and ghost stories so this would be perfect for me!

  3. I agree with you. There are many unexplained paranormal occurrences, but I am not sure about ghosts. However, if I do go on a tour like this, it would be to hear the stories like you indicated. I find them to be rather entertaining.

  4. An very different type of tour. Would be very interesting to see Charlestown from this perspective. Might be a bit scary though.

  5. I’ve gone on one paranormal tour in Long Beach, and I did feel that something was there. It was a bit scary. This one seems like an interesting tour to take in Charleston, whether you believe in ghosts or not. At least, it gives you a different perspective of the city!

  6. We love doing a good ghost tour when visiting an old town or city. We haven’t been to Charleston yet but did love our visit to Georgia last year. Hope to go back very soon as we want to visit Savannah too. Why do ghosts only come out at night and here in the UK there are lots of ghosts of lords, kings and queens (ghosts must operate a class system).

  7. I only been to one ghost hunting tour.Sometimes its good to know the history of a place not just the good ones but those hunted stories too, it adds a little bit of excitement during the tour.

  8. I would love to visit Charleston one day. I love haunted places and these kinds of stories. Is the pink home in the photo really has million $ price tag? If it is then why? Just because you tour around, these houses have hefty price tags? Irrespective of what’s out there, I liked your post and I wish to visit there soon.

    1. Yep. The houses on Rainbow row are million plus dollar houses. The closer you get to the water the more they cost. They are located in the center of town and prime real estate in a city that has always been a rich city.

  9. Nope, no… not a chance in heck you’d find me on the Haunted Ghost Tour in Charleston, SC. I’ve been known to jump at my own shadow. Ha! The resort I work at evening shift means we have to do a number of security walks each night, a bird flew over me one night, I screamed and ran inside. Haha. So knowingly putting myself into a situation where its eery and creepy would do my little heart in. Good thing you warn about not being deceived by the pretty facade of the building too, I’d happily enter that pink one. 🙂

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