Travel

Haunted S.C. lodgings

Looking for a spooky getaway when Halloween rolls around? These lodgings are said to have ghosts.

Litchfield Plantation

Pawleys Island

This is one of the most venerable estates in the Carolinas, a rice plantation established in 1740. The Tucker family, originally from Bermuda, owned it for about a century; it passed out of their hands in 1897. Some, though, say the spirit of Dr. Henry Tucker, the last of the family to reside there, never left.

The mansion operated as a four-room inn until recently; nowadays it is rented only for weddings.

Tucker’s friendly presence has been noticed by guests throughout the antiques-filled house.

Five years ago, for example, there were two reports of seeing someone on a sofa by the fireplace in the middle of the night. A guest climbing the stairs to the second floor felt a hand placed on her shoulder. A lodger in the Gun Room Suite saw a light in the canopy of the four-poster bed, though no light is mounted there.

After some unexplained incidents, guests sheepishly asked Terry Belanger, inn manager at the time, if the place has ghosts.

The spirit, Belanger said, was warm and welcoming: “There are no tragedies; no horror stories.”

But there may be more ghosts.

In the back is a stairway perhaps 3 feet wide, and looking up from the ground floor, people have seen a figure at the top of the stairs, Belanger told the Observer in 2009. “It's supposedly a maid walking the stairs and counting her linens.”

Details: www.litchfieldplantation.com.

Meeting Street Inn

Charleston

The building at 173 Meeting St. has had several incarnations since it was built in 1874: a saloon, a brewery, a restaurant/nightclub, a succession of stores selling everything from auto parts to dental supplies.

And somewhere along the line, it is said, a spirit came to roost there – make that “half” of one, according to Brien Limehouse, whose family has owned and operated Meeting Street Inn since the early 1990s. A guest called one evening from Room 107 to report a specter, a waist-up vision of a woman, at the foot of the bed.

The ghost opened the door and floated away before Limehouse got there, but the innkeeper does report having a paranormal experience in Room 303. Once, shortly after midnight, its key-holder reported being locked out. Limehouse went to the chamber and found 303 deadbolted shut – from the inside. When he got that taken care of, the proprietor still couldn’t open the door – as though someone was pushing it closed from within the room.

Once finally inside, neither the proprietor nor the guest found anyone.

The lodger was offered a different room, but preferred to stay in 303: He was amenable to sharing space with an invisible roommate good at keeping doors securely closed.

Limehouse says there have been occurrences in other of Meeting Street Inn’s 56 rooms, particularly in its older section.

The “half” ghost, Limehouse said, might be that of the wife of one of the building’s original owners. He died suddenly, and his widow “remarried a week later. Maybe it was foul play.”

Details: www.meetingstreetinn.com.

Jasmine House

Charleston

Less than five blocks north on Meeting Street and a block east on Hasell, there was a spirit encounter at another Limehouse family property, the Jasmine House B&B. A guest in the Chrysanthemum Room awoke to find the shade of a woman near his bed ... one who didn’t want him to leave. The guest told Limehouse that the ghost tore his newspaper into the small pieces, littering the floor.

Note: The Meeting House Inn and Jasmine House both feature private courtyards – great places to read your complementary newspaper without being disturbed.

Details: www.jasminehouseinn.com.

John Bordsen

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