Abbeville, SC is a quintessential Southern town filled with charm, wrap around porches — and ghosts. Lots of ghosts. Too many ghosts. Unless you’re into that. And, if you are, check out our A Comprehensive Guide To Haunted Places In Abbeville, SC to get your paranormal fix.
For more posts about the area, check out all of our posts about Abbeville.
I was laying in bed in The Belmont Inn in Abbeville, SC and heard noise outside in the hallway. Instead of immediately thinking it was other guests, I thought it was Abraham, the bellhop.
The dead bellhop.
Who haunts the hotel.
And spends the evenings walking up and down the hallways, jingling the doorknobs, making sure all the guests are safe in their rooms.
So when I heard footsteps in the hallway, my first thought wasn’t other guests walking back to their rooms after a night out on court square. My first thought was Abraham must be checking the doorknobs.
The historic Belmont Inn is just one of the most haunted hotels in the Palmetto State. There are a bunch more, like the Pelican Inn in Pawleys Island and 20 Battery (previously known as Battery Carriage House Inn) in Charleston.
So we put together a post with 20 Haunted Hotels In South Carolina. You can stay in them to cross them off your boo-cket list (trademark, me, right now).
A Comprehensive Guide To Haunted Places In Abbeville, SC
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Let’s quickly note that these are all ghost stories, urban legends. It’s folklore. But, if you like a good ghost story, keep on reading.
Also, quick note: Many of these buildings are open to the public to use the building’s facilities, not to run in with a P.K.E. Meter and look for ghosts. So please, be respectful of the local merchants and their businesses.
Abbeville County Museum (The Old Jail)
Address: 215 Poplar Street
Open to the public? Yes, by appointment, on most Saturdays.
Ghost story: The building, which is the oldest public building in the town of Abbeville, was constructed between 1830 and 1850, according to the South Carolina Historic Properties Record. It operated as a the Abbeville County Jail until 1948. As a jail, the ground floor was the sheriff and his family’s home. The second and third floors housed prisoners with the worst prisoners on the highest floor.
The building is currently the Abbeville County Museum, established in 1976. It may have been the county morgue between then (and definitely was the Abbeville American Legion and a dance hall on the second floor in the 1960’s). No ghost stories are from that time, although it feels like there’s potential there.
While on the third floor, where hangings may have taken place from the building’s high rafters, a medium encountered an unhappy, 28-year-old African American ghost named Earl Miller who had been in the building since 1905. The timing matches up for when the building was a jail.
Staff members have noted hearing footsteps in the building.
Abbeville Opera House
Address: 100 Court Square #102
Ghost story: The Abbeville Opera House was opened in 1908 and has always operated as some sort of performance center (including a stint as a movie theater between the 1920s and 1950).
And, it seems all theaters haunted. Case in point: The Pantages Theatre in Tacoma, Washington. In fact, when we were in the haunted Capitol Theater in Yakima, Washington, the theater operator who gave us a private tour told us theater performers are really superstitious. So it makes sense that theaters come with stories.
As the local legend goes, a young woman was meant to perform but fell ill on a train ride heading into town. She bowed out of the show, allowing an understudy to perform in her place. She felt well enough to watch the performance, then went next door to The Belmont Inn to go to bed … and died.
Her seat in the second floor balcony is always left open for her, with a ghost light shining on it. (Quick side note: Each theater has a ghost light, mostly for superstition, partially to appease ghosts.) When we were in the town in the Old 96 District, the Paranormal Society of Savannah was also there. The paranormal investigators filmed a video of an orb in that area. You can see it here.
Others have noticed seeing a shadowy figure out of the corner of their eyes. It’s been said that if her seat is touched, strange things happen to disturb the performance.
But, she’s not the only ghost at the theater. There’s a second ghost. An African American construction worker fell to his death there in 1908 and he’s been known to haunt backstage by banging pipes.
Disappearing props have been attributed to both apparitions, and strange noises and footsteps have been heard at the theater.
Open to the public? Live performances, such as concerts and plays, are held at the Opera House and the public can purchase tickets. Also, every time we’ve been in town, there has a been a Welcome sign outside, so it seems like anyone can just wander in to view the historic building.
Abbeville Welcome Center
Address: 100 Court Square
Ghost story: The building that the Welcome Center is in was once the State of South Carolina Bank. The former town bank is one of the few original buildings on court square. Many of the antebellum houses and public buildings were destroyed in fires during the 1870’s.
The ghost has nothing to do with the bank or the Welcome Center. Rather, it’s been said that a young boy has been seen staring down the street and chasing the staff in the hallways.
We stayed at an Airbnb a few doors down from the Welcome Center last time we were in town — and luckily, I didn’t see a young boy staring at us at all. I did hear footsteps of someone running down the hallway, but I’m just crediting that to another Airbnb guest. Although, with this ghost filled town, you never know.
Open to the public? Yes. But for help planning your time in town.
Abbewood Bed and Breakfast Inn
Address: 605 N Main St.
Ghost story: The Abbewood Bed and Breakfast Inn is currently closed, but the building (and a praying mantis statue in the front of it) are still there. The home and its wrap around porch dates back to the Civil War Era, as does much of Abbeville. In fact, the town is known as the “Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy.”
A meeting was held at in Abbeville, at what is now known as, Secession Hill, where it was decided that South Carolina would secede from the Union. And then, a stone’s throw from there at the Burt-Stark Mansion, still in Abbeville, Jefferson Davis and his cabinet decided to dissolve the Confederacy.
The ghost at Abbewood Bed and Breakfast Inn dates back to that era. The story is that a soldier committed suicide in the attic of the home and cold spots have been felt there. Other guests have noted blankets have been pulled off beds and pillows have been thrown around.
Open to the public? Not currently.
J. A. Harris House
Address: 200 South Main Street
Ghost story: I walked past this property, next to the fire house, so many times on my trips to Abbeville, but I didn’t know it was haunted until I started writing this post. It’s not listed anywhere, but I did a deep dive into a local Abbeville group on Facebook and there was a story told by a woman named Debra who was friends with Grant Harris, whose family the house is named after.
She recalled that she was in the coming up the stairs and felt a presence walk past her, along with a drop in temperature.
She told the story to her friend Grant, who said that was his grandfather and that it had happened often.
A little history about the historic home: It was originally built for John A. Harris, who established the Abbeville Furniture Co. manufacturing plant and was integral in building the The Abbeville Cotton Mill, the first mill in Abbeville. It was in the family until at least a year ago, when it was put up for sale. I’m not sure who the current owners are.
Open to the public? No.
The Belmont Inn
Address: 104 E Pickens St.
Ghost story: When the Belmont Inn (then known as the Eureka Hotel) was built and a man named Abraham was on the construction crew. He later was hired by the hotel as a bellhop. He passed away, but he never left the hotel. Abraham, the resident spirit, has been seen in his bellhop uniform, walking the floors, jingling the doorknobs of the guest rooms, making sure the hotel guests are safe. He’s also been known to get in bed with guests and snuggle them.
There’s a second ghostly figure in the hotel who remains on the stairs that go from the first floor to second floor. Although he remains unnamed, his presence has been felt.
We actually stayed at The Belmont Inn during our first trip to Abbeville. Of course, we didn’t know that it was the most haunted place in town until we were already there. During our first night, the power in the historic hotel completely went out, leaving us in the dark for a few minutes. But, that wasn’t the only thing that happened to us. The second night, my mom actually felt Abraham’s fingers on her head when she was in the shower. And he moved a razor in the bathtub. We didn’t stay a third night.
I actually wrote a full post about our time at The Belmont Inn with a full detailed account of her experience.
Open to the public? The public can eat at the restaurant, JP’s Food & Spirits, or book a room.
Trinity Episcopal Church
Address: 200 Church St
Ghost story: The Trinity Episcopal Church was founded in 1842 and remains as originally constructed, including the handmade interior woodwork.
It’s said that the historic church is haunted by Elizabeth Marshall, whose live in Abbeville was tragic. Her husband, Drew, joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War and Elizabeth and her then 10-year-old son would pray for his safety at the church daily. Prayers didn’t save him, though, and Drew died at Second Manassas in 1862.
Elizabeth was then accused of being an informant so, as retaliation, her son was murdered. She yelled at the soldiers who committed the act … and next thing she knew, she was back in the front pew of the church.
Over 100 years later, a little girl ran into the church and saw Elizabeth. She told her mom about her new friend, and, eventually, her mom saw Elizabeth as well. Since then, the ghost of a woman has been seen in the front pew, wearing an old-fashioned dress, and people have reported hearing weeping. There have also been sightings of an apparition of a woman outside, although mostly, she’s in the pew where she spent so much time praying for her husband. When she’s approached, she vanishes.
Open to the public? Yes.
More Ghost Hunting In Abbeville:
If you’re in town around Halloween, the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual ghost walk, taking you around to many of these haunted places.
If you’re not near Abbeville, but you want to learn more about the stories, you can order The Apparitions of Abbeville by Marjorie LaNelle to read about the ghosts (in case this blog post wasn’t enough for you).
More Things To Do In Abbeville, SC:
With so many ghosts lingering around Abbeville, what better way is there to spend the day than ghost hunting?
There are also a bunch of places to eat in Abbeville, SC too, many of which are on the way to some of these haunted places, stop in and get a bite to eat while you’re in town.
Have you had any paranormal experiences at these Haunted Places In Abbeville, SC? Let us know in the comments.