The Belmont Inn in Abbeville is one of the most haunted hotels in South Carolina. Should you come for the spirits? Find out in this The Belmont Inn review.
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I don’t do scary movies. I don’t like being scared.
When I was younger, sure. My younger brother and I used to watch everything that was scary. And none of it would freak us out. Until I took him to see The Grudge in the movie theater. That was it. Something in that movie broke us and neither of us (as far as I know) have voluntarily watched a scary movie since.
So imagine my surprise when the very sweet, very nice, very smiley Susan Botts, the owner of The Belmont Inn, casually mentioned that the hotel was haunted while my mom and I were checking in.
“I’m sorry, did you say haunted?” I asked, hoping that my ears glitched and heard something wrong.
“This used to be the most haunted hotel in South Carolina,” she said. “But now, it’s bumped down to number two because of a hotel in Charleston.”
I’m sure I looked like the white guy blinking meme while trying to match Susan’s sweetness and politeness while silently wondering why the staff at the Old 96 District Tourism office (the ones who set up our two night stay at the inn) failed to mention the place was haunted.
Susan did assure us that the spirits were friendly. But encountering spirits — friendly or not — was not something we put on our list of things to do in Abbeville, SC.
Get truffles? Yes. Get haunted? No.
The Belmont Inn Review
Drugstore Divas was hosted at The Belmont Inn. Affiliate links are included in this post and Drugstore Divas may make a small commission if you use them.
The Belmont Inn History
The Belmont Inn was built in 1903, although it was then known as the Eureka Hotel for $30,000.
The ground floor, which is where check in and the hotel’s restaurant now are, was once a sample room where traveling salesmen would show their wares.
During that time, it was a railroad hotel, a place where Vaudeville stars would stay. Abbeville was a good stopping point for acts traveling between Miami and New York. When the Abbeville Opera House opened its doors to the public eight years after the Eureka, it gave performers like Fanny Brice even more reason to stop in the area.
The Eureka transitioned into The Belmont Inn between 1920 and 1950, and at the end of that timeline, it became a semi-residential home for the elderly.
Although the building remained, it ceased operations for nearly a decade during the 1970s. The hotel was restored and reopened with its current 25 rooms in 1984 and stayed that way for just over a decade before closing for a year.
It has changed hands multiple times since then, now owned by the aforementioned Susan Botts and her husband Jim Petty.
Owners and guests have come and gone. But someone who has come and never gone? Abraham.
Abraham The Bellhop
The Belmont Inn is Abraham’s Hotel California. He worked on the crew that originally built the hotel, worked there as a bellhop … and then never left.
Abraham takes his job at bellhop very seriously. Each night, he, still dressed in his bellhop uniform, walks through the hotel and jingles the door handles making sure that guests are safe.
That’s the story we heard when we checked in.
We went upstairs to our room, took a quick look around for Abraham (who we didn’t see), and then got ready to go out to town. We were waiting in the room when we heard it. The door handle jingled. My mom and I froze and just looked at each other.
The door handle jingled again … and then the door opened.
Somehow, we didn’t scream.
The door fully opened to reveal another guest who happened to unlock the door to our room instead of hers. Good thing we didn’t scream.
But Abraham has been known to visit guests in their rooms. Susan told us a story about a guest who got into bed … and Abraham got in next to her and snuggled her.
Is The Belmont Inn haunted?
Besides Abraham, there are other spirits that reside at The Belmont Inn.
Sharon, the woman who checked us into the hotel, said that just the day before we checked in, she was walking up the staircase going from the ground floor to the first floor. She felt someone walking behind her and assumed it was Jim, one of the owners. She turned around fully expecting to see him — but no one was there.
Susan said that spirits have been experienced all over the hotel, but mostly in rooms 5 and 12. So thank goodness we were staying in room 1, I thought.
Thought. Yes. We’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s put a pin in it for now.
She said that guests who are into the paranormal will specifically request to book rooms 5 and 12. When we were there, the Paranormal Society of Savannah was hosting courses and investigations at The Belmont Inn and the neighboring Abbeville Opera House.
The two buildings share a ghost story. The story is that a young actress was meant to perform at the Opera House, but fell ill and returned to The Belmont Inn to rest … but died. There’s an empty chair left for her at the Opera House, where she has been known to return. In fact, the Paranormal Society of Savannah’s caught a video of an orb in that area and posted it on their Facebook page. You can see it here.
Did we get haunted?
Remember that pin we put into my story above? We can take that out now.
When we were checking into the hotel, I very nicely asked Susan to kind of ask the spirits to stay away from room 1 because I didn’t want any part of that. My mom said she believes in ghosts and started telling her story of when she saw one in Japan when she was young.
So we finish checking in, get upstairs, and besides that accidental entry from another guest, everything was fine. No haunting.
We go out for the afternoon, explore Abbeville, have a great dinner in town, and get back to the room. It was about 10 pm, and we were trying to plan our itinerary for the next day when suddenly … all the power in the hotel goes out. The televisions go off. The air conditioning stops. WiFi’s dead. Everything’s pitch black.
My mom immediately hops off the bed and gets up to text my dad. I don’t know what she thought he was going to do from five hours and one state away, but it was her go to move. Had the lights been off just a minute longer, she said she was going to go into the hallway to see if the entire hotel was out or if it was just our room. Luckily, the lights turned back on and the entire hotel didn’t have to see her in her pajamas.
Was it the ghosts or was it the storm from earlier in the day? We don’t know.
On the way home, we’re recounting this story and my mom decides to tell me what happened to her the next day. Something she (thankfully) didn’t tell me when we were in the hotel.
On the second night in the hotel, my mom walked into the bathroom to take a shower. She said as soon as she walked in, she felt something, a presence. She chalked it up to getting in her own head, and turned on the shower.
But the water was weird. Instead of coming out of the faucet, as it usually does, the water instantly came out of the shower head. She tried to ignore it, thinking her mind was playing tricks on her.
She got into the shower and the water hit her head. It didn’t feel like water, though. It felt like fingers massaging her head.
She started to freak out and decided to take the quickest shower ever. She also decided to keep her eyes fixated on my razor, which was on the far corner of the shower. My mom quickly washed her hair and body, always starting at the razor.
But then she realized she had to close her eyes to wash her face. She closed and opened them as quickly as she could, just barely splashing water on her face.
She opened her eyes after that instant and there, at her feet, was my razor. She didn’t hear it fall, she didn’t hear it slide down the tub, she didn’t feel it hit her feet. But somehow, in that moment her eyes were closed, it moved from the side of the tub to her feet.
She grabbed her towel, jumped out of the shower, and didn’t tell me until two days later.
Other Amenities at The Belmont Inn:
You have a few options of room types at The Belmont Inn. There are standard double, queen and king rooms. Each room has its own bathroom with towels, soap, shampoo, and body wash available in the room. At check in, we were given a cute package with a trial size soap and lotion from Breezy Quarters, a local soap and bath products factory located in walking distance of the inn.
Instead of closets, each room has dressers (recreations of period pieces) to keep with the original hotel’s amenities.
Refrigerators are available upon request, but do not come standard with every room.
Each morning, the staff at The Belmont Inn set out breakfast items on the first floor. Granola bars, fruit, bagels, and oatmeal are just some of the items included in the complementary breakfast.
Coffee and juices are also available.
JP’s Food & Spirits
JP’s Food & Spirits is a full service bar and restaurant located on the ground floor of The Belmont Inn. It’s open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 pm to 9 pm and Friday and Saturday from 5 pm until midnight.
If you’re a hotel guest, you won’t hear any noise from the restaurant in your hotel room.
There’s a gorgeous outdoor veranda on the first floor of The Belmont Inn. There’s an entrance for it from the first floor, plus a street entrance/exit. Guests are able to take food and drinks outside to enjoy at the tables set outside.
Side note: The inn asks that guests don’t consume food in their rooms, due to the historic nature of the rooms. So the veranda is a convenient place to eat your to go food.
The Belmont Inn: Frequently Asked Questions
104 E Pickens St, Abbeville, SC
Yes. There is a free parking lot behind the hotel.
There are ramps leading up to the hotel’s ground floor, plus an elevator that leads to the first and second floors.
However, once you get to the first floor, the only way to access the rooms is via a small staircase.
Our room was on the first floor, so I’m not sure about the access from the elevator to the rooms on the second floor.
The price varies by date and season. Check current prices and book The Belmont Inn by OYO via that link.
Prices seem to increase a bit during the weekend of the Hogs & Hens BBQ Festival in Abbeville mid-October and we expected you’d see a similar increase for the Spring Festival in Abbeville in May. We would so expect them to increase in mid-June when neighboring Greenwood, SC hosts the Festival Of Flowers and in mid-July when the same town hosts the SC Festival Of Discovery.
Oddly, prices do not increase on Halloween.
Yes. The Belmont Inn is popular with families, paranormal groups, groups planning weddings and showers, couples, and individuals.
The Belmont Inn has WiFi that’s available for guests to use during their stay. It reaches the hotel rooms and requires a password to log in (which you’ll be given at check in).
Read about The Belmont Inn:
If you’re curious about The Belmont Inn, but can’t make it to Abbeville, you can read The Apparitions of Abbeville: The History and Mystery of The South Carolina Lakelands by Marjorie LaNelle, which tells ghost stories and local folklore from Abbeville, some of which happened at The Belmont Inn.
Things To Do In Abbeville, SC:
If you’re heading to The Belmont Inn in Abbeville, SC, be sure to check out the town as well. We have a full post on Things To Do When It Rains In Abbeville, SC. They’re all indoor activities (because of the rain angle), but they would also be fun things to do even when it’s sunny.
Would you stay at The Belmont Inn, Abbeville, SC’s haunted hotel? Let us know in the comments.