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 The people in these stories are real and the Homes and Plantations with once they lived
are real (although some are not still standing). By searching through all the old records
you will find documentation of their existence and the events that surrounded their lives.
Now...
Included in the outlines are some background histories of the people and places that the
following stories reference.


My references to the ghost stories are only outlines...
You can get books in most libraries if interested in reading the whole stories in their entirety.

"The Haunted Avenue"
by Margaret Rhett Butler
Copyright 1963_University of South Carolina Press
Third Printing

This story takes place at the first Belvidere Plantation, which was built beside the Cooper River, three
miles from Charleston, in March 1796. The beautiful plantation was owned by Colonel Thomas Shubrick.
He had married Mary Branford in Charleston on April 09, 1778 and was proud to present to her a
property of great wealth and importance.
The story is a tale of how a young slave girl, Clarissa, who served Mrs. Shubrick was convinced by the Shubricks gardener, an immigrant from England, Timothy Wales, to steal jewels from her mistress with a promise they would run off together. After Clarissa gave him the jewels, he pushed her aside and fled alone promising to return for her. Frightened she returned to the house and set it afire. Suspicion pointed towards her and she broke down, confessed and was hanged.
The story goes...
Although, Belvidere was rebuilt, it's no longer standing, but they say that the ghost of Clarissa still walks the loney avenue awaiting her English gardener who never returned.

 "The Man Who Came Back"
by Margaret Rhett Butler
Copyright 1963_University of South Carolina Press
Third Printing

This story takes place during the Revolutionary War when the British took Charles Town in 1780.
The British violated the agreement of allowing the garrisoned American soldiers to return to their homes
as prisoners on parole.
The man to whom the story refers is Revolutionary War hero, Colonel Isaac Hayne. He had retired to
his plantation in St. Paul's Parish, where his family had been stricken with smallpox. One child had
died, two were very ill and his wife's life hung in the balance. In the midst of all this dispair, Colonel Hayne was summoned and forced to go to Charleston to report to the British and to answer the query, "Will you or will you not become the subject of his Majesty? Under the stress he signed because he was told that he never would be asked to draw arms against his country. He was allowed to return home to his dying wife. After her death, the British ordered him to join their army with threats of imprisionment unless he agreed. He was also being asked by Charleston Patriots to become their leader. He agreed. Not long after he was captured in an enagement and was taken prisioner in Charles Town. He was tried for treason, declared quilty and was condemned to be executed. A huge protest occurred for his release, but the British was bound to set Colonel Hayne as an example. The execution day dawned and Colonel Hayne, accompanied by some friends, walked through the streets toward his end. Mrs. Perroneau (his sister or sister_in_law) cried out to him..."Return_return to us!" "I will, he said, if I can." He was hanged to his death a few minutes later.
The story goes...
They say his ghost returned for almost a hundred years, until a new war emerged_the Civil War.

 "The Legend of Fenwick Castle"
by Margaret Rhett Butler
Copyright 1963_University of South Carolina Press
Third Printing

This story takes place at Fenwick Hall Plantation, built on John's Island. It owner was Edward
Fenwick, (a loyalist and at the onset of the Revolution fled to New York where he died in 1775). He built his
huge mansion to resembled their family castle in England, where the title of Lord Ripon came to him.
He was known in the area for his import of fine English thoroughbred horses.
This story is about his seventeen year old daughter...
Ann Fenwick, and her love for the horses and for the groomer, Tony. Ann went to ask permission from her father to marry Tony, but Lord Ripon flatly refused. She tried again several weeks later but met the same tone. Ann and Tony decided to elope, so they chose a night, made their way to the marshes of the Ashley River only to discover there was no boats in sight. They would have to wait till dawn. They found an abandoned cabin where they decided to wait out the night. With the dawn came their discovery by Lord Ripon and his men. Upon their return to Fenwick, Ann told her father that she was Tony's wife since the day before when Rev. Mr. Marshall had married them. Lord Ripon, filled with anger, ordered that Tony be placed atop a horse and a rope placed around his neck. He then placed a whip into Anns hands and forced her to strick. Upon seeing her husband swaying from the big oak tree she screamed his name and then collapsed. She was carried into the mansion and upon reviving she called for Tony. No one was able to convince her of the terrible event that had taken place. The years passed with Ann still calling out for Tony. Her search continued until her death...or did it?
The story goes...
that Anns footsteps can still be heard as she passes up and down the hallways of Fenwick Castle always followed by the mournful cries of "Tony_Tony_Tony!"

(Note_Fenwick Castle was occupied by Edward Fenwick and his ancestors until the Civil War. The house, with the race course and gardens fell prey to neglet.
For many years it remained a haunted ruin, feared and shunned by all.In late 1950's to early 1960's Fenwick Hall was fully restored and  is now one of the
show places of the Low Country).

"The Fateful Handkerchief"
by Margaret Rhett Butler
Copyright 1963_University of South Carolina Press
Third Printing

Why would a young couple marry and then never spent one night together?
For as long as Ruth could remember she had been in love with the handsome Francis Simmons. During
the summer of 1796, Francis, hosted an oyster roast at his plantation on John's Island. It was there that
Ruth had introduced him to her closest friend Sabina Smith, not realizing that Francis was to fall in love with her instead. As the weeks passed, Ruth knew that she had to do something. Determined not to give up so easily, she told Francis that Sabina and Dick Johnston were to announce their engagement soon. Heartbroken, he stepped aside. One day as Francis was calling on Ruth, he showed her a handkerchief that his favorite departed sister, Ann, had embroidered with his initials. He had said " Wouldn't you like to have such beautiful initials?" The next day Rawlins Lowndes sent for Francis to speak of the proposal to his daughter. Francis, thinking that Sabina was lost to him forever, went along with it.
The day before the wedding as Francis was walking down Church Street he passed the Smith house
just as Sabina was walking up from the garden. During their chance meeting they both learned the heartwrenching truth. Sabina had told him that she never had any intentions on marrying Dick Johnston.
Only then did Francis know he had been conned. He was taught at an early age by his mother, that a
man's word was his honor and a woman's name must never pass his lips except in respect. Honor was
more important than life. Even though he had been tricked into marriage by a woman he did not love he
was still honor-bound to go through with it. That day Sabina told Francis that she would never marry.
Francis swore that Ruth would only bare the title of his wife legally.
On November 15, 1796, in Charles Town at the home of the brides father, Francis Simmons and Sarah
Ruth Rawlings Lowndes exchanged wedding vows. After the wedding the bride and groom went to their
new townhome at 131 Tadd Street, which was given by Rawlins Lowndes to his daughter. Upon arrivial, Francis excorted Ruth to the entrance, then bid her goodnight. He never lived at 131 Tadd, instead he lived at his plantation on John's Island until he purchased the property at 14 Legare Street. He tore down the existing structure and built Brick House, where he died twenty years after his marriage to Ruth. Francis made good on his promise to Sabina for Ruth was never truly his wife.
The story goes...
that even though there is no house now at 131 Tadd Street, there are still handsome brick columns that
mark the entrance to a long narrow alley and it's here that in the late hours of the night, when Charleston
is asleep, one can hear the pounding of horses' hoofs and the rumbling of wheels as though a coach is
passing in the alley. Old-timers say that it is only Ruth Simmons driving to her empty marriage bed..

(Note_Sabina Smith never married and she died before Francis. Francis was a young boy when during the war Lord Rawdon sent for his father to go to Charles
Town where he was thrown in prison and eventually died. His mothers struggled for several years after war to grow crops, but rice was their blessing. They
eventually made enough to live wealthy.The will of Francis Simmons states that all his possessions be left to nieces, nephews and friends. He left nothing to his
wife, Ruth. Francis's house at 14 Legare Street, "Brick House"  can still be seen in Charleston.)

"Medway's Ghost"
by Margaret Rhett Butler
Copyright 1963_University of South Carolina Press
Third Printing

This site is a place of two hauntings...
Medway, located two miles above Goose Creek, is approached by a driveway lined with massive oaks
streaming with heavy moss. It is the oldest house of record in the state. It was built of brick made and
dried on the site in 1686, sixteen years after the Charles Town colony was settled. It was built by a
Dutchman, Jan Van Arrsens, Seigneur de Weirnhoudt, for his beautiful wife Sabina de Vignon. Jan
did not live long enough to enjoy his wife nor home. His widow married Landgrave Thomas Smith,
who served as governor of the Carolinas. Neither marriages produced any children for Sabina.
Landgrave Thomas Smith died at the age of forty-six and was buried at Medway. His grave is
marked by a heavy slab. There is no trace of the grave of Van Arrsens.
The story goes...
Jan appears in the south side upstairs bedroom in the late evening hours, seated by the fireplace
smoking a pipe.
~~~~and~~~~
Downstairs, there is another ghostly visitor...
A beautiful young girl, whose heart was broken as she stood at  the north window waiting on her
handsome young husband's return. Medway was a gathering of many hunts. During one of the gatherings
of deerhunters and their wives included a newly wed couple very much in love. The new bride was
reluctant to let her husband go. She begged him to stay with her, he assured her he would be fine. His
bride watched him go with a terrible feeling of disaster. She took no part in the laughter and talk with the other wifes. She was distracted and restless. For hours she continually went to the north window to look out toward the woods. She stared through the small panes until dusk began to fall. Eventually the hunters returned with two carrying a stretcher. The girl sought frantically for the face she loved. Only when the stretcher was placed at her feet did she see whose lifeless form lay there. They took her home where she died shortly afterward. They say she died of a broken heart.
The storys goes...
that the years since her death, she has haunted the spot where she actually died_at the sight of a face on
a stretcher at Medway. Night after night she returns to the place of her anguish to wait on her beloved
husband. Some say that she stands in the north window to gaze out through the small panes. Others say
there is only a rustling of her gown as she waits, like a deer moving a branch in the forest.

(Note_Marriages records show: Thomas Smith and Sabina De Vignon married March 22, 1675 in Charles Town.
At the time of Landgrave Thomas Smith's death, he had two sons still surviving by a previous marriage.)
 

"The Girl who was Buried Alive"
by Nancy Rhyne
Copyright 1984_John F. Blair, Publisher
Winston Salem, NC 27103

This part of Edisto Island ia as gloomy today as it must have been in 1850...Huge oaks, with pendulous masses of Spanish Moss looping from limb to limb hover over the land, and strange things happen here.
Once a white stallion jumped high into the air only to be caught in the fork of a huge oak tree. Every effort to free the animal failed. It was either mercifully put out of its misery by some soft-hearted soul or it was left there to die upon its on will. For many years people came to view the skeletal remains
of the once beautiful stallion now in the huge oak.

The Edisto Presbyterian Church was designed and built in the early 1830's by James Curtis, a Charleston architect. It looks today much as it did then. The graveyard that surrounds the church on
three sides dates back to the 18th century, and the names on the grave markers are evidence of prominent SC families who have been buried there, many having died of diphtheria. The names include Edings, Mikell, Seabrook, LaRoche, Hopkinson, Legare, and Whaley.

Diphtheria was a common disease during the 1800s. The first effective antitoxin was not developed until 1890. This deadly, highly contagious disease spread  throughout the barrier islands of SC in 1850.
In July 1850, a young girl, while visiting the home of a planter family on Edisto Island, awoke feeling ill. When the doctor saw the telltale yellowish-gray patch that was upon her neck, he knew it would not be long before the beautiful young lady drew her last breath. Not long, the girl feel into a coma so deep that word mistakingly came from the physician that she had died. As there were no artificial preservation of dead bodies on Edisto Island before the Civil War, it was the pracrice to bury the dead as soon as possible after their demise. So word was sent to neighboring plantations that the girls funeral would be held that every afternoon. As the people of Edisto Island prepared to attend the funeral and burial of the girl, loving hands prepared her body and dressed her in the pink dress that had been her favorite.

After the funeral was held in the sanctuary, the body was placed in a marble mausoleum behind the church, under a canopy of oaks and pines. The tomb door was a broad, flat, thick piece of marble, hinged on one side. It was closed and locked. In the amber glaze of the afternoon, the mourners left the cemetery,
walking among the marble forms of cherubs, urns, and other symbols of eternal sleep. Just before leaving the burial ground some turned for one last glance at the mausoleum with the family name, J. B. Legare, carved above the door. The sepulcher lacked columns, but it could have doubled for a tiny greek temple.

Some fifteen years later, one of the men of the Legare family was killed in an accident. His body was prepared for burial and taken to the church, where his funeral was held. When the heavy door to the family mausoleum was opened so that the remains of his body could be interred, there, to the horror of the  members of the family, was the skeletal frame of the young girl who had been buried earlier. From the position of her remains, it was clear that she had been buried alive, and at the time of her actual death she had been trying to escape from the mausoleum. The family felt the horror the young girl must have felt when she came out of her coma and realized that she was trapped, and the panic that must have driven her to try__without hope__to escape. The man was entombed, as were the skeletal remains of the young girl. It was several weeks before any of the family returned to the mausoleum. When they did, they found the door to the vault standing open. The door was closed again and fastened in such a way that it seemed impossible that it could ever be opened again. However, in a few weeks an elder of the church discovered the door standing open again.

For more than a hundred years it was impossible to keep the doors to the mausoleum closed. About thirty years ago the door was once again attached in such a way that it was concluded it would be impossible for it to be opened except with certain heavy equipment. But a few days later, the door was found not only opened but it had been removed from it hinges and lying on the ground. Once more it was replaed and with heavy chains locked into place. Yet still it was found opened. Today vines grow into the cracks of the marble mausoleum. Spider webs and wasp nests festoon the doorframe. And the stubborn marble door lies broken into three pieces on the ground at the vault enterance.
The storys goes...
Word spread throughout the area that the spirit of the young girl who had been buried alive would not allow the door to remain closed so that no one else could ever be buried in the tomb as she__Alive!.

"The Ghost of Edingston Beach"
by Nancy Rhyne
Copyright 1984_John F. Blair, Publisher
Winston Salem, NC 27103

In the days prior to the Civil War, when Edisto Island planters became millionaires from the
production of sea island cotton, they built and maintained beach houses on Edingston Beach, across
a tidal creek from Edisto Island. Edingston Beach had a wide, sandy beach, where conchs, whelks, cockles, and others fabulous seashells washed up with each tide. The houses of the planters faced the sea, and they had all the same architecture. They were all two stories, had a brick chimney on each end, many windows, and a house-length porch on the beach side.
It was during this time, that Mary Clark, a daughter of one of the wealthy planters, became engaged to
a Captain Fickling. The engagement was no suprise to Edisto Islanders, for both Mary and her fiance
were descendants of old island families, and they had been childhood sweethearts. So no expense was spared as plans for the wedding were made. Finally the wedding day was at hand, and the bride, on the arm of her father, walked under a canopy of native vegetation, which included green myrtle branches and water spider orchids, as she made her way down the aisle of St. Stephen's Church. When the bride and groom were pronounced man and wife, they left the church and stood in the churchyard to recieve the guests as they existed the sanctuary of St. Stephen's. They invited their guests to a feast that was then being spread on long tables set up on the beach. Plantation cooks had been working all night and all that day on the platters of food. The cooks used recipes that had been handed down for generations. The wedding was the talk of the island.

Four weeks after the wedding, the groom set sail for the West Indies, and the bride began to look forward to his return almost before his ship was out of sight. It was October, and most of the planter
families were still in residence in their beach homes. It was customary to not leave until after the first frost in the fall season.
Each evening, just before sunset, Mary Fickling walked down to the water's edge. She looked out over the cold water and thought of her husband, far from home. On the evening of October 12th, the rolls and smells of the sea began to build, and Mary began to worry about her husband. She knew that his return was overdue, and if an October hurricane was churning the sea, his ship could be involved. There were no warning for such storms then, but somewhere deep inside her she felt that a dreadful hurricane was indeed coming. When she returned home she found others were also worried about a hurricane. Someone said that the causeway to the mainland was already flooded and any crossing was out of the question.
Within minutes, the huricane hit Edingsville. The house in which Mary was staying trembled and swayed, and the structure started to give way. As members sat scared and quietly, they listened. First there was great sucking of air, and then there was tatal darkness as sea water washed into the house.
For Mary and others it was a long night of terror as they struggled to stay alive. With morning brought an eerie calm and with the rise of the sun brought a scene that would never be forgotten. Trees were lying everywhere. Some beach houses lay askew with porches, chimneys or windows washed away. Heavy pieces of furniture, chairs, and sofas were scattered along the beach. As Mary was looking over the beach in disbelief, she spotted a dark, lumpy form floating in the sea. As she stood compeled to watching this form as it washed closer toward the shore, she saw that it was the form of a man. She ran into the water, and as the form got closer to her, she recognized the body of her husband. With a shuddering cry, she got down into the water and with tears streaming from her eyes, embraced his lifeless body in her arms. Mary was to learn later that his ship was indeed in the middle of the hurricane and that his ship and all hands were lost at sea.
There are no beach houses now where Edingsville is located and no reminders of the days when this place was a fabulous resort. Over the decades this beach has been tormented by devilish hurricanes and unusually high tides. What remains today, is no more than a sliver of sandy beach adjacent to a march.
The storys goes...
It is said that on moonlit nights a young girl can be seen running into the waves and pulling the form of a man up on its shore. This is the ghost of Edingston Beach.


This page was last modified on 11 Sept 2011 by Victoria Proctor.


Copyright 1999 Jerri Lynne Smith. All rights reserved.