The Haunted Boone Hall Plantation

Posted by junketseo in Charleston Ghost Tours
The Haunted Boone Hall Plantation - Photo

It is one of the oldest of America’s plantations, among 46,200 that existed in 1860. The years before the Civil War brought great tension to the United States. The economic prosperity of the South relied upon slave labor. The slaves themselves prayed for a better life. Boone Hall Plantation has been in existence since 1681 right outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

Nudged between a river and a bay, Mt. Pleasant was the perfect place to sustain agriculture. Along Horlbeck Creek, which derives its name from previous owners, they have been consistently producing crops and goods. At one point, the plantation ran off the labor of 225 enslaved African people, producing building materials for construction companies. These kilns were dangerous, and many people lost their lives in the mouths of their fiery furnaces.

Running public tours as often they do, it’s no wonder that since 1956, so many have seen the terrifying, pale figure of a little girl gleaming through the moonlight, her face covered by her ragged hair and hands shaking as if in some great panic. Up to ten others roam the halls of the plantation. US Ghost Adventures uncovers these sordid tales in the pages below.


The Boone Family Home


The Boone Hall Plantation was first mentioned in the history books in 1681 when wealthy landowner Theophilus Patey gifted 370 acres to his daughter Elizabeth and her new husband, Major John Boone. The exact date of the original building’s construction remains unknown. What is known is that John Boone arrived in the colony sometime around 1672 with one of the first slave-owning families. Elected to the colonial Grand Council, he held no other political offices due to his troublemaking nature.

Associating with pirates, he began smuggling slaves and stolen goods and, as such, was removed from the council twice. The home stayed in the Boone family until 1811, not before burning to the ground in 1784, when it was sold to Thomas A. Vardell for $12,000. 1,452 acres were transferred to the Vardell family. It was handed over again, this time to two brothers, Henry and John Herlbeck who purchased it with the intent to capitalize on the land.

A brick factory was erected on the grounds with the forced labor of over 85 enslaved African people. At its height, the business used the power of over 225 people to help create 4 million bricks every year. Along with this investment of human labor, they became the largest pecan producer in the United States by the end of the 19th century.

Thomas and Alexandra Stone bought the property in 1935, tearing down the original home and leaving us with the structure we see today. The large Avenue of the Oaks had been there for some time. The Herlbeck brothers utilized their slave labor once more to plant over 90 live oak trees as a scenic entrance to the property. It was the Stones who built the Colonial Revival-style home in 1936. A Georgian Prince named Dimitri Jorjadze bought the mansion in 1940 and used it to raise race horses. One of which, a horse named Princequillo, was declared the fastest distance runner 0f 1943. The McRae family purchased it in 1955 and have been operating tours out of it since 1956.


The Spirits of the Brickyard


In addition to operating as a real-life jumpscare, it filled the house of horrors in October. It was a maze of terrors so scary it left one visitor in the hospital. But the real frights come within and outside the home, especially in the brickyard. Where, for decades, hundreds of enslaved African people built millions of bricks. Multiple spirits have been spotted around the old brickyard. Some see children running behind the whole furnaces. Others have felt their touch upon them. A young boy and girl are often seen together late at night and even during the days before curious visitors.

One poor soul is lost in eternal torment. In the pale moonlight, many have seen a young woman on the brink of adulthood, stuck in a freeze frame of agony. A classic example of a residual haunting, this girl repeats the same action repeatedly. She is standing in the grass near the road leading to the brickyard. Her hands are constantly jerking back and forth as if reconciling in her mind some sort of major trauma. She wears dark clothes, and her face is constantly covered with ragged hair. As such, no one has seen her face or has yet to identify. She is likely another nameless and lost slave.

Inside the main house and adjacent buildings of the old plantation, guests fare no better. Spirits of forgotten enslaved souls haunt the numerous rooms of the public tour house. Hot spots include the numerous slave cabins, especially Cabin 11. One guest reported walking into the cabin and feeling an unknown presence. Due to the uneasiness of the situation, they soon walked out of the room. As they left, the TV turned itself off as if to say, “Please, stay.” As they re-entered the room, it turned off again.


Spirits of Boone Hall


Not far from Charleston, Boone Hall remains, preserving its agricultural integrity while acknowledging and tempering its sordid past. The chains of slavery remain etched into the building’s walls, along with the majority of Old Charleston. The hands that created these bricks leave imprints across the vast estate. The spirits of the slaves who worked until their death give visitors a gruesome reminder of America’s past. Perhaps reminders such as this can act as a building block for further understanding and peace.

Boone Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and in 2021 to the list of African American historic places in South Carolina. Its walls hold the great weight of its past.

Are you ready to learn more about the horrors of Chareleston’s past? Book a Charleston ghost tour with Charleston Terrors!