Haunted Battery Carriage Inn

Posted by in US Ghost Adventures

Like so many locations in the southern United States, the history of the Battery Carriage Inn is tied directly to the Civil War. The battles left it battered and beaten, stained and scarred. Considered one of the most haunted inns in Charleston, South Carolina, the Battery Carriage Inn has been featured on numerous ‘Most Haunted’ lists and continually tops the lists of locals when they’re asked, ‘We’re visiting and want to experience the real history of Charleston… where should we stay?’


Why is the Battery Carriage Inn haunted?


Like something out of a novel, the Battery Carriage Inn sure does look the part of a haunted lodging. From its double porch and balcony to its towering facade, the inn greets visitors with warm and welcoming lanterns near the front door, only to change faces and become more than they bargained for. Its involvement in the Civil War left the inn teeming with spirits, all of whom are more than happy to share their quarters with visitors. Keep reading to learn more, and to learn more about Charleston’s most haunted places, book a ghost tour with Charleston Terrors!

History of the Battery Carriage Inn

Located at 20 South Battery, the Battery Carriage Inn is one of the city’s most historic buildings. Its history began in the balmy summer of 1843 — it was June, and Samuel Stevens was looking to purchase land for what would become his infamously haunted inn.

Samuel Stevens was a wealthy man who made a living working as a commercial agent for plantation owners. He bought the property for $4,500, a drop in the bucket that was his wallet. While the inn has changed a bit over its 175-year history, its location near the water remains unchanged.

Initially, the inn was built in the same way as other homes in the area, in a popular southern neoclassical style. Sixteen years passed with Samuel in the home before he sold the property to John F. Blacklock in 1859. Blacklock then moved his own home from 18 Bull Street to his new plot of land at 20 South Battery—this is the structure we see today.

The Civil War and the Colonel

Shortly after Blacklock moved into his new home, the Civil War broke out. Blacklock was forced to abandon the house and later sold the property to Colonel Richard Lathers.

Following the Civil War, Charleston’s economy hit rough waters. Many of the city’s southern merchants had lost everything—properties sat vacant, and businesses went under as there weren’t enough buyers willing to invest in the once-glimmering City.

Lathers believed in the city and hired architect John Henry Devereux to renovate the home into the modern Second Empire styling typically found in New York. Some of the features added to the house included a ballroom and library. Lathers was constantly trying to drum up business for the local economy and would invite his friends from New York to come and stay with him in the city, taking a tour and meeting locals to prove that the city had real potential.

Despite his efforts, the Civil War had proven too much for the town. Locals were unwilling to trust these fancy businessmen from up north, which soon led to the economy’s stagnation. The people of Charleston eventually grew tired of the Colonel and did not hide their displeasure with him. Lathers also grew weary of the city that was uninterested in modernizing. As 1874 came around, Lathers decided to leave Charleston behind.

Simonds Years

In 1874, Lathers sold the property to a cherished member of the Calhoun family, Andrew Simonds. The Calhoun family was among the few South Carolina families that had weathered the Civil War and grown their wealth afterward. Simonds was a successful businessman who established the First National Bank of South Carolina. In addition to his bank and numerous other endeavors, Simonds had a fleet of ships for trading.

Even with all of his business-related success, his personal life wasn’t so great. His son, expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, loved alcohol and partying and soon ended up committed to a sanitorium in Baltimore. As for Simonds’ marriage, his wife Daisy was known for throwing lavish parties at the Villa Margarita. At times, it was just too much for Simonds to handle.

The Turn of the Century

In 1912, the Simonds family sold the home, and from then on, it changed hands numerous times. One of the first was the Society for Preservation of Old Dwellings, believed to be one of the oldest historical protection groups in the country. Their goal was directly opposite of Lathers’, and they set out to preserve Charleston and its history instead of modernizing it.

The house was converted into apartments in the 1960s, and by the 1980s, it had become a hotel. Now known as the Battery Carriage Inn, it is owned by Andrew Simonds’s second great-grandson. Despite its age, the inn is completely unravished by the years. But take a peek past the beautiful antebellum atmosphere, and you’ll find a home filled with ghosts, filled to the rafters.

Hauntings of the Battery Carriage Inn

As one of Charleston’s most haunted locations, the Battery Carriage Inn doesn’t disappoint when it comes to unexplained happenings. The hauntings date back to the Civil War, but these days, it’s said that numerous ghosts wander the property.

Room Three

The first haunted room at the inn involves a married couple who had decided to rest their heads there. Tired from their day, they headed straight to bed once they arrived and were woken suddenly. They saw an orb floating about the room and even saw it again on their second night. They also noticed other glowing shapes around the room, which led them to a very restless stay.

Room Eight

The most ominous room at the Battery Carriage Inn is Room 8. The ghost in this room is malevolent and seems to be able to appear at all times of day. The spirit in Room 8 seems like a Civil War soldier, a lady in white, or a small child — so, a shapeshifter?

The ghost in this room has even sent visitors packing. It makes strange noises to wake them from their sleep, and most times, it appears as a headless torso floating in their room.

Room Ten

Room 10 is home to ‘The Gentleman Ghost,’ who graciously shares the room with guests. People do see him as a greyish shadow and glide around the room silently. He has a peaceful demeanor but has been known to settle into bed with guests!

Checking In

Many rumors about the inn about who the ghosts at the Battery Carriage Inn are. Some say the headless torso is a Civil War soldier, appearing as he did at his death. As for the Gentleman Ghost, some believe that he is the spirit of a tenant who lived in the inn when it functioned as apartments. As for the other orbs and shadows of the inn, you’ll just have to book a stay to meet them!

Want to learn more about the most haunted places in Charleston? Book a ghost tour with Charleston Terrors!