Circular Congregational Church: Charleston’s Landmark of History & Haunting

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 17 January 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.


Welcome to the world of Circular Congregational Church, a historic and revered place of worship located in Charleston, South Carolina.

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage, architectural splendor, and spiritual significance of this iconic church as we take you on a journey through its past, paranormal encounters, cultural significance, and frequently asked questions.


Step back in time and uncover the rich tapestry of history that weaves through the Circular Congregational Church. From its early beginnings to the present day, this church stands as a testament to the unwavering faith and resilience of its congregation. Explore the significant milestones, notable figures, architectural beauty, fires, rebuilding efforts, and intriguing legends that have shaped the church’s story.

The roots of the Circular Congregational Church can be traced back to 1681, when a group of dissenters from the Church of England established a dissenting meeting house in Charleston, South Carolina. Originally known as the White Meeting House, it provided a place of worship for those seeking religious freedom.

Throughout its history, the Circular Congregational Church has faced its share of challenges. In 1796, a devastating fire destroyed the original meeting house, leading to its reconstruction in a circular shape. The church also endured another fire in 1861, during the early days of the Civil War, which led to further restoration and rebuilding efforts.

One of the distinctive features of the church is its circular design, a rarity in church architecture. The current circular sanctuary was constructed in 1804, showcasing the neoclassical style that was popular at the time. The architectural beauty of the church is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the builders who brought this vision to life.

Circular Congregational Church
Circular Congregational Church | Credit: motorcycle3chic

Over the centuries, the Circular Congregational Church has been home to influential religious leaders and prominent figures. Rev. Oliver Hart, who served as the church’s pastor in the 18th century, played a pivotal role in shaping the church’s growth and influence. The church also saw the leadership of Rev. Richard Furman, a notable advocate for religious liberty.

Like any place with a long history, the Circular Congregational Church has its share of intriguing legends and mysteries. One such legend is that of the hidden tunnel that is said to connect the church to nearby structures. While there is no concrete evidence to support this legend, it adds an air of mystique to the church’s narrative.

The past of the Circular Congregational Church is a rich tapestry of faith, resilience, architectural beauty, and intriguing legends. Its evolution over the centuries reflects the changing times and the unwavering commitment of its congregation. As you explore this remarkable place, let the stories of the past ignite your imagination and deepen your appreciation for the legacy it continues to carry.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

The Circular Congregational Church is not only steeped in history but also shrouded in intriguing tales of paranormal activities. Numerous witnesses and visitors have reported eerie experiences and encounters that defy rational explanation.

Let’s delve into some of the documented events that have left a lingering sense of mystery and the presence of the supernatural within these hallowed walls.

The Ghostly Revolutionary Soldier

Step into the world of the Circular Congregational Church, where a seasoned tour guide once fearlessly shared tales of the past. For years, day or night, they reveled in showcasing the site’s history to curious visitors.

But all changed one haunting night, about a year ago, when a strange apparition appeared in the graveyard. The pale figure took form, revealing a man in the attire of a Revolutionary War soldier. As she approached, his spectral presence became unmistakable.

From that eerie encounter, the tour guide experienced his ethereal visitations at least four more times during her night tours. Her guests, too, caught glimpses of this otherworldly soldier, leaving them with a mix of wonder and fear.

Circular Congregational Church
Circular Congregational Church | Credit:rchadstewart

Otherworldly Orbs – War Soldiers

Step into the realm of the Circular Congregational Church, where a history buff’s dream comes true amid the ancient graves. As dusk falls, he captures the decay of time etched on the historic markers, a glimpse into the past’s enduring legacy.

At 11pm, an otherworldly spectacle unfolds before him—three to four metal buttons on a soldier’s jacket, a haunting link to Revolutionary War soldiers. The same apparition seen by the intrepid tour guide. Undeterred, he ventures deeper, encountering ethereal orbs darting in all directions.

The soldier returns, this time floating away in mid-air, an enigma defying explanation. In each visit, the graveyard unveils more secrets—misty forms dancing among the tombstones, echoing voices that whisper ancient tales of days gone by.

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The Terrifying Haunts – Night Ghost Tour

Prepare for spine-chilling encounters at the Circular Church Graveyard. A visitor’s hair-raising tale will leave you gripping your lights tight.

As twilight descended, a guided tour began, but what followed was beyond imagination. A ghostly breath on her neck, a cold touch on her skin—she felt the presence of an unseen entity.Orbs danced in the dark, dividing the group between skeptics and believers. But terror escalated when a spectral soldier emerged, drawing closer with every step. Fear gripped hearts as the ghostly figure seemed to heed the tour guide’s words.In a flash, the apparition vanished, leaving the group trembling in awe and disbelief.

In the heart of the Circular Congregational Church, the boundary between the living and the paranormal blurs, unleashing terrors that will haunt you beyond the graveyard gates. Source: Haunted Charleston and Beyond: Spirits of the Lowcountry.

The Lady in White

Legend speaks of a haunting apparition of a lady dressed in a flowing white gown, roaming the church’s corridors and gardens. Witnesses have encountered her ghostly figure gliding through the candlelit halls, leaving behind a trail of faint, floral perfume.

The identity of the Lady in White remains a mystery, with some tales attributing her presence to a tragic love story from the church’s past, while others suggest she may have been a prominent figure in Charleston society. Her spectral visits continue to captivate visitors, leaving them pondering the enigmatic history of the Circular Congregational Church.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

The Circular Congregational Church, nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, has left an indelible mark on pop culture and media. Renowned for its historical significance and rumored hauntings, the church has garnered attention in various television shows and documentaries exploring the world of the supernatural. Notably, it was featured in an episode of “Ghosts of Charleston: Spirits from the Other Side,” where investigators delved into the church’s spectral tales and enigmatic mysteries.

In the literary realm, the Circular Congregational Church has found its place in books like “Charleston’s Ghosts: Hauntings in the Holy City” by Susan and Bruce Orr, where the city’s paranormal lore unfolds, and the church becomes a captivating chapter in the eerie narrative.

Today, the Circular Congregational Church continues to allure history buffs and avid ghost hunters alike. Its presence in pop culture and media highlights its allure as a historic treasure with a hint of the enigmatic and ethereal.


The Circular Congregational Church holds a special place in the hearts of its congregation and the wider community. Its rich past, paranormal encounters, and cultural significance make it a truly unique and cherished landmark.

Whether you seek spiritual solace, historical insights, or a sense of awe, this church offers a profound and memorable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is the Circular Congregational Church located?

A: It is located at 150 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401.

Q: What is the history of the Circular Congregational Church?
A: The church has a long and storied history dating back to the 17th century. It has endured fires, wars, and other challenges throughout the years.

Q: Are there any paranormal activities reported at the church?
A: Yes, there have been documented reports of ghostly encounters and paranormal phenomena experienced by visitors and members of the church.

Q: What is the cultural significance of the Circular Congregational Church?
A: The church is considered a significant landmark in Charleston, representing spirituality, community engagement, and a commitment to social justice.

Q: Can I visit the Circular Congregational Church?
A: Yes, the church welcomes visitors to explore its historical significance, attend services, and participate in community events.

Q: Are there any guided tours or programs available at the church?
A: Yes, the church offers guided tours and various programs to provide insights into its history, architecture, and spiritual practices.

Q: Is the church accessible to people of all faiths?
A: Absolutely. The Circular Congregational Church embraces religious diversity and welcomes individuals of all faiths and backgrounds.

Q: How can I get involved with the Circular Congregational Church?
A: There are several ways to get involved, including attending services, participating in community outreach programs, and joining various church groups and committees.

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