The Haunting of Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon – Charleston, South Carolina

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 20 January 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

The charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, has a sinister secret hidden deep behind its borders. Despite its unassuming exterior, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon hide a terrifying story that has stood the test of time. The eerie vibe of bygone eras fills the air as you stand in front of its historic doors. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon is more than just a historical location; it’s a doorway to a past that refuses to remain hidden and is veiled in sorrow and gloom.

The Old Exchange Marker
The Old Exchange Marker – Credit hmdb

History of Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, situated in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, holds a profound connection to American history. Its origins trace back to the late 18th century when the British Crown constructed it as the Charleston Exchange, signifying the city’s importance in commerce and governance.

In the antebellum era, the Old Exchange served various purposes, but its darker history emerged in the mid-19th century. As the slave trade thrived, the Provost Dungeon became a holding area for enslaved Africans on their harrowing journey through the transatlantic slave trade. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon has a rich history filled with tales of ghostly apparitions and the haunting cries of forgotten prisoners that can still be heard today, reminding us of the secrets hidden within its stately halls and dungeon.

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon bear witness to turbulent times, preserving a history of grandeur and grimness. Today, visitors can explore these historic halls, feeling the resonance of the past and discovering the stories of those who walked here, in times of both triumph and tribulation. This site stands as a testament to Charleston’s enduring spirit and America’s complex history.

Historic Old Exchange
Historic Old Exchange – Credit cofc

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Tortured Souls – Haunted Dungeon

Between 1680 and 1767, Charleston was a fortified city, surrounded by walls to fend off pirates and marauders. Those caught and condemned, like Stede Bonnet and his pirate crew, found themselves imprisoned in the eerie depths of the Provost Dungeon. The remnants of those original city walls still stand, bearing silent witness to a grim chapter in history. Some visitors claim to have witnessed lingering echoes of this bygone era.

Within the dim confines of the Provost Dungeon, unsettling accounts have emerged over the years. Visitors have reported hearing terrifying cries and mournful moans, as if the tormented spirits of the past still haunt the place. Yet, the most chilling reports describe chains, hanging in the darkness, that begin to swing mysteriously on their own, without any human touch.

Dancing orbs of spectral light and sudden, bone-chilling cold spots further add to the eerie ambiance. The dungeon isn’t just a passive repository of history; it’s a place where the living occasionally find themselves at the mercy of unseen forces. Some visitors claim to have been pushed or felt invisible hands tighten around their throats, a disconcerting reminder that the spirits here are not idle.

In this eerie place, where the dead and the living shared the same space, the spirits are far from benign observers, and their presence serves as a haunting testament to the past that refuses to fade away.

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Ghostly Staff – Haunted Basement

While the spirits that inhabit the upper floors of the Exchange are relatively benign, the same cannot be said for the unsettling occurrences that unfold in the basement.

Visitors to the Exchange have had encounters that defy explanation. On several occasions, unsuspecting guests have approached individuals dressed in attire reminiscent of the Revolutionary period, believing them to be staff members. Yet, the peculiar part is what happens next: as they draw nearer, these apparitions vanish into thin air, leaving bewildered witnesses in their wake.

In contrast to these enigmatic vanishing specters, the experiences above ground seem almost tame. Disappearing staff members might startle, but they pale in comparison to the dark and foreboding entities that roam the dungeon’s depths.

Within the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, an air of mystery and unease persists. The spirits that linger in the upper floors may be mischievous but are generally benign. However, as visitors venture into the basement, they step into a realm where encounters with unsettling apparitions are not for the faint of heart, reminding all that the past is never truly at rest.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, known for their rich historical tapestry and eerie aura, have become well-known due to a plethora of films and television shows that delve into the mysterious realm of the paranormal. Notably, the location was the focus of the fascinating series “Eerie Echoes: Unmasking Forgotten Phantoms,” in which daring investigators investigated the enigmatic stories and spine-tingling experiences kept inside its walls.

In the realm of literature, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon’s legacy has been eternally etched in the pages of books such as “Haunted Charleston: Scary Sites, Eerie Encounters, And Tall Tales” by Sara Pitzer and “Ghosts and Legends of Charleston, South Carolina” by Denise Roffe. These literary works unveil the spectral tales that shroud the dungeon, offering gripping chronicles of its haunted history.

Attracted by its ubiquitous presence in popular culture and media, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon remain a powerful draw for history buffs and occult enthusiasts to this day. This historical masterpiece has a spooky and captivating aura that draws everyone looking for an immersive experience. It radiates mystery and the strange.


As you emerge from the mysterious depths of Provost Dungeon and the Old Exchange, you are left forever altered by the eerie legacy of Charleston’s past. You now carry the secrets you’ve discovered, the spectral sounds you’ve heard, and the spooky atmosphere you’ve encountered deeply ingrained in your being. The ghosts of Charleston’s past stalk you, a constant reminder that time’s echoes are unavoidable. You take with you the understanding that the darkest periods of history are never completely forgotten as you walk outside into the warm Southern light. Even if the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon are no longer able to ensnare you, their tales still call to those who are willing to hear them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where is the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon located?

A. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon is located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

Q. Are the legends of the Provost Dungeon and the disappearing staff members real?

A. Yes, these legends are based on accounts from visitors who have experienced eerie phenomena within the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Whether you believe them or not, the stories have been passed down through generations.

Q. Are there any known accounts of ghostly encounters in the Provost Dungeon?

A. Yes, visitors have reported eerie experiences, including hearing strange sounds and witnessing apparitions in the Provost Dungeon. While these accounts remain unexplained, they contribute to the legends of this historic site.

Q. Can I participate in a paranormal investigation at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon?

A. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon occasionally host paranormal investigation events, allowing guests to use specialized equipment to search for evidence of supernatural activity. Check the schedule for upcoming opportunities to participate in these unique experiences.

Q. What is the most famous legend associated with the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon?

A. Among the well-known legends, the tale of the swinging chains in the Provost Dungeon and the disappearing staff members on the upper floors are some of the most famous. These stories continue to captivate visitors and enthusiasts of the paranormal.

Q. Have any paranormal experts or investigators explored the site?

A. Yes, over the years, paranormal experts and investigators have visited the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon to study its mysterious occurrences. Their findings often align with the enduring legends, further adding to the site’s mystique.

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