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Restless spirits haunt the graceful porticos and Southern Gothic surrounds of Charleston and Savannah

Tales of the supernatural abound in the coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia, USA, whose haunting landscapes can unsettle even the most sceptical visitor



St Philip’s Episcopal Church cemetery in Charleston. OPPOSITE The McLeod Plantation on James Island, South Carolina

USED TO BE A SCEPTIC until I lived in a haunted house,’ says the waitress, as she hands me a cup of crab bisque. ‘I saw him just like I’m seeing you. A white man with short dark hair.’

Her name is Julie Lambert. She is a darkhaired, ebullient, 30-something woman without a whiff of ectoplasm about her, but she tells me she’s not only seen ghosts, she shares her current workplace with one.

The restaurant, Poogan’s Porch, occupies a 19th-century building in the centre of Charleston, South Carolina. ‘There’s definitely something here. I’ve been here 12 years and I’ve seen her five or six times,’ Julie assures me. ‘One time I felt breathing on the back of my neck. When I turned around, I could see someone standing behind me in the mirror. It’s fine, but I wouldn’t be here by myself after dark.’

I tell Julie I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’m always prepared to look at evidence that might make me change my mind, and I’ve always got time for a ghost story.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - November 2016
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