Top 10 Haunted Places in Charlotte
When you’re standing in a city as bustling and modern as Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s easy to forget it’s been around since the 16th century. So it’s no surprise that a city over 150 years old has its fair share of paranormal activity. In this article, we’ll count down the top 10 haunted places in Charlotte. Think you’re brave enough for what Queen City has to offer? Read on to find out!
10. Fire Station Number 4
Originally built in 1925, fire station number four no longer serves as a functioning fire station, but instead as a museum. The building is now thought to be haunted by the cigar-loving ghost of a former fireman.
On April 1st, 1934, a firefighter by the name of Pruitt Black headed out in response to a call. But when he tried to slide down the fire pole, he became tangled in his heavy bunker pants and fell through the hole instead. Pruitt fractured his skull and died on impact. His ghost reportedly still haunts the building to this day, and visitors of the museum claim to have seen his cigar smoke hanging in the air.
9. Dunhill Hotel
As Charlotte’s only historic hotel, the Uptown Dunhill Hotel is naturally also its most haunted. The hotel was originally constructed in 1929 as Mayfair Manor. When it became the Dunhill in 1988, construction workers discovered a human skull in the basement. The mystery of how the bones got there, and who they belonged to, has never been solved. Perhaps the owner of the skull lurks behind on some unfinished business. He seems to be jealous of the still-attached heads of hotel patrons, as many of them report feeling an eerie shiver that begins at their spines and travels all the way up to their skulls.
If you check into the Dunhill, try and book room 906. All sorts of eerie happenings have been recorded in this paranormal hotspot, such as lights and appliances turning on by themselves, and a spectral finger tapping on the nightstand at exactly 3 am.
8. Queens University
Students bunking at the Albright Residence Hall have more than just bad roommates to worry about. According to campus lore, the ghost of a student who committed suicide in her room still haunts the building. The door to her room reportedly flies open all on its own, and students staying in the adjacent rooms hear strange knocking coming from the walls at night. The room itself is said to be perpetually chilly, even in the summer. Some speculate her ghost has unfinished business on campus, like an unsettled score or an overdue paper.
The university’s main campus is also said to be haunted, and students report spotting the ghosts of Confederate soldiers. Others report hearing a bloodcurdling scream before a shadowy apparition appears hanging from a tree. When they try and alert campus security, the figure vanishes.
7. Carolina Theatre
The once-thriving Carolina Theatre now exists as merely a husk of its former self. The bones of the building remain intact, but the interior stands bare and deserted. But according to legend, the spectral patrons of the theatre never quite got over its closure, and remain there to this day.
A Caretaker in the theatre reports the distinct feeling of being watched, even when he was sure he was alone. When he turned around to see if anyone was there, he spotted the apparition of a man gazing down at him from the balcony. This man has been dubbed Fred and is known to hang out around the theatre, materializing in the middle of the stage and causing lightbulbs to burn out.
The theatre is actually set to reopen sometime in 2022, leaving the new owners wondering if Fred will make an appearance. As of right now, he has an open invitation to the show.
6. Ri Ra Irish Pub
A good drink isn’t the only kind of spirit you can find at the Ri Ra, a traditional Irish bar and popular Charlotte drinking spot. The building itself was constructed in Ireland, restored, and reopened in Charlotte in 1997. Patrons of the pub report feeling inexplicably cold in certain areas. Others have seen ghostly figures of men in period clothing wandering in and ordering drinks with thick Irish accents. But when the bartender asks to see their IDs, the men vanish.
The spirit of a young girl is also rumored to haunt the pub, and staff sometimes hears her practicing her ABCs. You can even find chalk writing above the host stand tracking her progress. Other odd occurrences include beer taps turning on by themselves, and spectral sewing machines whirring from the basement.
5. Latta Plantation
The Latta Plantation is a historic Charlotte manor once home to the Latta family. Constructed in 1800, the home is among Charlotte’s oldest, and feels like a portal to another time. Today the plantation serves as a Civil War reenactment site.
Visitors report hearing the sounds of young children running and playing in the attic. Strange, shadowy figures have also been seen lurking in the corners where the light doesn’t reach. Witnesses account seeing the shadows materialize in human-like forms in the corner of their eyes, but when they turn their heads to look, they disappear.
Elizabeth is a quiet residential neighborhood within walking distance of Independence park, complete with ice-cream shops and local bars. But the quaint little neighborhood reportedly harbors as many deceased residents as living. The Cajun Queen, a converted restaurant on Seventh Street, once housed an older woman who died in her home. The staff believes she never left. Some claim the ghost is not too happy about her once quiet home becoming a noisy restaurant, especially since the bar is located in her old room. Others argue all she wants is a drink.
Many of the old houses in the neighborhood are also said to harbor spirits, and accounts include a shadowy man in a top hat standing at the stairs, and the apparition of a little girl walking through walls.
3. Antique Kingdom
The aptly named Antique Kingdom has served a variety of purposes since its construction in 1903. Throughout its history, the house has served as a distillery for moonshine, a boarding house for single women visiting Charlotte, and a wedding parlor.
The building now operates as an auction house, but just above the main auction room, otherwordly spirits are rumored to lurk. The energy emanating from the third floor is apparently so dark that maintenance workers have refused to venture upstairs. One plumber even threatened to quit when asked to complete repairs on the house’s top floor.
Even the owner of Antique Kingdom doesn’t go upstairs unless he has to, fearing the spectral figures hiding in the dusty third-floor mirrors.
2. The Duke Mansion
Built in 1915, Duke Mansion now operates a popular bed and breakfast. But before its commercial reconfiguring, the house was the scene of a tragic love story.
A young man afflicted with polio named Jon Avery once lived at Duke Mansion with his wife. When she took ill and was confined to the hospital, Jon was devastated, and decided to rent out a spare bedroom for company. A pretty female writer responded to his ad, and the two became fast friends. Their relationship soon developed into something more, but the young writer decided to leave once she realized Jon would never abandon his ailing wife. But just before she left, Jon convinced her to meet at Duke Mansion one year later at midnight, dead or alive.
The young woman kept her word, and exactly one year later, she returned. Just as the clock struck 12, the woman heard the slow, heavy footsteps of her polio-stricken lover. She watched as he approached from the shadows, dressed in dark formal attire. But when she reached out to touch him, her hand passed right through him. “Dead or alive, right?” He whispered, winking. Then he disappeared.
The young woman later discovered that Jon Avery had passed away the day before, and had asked from his death bed, “dead or alive, will I make it?” The woman was so heartbroken that she returned to Duke Mansion one year later, and every year until her death.
1. Founders Hall
Founders Hall currently serves as a shopping and dining center but in the 17th century, the building operated as a medical school. Looking at it today, it’s easy to forget Founders Hall’s dark history. The legend goes that one night, a group of medical students were in desperate need of a body. The group broke into the cemetery and found what they were looking for in the body of a young, dark-haired girl named Louise. But the callous young students brought back more than bargained for.
Confused and terrified by their careless treatment, her spirit wanders Founders Hall, crying and begging for help. Visitors often make reports of a strange young woman with long dark hair showing signs of extreme distress. But by the time security guards answer reports, the woman is gone. Other patrons report hearing disembodied screaming and the voice of a woman pleading to be laid to rest. Considering its dark history, it’s no wonder Founders Hall is one of the most haunted places in Charlotte!
Though now a modern and thriving commercial hub, the city of Charlotte itself is a historic landmark, an old ghost of our country’s past that lives on. And within it are reminders of that thistory, from phantoms ready to share a pint at the pub, to the spirits of the Old South haunting its plantations. So come and visit, if you dare.