I read an article in the newspaper that the Old City Jail is in the process of being remodeled and turned into an office building. That seems incredibly sad to me. It is in the hands of a developer who is on the trail of getting permission to do this.
How can this be? This is Charleston’s most haunted building. It is a place ripe with African American history for our region. Why can’t it be restored and preserved as an historical site. It needs museum status. For this building to become an office building would be a travesty.
The jail, which was operational from 1802 until 1939, was the place were 10,000 people died from diseases, execution or injury. There was a lot of injury. It was the time of slavery in the south. Some of our most famous and crazy prisoners were housed there. Lavinia Fisher and her husband were there. She was our first female serial killer. She and husband used poison and a bed of stakes to kill their victims. Denmark Vessey and black soldiers were housed there.
And did I say already that it is haunted? The ghost of Lavinia Fisher is supposed to be there. People claimed to have seen her and heard her speak! Things move, people see shadows moving, the rattling of chains can be heard and people on tour have been touched or scratched by unseen things. There is a local tour company that gives a tour there. I have always wanted to go and but it off thinking they would be doing that tour forever. I guess I really need to book it… and soon. Progress waits for no man.
When I think about it being haunted, who would want to work there? I do not think I would. I do want to go, take the tour and take pictures. I hope to get some interesting ghost pictures! The souls of 10,000 were lost there. It is not a place to go daily. It is a place to pay homage to the dead.