Strolling along the picturesque Charleston Battery, one will come upon a large public park called White Point Gardens. Brimming with gorgeous Spanish moss-covered live oaks and scattered Civil War-era cannons and monuments, the park attracts visitors for its beauty and rich history. But there’s one piece of this park’s history many don’t know about … a dark chapter that lends credibility to the belief that the park is, in fact, haunted. 

This unassuming monument is dedicated to the pirate Stede Bonnett and states that Bonnett and 29 of his men were hanged in the park in the early 1700s, and their bodies were buried in the marsh next to the park. But it wasn’t only the Bonnett crew who were executed in White Point Gardens. From approximately 1715 through the mid-1800s, as many as 200 people were hanged in the park in gruesome public displays. 

It is widely believed that the spirits of Bonnetts pirates roam the park searching for their executioners. Visitors have reported seeing ghosts, apparitions, and strange spots of light and experiencing cold spots throughout the park and other paranormal events.

It’s hard to fathom that someplace as peaceful and serene as White Point Gardens, which is the setting for hundreds of weddings each year, holds such a tumultuous history. As you cruise on Sandlapper’s Ghost Tour, you will sail right past the park and be able to view it … from a comfortable distance.