With Halloween just around the corner, it’s ghost and haunting time. In an area as rich with history as Charlotte is, there are bound to be plenty of haunted places with tales of horror, tragedy and woe. In fact, North Carolina is one of the most haunted states in the United States. Activity in Charlotte goes back long into the past, and the present city was founded before the Revolutionary War, in 1768. As such, the area is dotted with cemeteries and graveyards (the difference is that a graveyard is usually owned by a church or has a church building on the same property) that have very old graves, some with soldiers, some with unnamed slaves, and even one with a priest who had a shameful secret.
Rocky Ridge Cemetery
Behind the Rocky Ridge UMC
1428 Old Charlotte Highway
Concord, NC 28027
No list of haunted graveyards would be complete without mentioning Rocky Ridge Cemetery. This is in Concord, just northeast of Charlotte. The Rocky Ridge church started out as Presbyterian, but became United Methodist in 1842. Behind the church building, through the woods, is the cemetery. It is also behind Jackson Training School. It is said the area to the back of the cemetery, by the tree line, is haunted by the children buried there. It has been investigated by paranormal investigators, always with different results. There have been pictures showing mist or auras at different graves and claims of hearing voices of children and laughing. Please keep in mind, this is not a public cemetery, so be respectful and if possible, ask the church before visiting.
Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery
10500 Beaties Ford Road
Huntersville, NC 28078
There are many graves in Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery dating to the 18th century, including soldiers from the Revolutionary War. The church building itself was erected in 1775 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The ghost of Gen. William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War hero, is said to appear here, riding at night on his horse with his sabre raised. As with Rocky Ridge, keep in mind that this is a privately owned cemetery.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Cemetery
Intersection of NC-273 and Sandy Ford Road
Mount Holly, NC 28120
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1843 in Mount Holly, N.C. It is now only opened for special occassions, such as St. Patrick’s Day. Going to mass there is just like it was in 1843, as the original furnishings and statues are all still there. The priest at St. Joseph’s in 1943 was named Father Reese. The story is that Father Reese was committing adultery with a lady in the congregation whose husband was away in the service. When he heard she was pregnant, he hung himself from a tree in the church yard. The woman moved away the next day, and Father Reese, because of his sin, was not permitted to be buried in the church graveyard. Instead, a church member buried him in his back yard, adjacent to the church property, in unconsecrated ground. It is said now that Father Reese walks in the church yard or sometimes in the church building itself, and many people say he is crying. Sometimes he is spotted at mass, and he always disappears when spoken to.
Carolina History and Haunts
200 W. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Price: $15 adults/$13 children ages 8 to 12/free children younger than 8
A tranquil oasis among the hustle and bustle of the city would be a good way to describe Old Settlers’ Cemetery. This was the first cemetery in the city, and now has large trees growing, as well as brick sidewalks. Old Settlers’ Cemetery is one of the places visited during the Carolina History and Haunts Tour, one of the few ghost tours in Charlotte. Take this tour to hear about the haunted mines around and under the city, stories about some of the older buildings, and some of the graves in the cemetery. This is a walking tour, but be aware some of the stories may not be child friendly.
Charlotte and Fort Mill KOA Campground
940 Gold Hill Road
Fort Mill, SC 29708
Price: $20, but there are discounts listed on the schedule/$4 off for registered campers
This is an attraction set up within the Fort Mill KOA Campground. It includes Mina’s Mansion, which is a different experience added in 2003. A graveyard has been set up as part of it, with a path through the graveyard. Larger crowds each year indicate this is one of the best haunted attractions in the area. The idea of the operators is to make it very much like an interactive slasher movie, and they use many props and actors to make it realistic. This is not recommended for children younger than 10.
Vincent Eagan, III is a minister who has preached and taught Jesus in 30 states and Peru over the last 15 years. He currently lives in Monroe, NC, and is working on his MTh in Theology. He has been a life-long student of the Bible and other religious texts, and loves to discuss history. His work can be found at Examiner.com.