CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The hotel industry is screaming for service during the coronavirus pandemic, but some long-time guests have never checked out of 20 South Battery.
Now a five-story luxury boutique hotel, the historic battery home still rooms uninvited guests.
Dr. Jack Schaeffer, the owner of the hotel, takes guests back in time as if they arrived in Downtown Charleston in the 1870’s.
“We’ve taken this house back to exactly what it’s looked like in 1870; so, if you walked in 1870, this is probably exactly what it would look like,” he said.
Even with some remodeling, Dr. Schaeffer is still working to make the ghosts feel at home. He says if you paint a building blue it keeps the ghost away, so instead he painted some of the outside of the hotel green to let them know they are welcome to stay.
Room eight and room 10 are known for their hauntings, but in different ways. Room 10 is said to be haunted by a romantic spirit.
Dr. Schaeffer says, “He loves women. He will usually lay down with women, he’s very gentle, very friendly. If you scream, he leaves, he doesn’t want to scare anybody.”
The gentleman ghost often visits women who stay in the room including one who spent her honeymoon at the hotel.
“She was laying in the bed, he was in the bathroom and she felt her hair move on the pillow and she thought ‘oh my god, that was so sweet’ and turned and he was not there, so it was definitely the gentleman ghost fixing her hair for her husband who was in the bathroom, because usually when the man comes the ghost disappears,” he explained.
The ghost in room eight is on the less friendly side.
“He likes to bang on the walls, and he doesn’t hang out with anybody. He looks like a Confederate soldier which there’s no head, his heads not there and his arms are not there, but he is wearing a large, supposedly a large wool jacket,” he said.
Described as a headless torso, Dr. Schaeffer believes the ghost to be Steve Bonnet, an eighteenth-century pirate who sailed along the battery, a place where pirates were hung and where the pirates hung out, but there are other theories about who haunts the room.
He says someone who recently stayed at the hotel mapped it out and started calling different names and the ghost continued the movement. The ghost “kept answering to the name Richard, which we assume is Richard Lathers cause every time she would mention his name there was movement on her machine and she mentioned every other name and no movement the only other thing was Lathers, so the ghost was/is Richard Lathers or someone related to Richard Lathers,” he said.
It is still unclear about who haunts the room, but if you are looking for a hotel with some history, restless spirits can still be found at 20 South Battery.