Haunted History: Ghosts of the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Haunted History

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Built in 1771, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon Building in Downtown Charleston is a major tourist attraction, but the story inside its walls goes beyond just the history.

Rigel Kocar is a tour guide at the Exchange Building and has spent time as a ghost tour guide in the city of Charleston and, right away, he has an opinion on the possibility of the paranormal.

“I believe there are things that we can’t explain, that are beyond human rationale,” said Kocar.

The British occupied the building during the Revolutionary War and didn’t discriminate. They would punish anyone regardless of race, gender, etc. as long as they deserved it.

There were many deaths over the years in the dungeon and there are some stories that make it seem that some of these prisoners are still in the building to this day.

“I started to get changed into my outfit when suddenly I heard footsteps, someone walking to the door and then walking away and I just thought it was someone outside waiting for me to hurry up, so I quickly got changed and stepped outside and there was nobody.” 

Rigel Kocar, On a personal paranormal experience that happened to him

Upstairs is the Colonel Issac Hayne Room, which has a story of its own.

Colonel Issac Hayne was a member of the British Red Coats that switched over to the Patriots after what he believed was a violation of an oath of allegiance he made with the British Army.

The British Army considered him a traitor and had him arrested and sentenced to death.

He would be hanged in public on August 5, 1781, and there are some employees who believe his spirit is still in the room that they held him in just 36 hours before his execution.

“[Managers will] be managing the site during a corporate function or a wedding rehearsal that we might have inside of the building and they’ll be inside all by themselves, cleaning everything up and the doors leading to the Issac Hayne Room will be wide open but the evening manager will turn around and then suddenly the doors are shut.”

Rigel Kocar, On how some believe Colonel Issac Hayne’s spirit is still in the building

A building with so much history in the Lowcountry also holds some stories that add to Charleston’s haunted history.

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