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Old Gold & Black


Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

For The Kids!
Madison Bush, Contributing writer • November 28, 2023
Knowledge Perk: Spartanburg’s Central Perk
Cameron Carsten, Managing Editor • November 28, 2023

Ghosts and ghouls and glowing green eyes

Photo taken of a mysterious moving fog that appeared around the graves at Oakwood Cemetery, just off E. Main Street.


Not everybody believes in the paranormal, and the closest most have us have come to the paranormal has been by watching movies and reading scary stories. However, we’re closer to allegedly real life horror than we might think. Here’s a list of real haunted places in Spartanburg and the grisly stories behind them, including stories from Wofford itself.

1. Hell’s Gates

Spartanburg’s Oakwood Cemetery, also known as “Hell’s Gates,” is rumored to be haunted, with many different stories of strange occurrences and paranormal experiences connected to it. People have reported cell phones and cameras dying for no reason, getting pictures of unexplained orbs and mist and feeling watched. There have even been reports of hearing crying, children’s laughing, screaming, singing and seeing apparitions of dark shadows.

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“We all found it really hard to breath. We saw a strange white mist just literally appear from nowhere. It was really thick smoke, and it was just swirling around in the air in circles,” says visitor Austin James, who went to the cemetery at night with a group of friends to investigate the alleged paranormal activity reported.The cemetery is also rumored to be a sight where people have conducted satanic rituals and grave robberies, only adding to the eeriness as if the ghosts weren’t enough.

“This place is the real deal,” a commenter on a blog discussing the paranormal activity at Hell’s Gates says. “I don’t know if it has to do with the Satanists there, or its just good ole fashioned ghosts, but it is without a doubt haunted.”

2. The Tanning Yards

The tanning yards have a history of homocide and crime, however—as rumor has it—that history has not stayed in the past, but still haunts the tanning yards today. In the 1960s a girl was strangled to death and her body disposed by the tanning yards by serial killer Lee Roy Martin, infamously known as the Gaffney Strangler. People have reported seeing the apparition of a woman on the bridge and an eery vibe from the area, as well as vapor with the face of a young woman.

One online commenter says, “There is a heavy sense of dread and I always feel a presence on that road. I and many others have seen a white misty figure, during the hours of 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.”

While no one has reported being harmed by ghosts at the tanning yard, it is still one of the eeriest places of Spartanburg.

3. Converse College

Wofford’s neighbor, Converse College, has quite a few grisly ghost stories. People have reported all kinds of paranormal phenomena in Pell Hall, where it is said the spirit of a girl who died jumping out of a window, expecting to be caught below by her lover as they snuck out to elope together, haunts the building. People have said they’ve seen the apparition of a girl in white running down the hallway, heard loud bangs, and have even seen her standing over them in the room where it is said she died in. The room is now locked and off-limits. Another disturbing story from Converse is the legend of Betty Payne, the ghost of girl who hanged herself in her room. Apparently no matter how many times the door has been painted over, the mark of the noose, rope and body outline still remains.

4. Wofford College

While Wofford does not have a reputation for being haunted, it does have a few ghost stories of its own. In 1956, a student was walking up the stairs in the DuPre Administrative Building when a man passed him on the stairs. The student recognized the man as Dean DuPre, who was already dead, from a portrait at the landing of the stairs. When the student turned around, the man was gone.

Another Wofford ghost story is the haunting at Carlisle House. Two confederate soldiers died of smallpox in the Carlisle House during the Civil War, and reported strange occurrences suggest that their ghosts haven’t left.

“I’ve thought that there was something up there sometimes,” Dean Mike Preston, a 1963 Wofford graduate who lived in Carlisle House, says.

Preston and his family says they would occasionally hear noises and his daughter reports that sometimes she would get the feeling that there was someone in the room with her.

Wofford College is even featured in the book, Haunted Colleges and Universities: Creepy Campuses, Scary Scholars, and Deadly Dorms for reported paranormal activity in Old Main. Old Main is Wofford’s oldest structure, and there have been disturbing sightings of a pair of disembodied eyes hovering in the air on the east wall of Leonard Auditorium. It is not known who the ghastly eyes belong to, but it is certain that they are very creepy.

— Sarah Clemens

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