Charleston Ghosts Edgar Allan Poe-{charleston sc ghost stories}

We just took a walking ghost tour with Ghost City Tours this weekend and it was so much fun.

The kids loved the stories and never once got bored. We didn’t capture any ghosts in our photos the night of the tour, BUT after hearing some of the stories about Washington Square, I went back to some shoots I did in the square to see if I ever captured Anna Ravenel. I did a shoot on the saturday morning before Mothers Day this past May(2022) and think maybe I could have captured not Anna, but her love, Edgar A. Perry…aka EDGAR ALLAN POE! In the photos below you’ll see the deep set eyes and what looks to be a clear mustache in the ghostly figure. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but this certainly could be the ghost of Mr. Poe himself looking for his lost love Annabel Lee. 😮 

“Believe Nothing you hear and only half that you see” Poe

The figure appears in only ONE photo of the set. It’s there and then it’s gone. I’m intrigued and couldn’t keep this to myself. I’m fascinated with the ghost stories of Charleston but somehow had never heard this particular one.

As the story goes,

Annabel (Anna Ravenel) was a woman who lived in Charleston before the Civil War broke out, who fell in love with a sailor, Edgar Perry who was stationed at Fort Moultrie, located just across the Charleston Harbor.

Her father didn’t approve of the relationship and forbid her from seeing him.
The two couldn’t stay apart, though, and Annabel would sneak out to see her lover at the Unitarian Cemetery.

One night, Annabel’s father saw the two, became furious, had him transferred to Baltimore, and decided to lock her in a room for several months as punishment.
The two were never able to see each other again and, after losing her love, Anna became very ill and died of Yellow Fever, …or a broken heart.
Edgar rushed back to see her, but was too late, she had already died.
Poor E was not even allowed to go to Anna’s funeral, b/c her father blamed him for her death.
When the sailor arranged to visit her grave,  Mr. Ravenel, who suspected this might happen, had six graves dug and filled in so E wouldn’t know which grave belonged to Anna.

He became famous as the writer, Edgar Allen Poe, and his poem, “Annabel Lee,” is believed to be the story of his ill fated love.
Today, a “Lady in White” is said to roam the cemetery at night, probably the ghost of Anna Ravenel and during the tour last night, we were told she shows up on Saturday nights and can be seen by those with a broken heart.

The famous poem believed to be written about Anna, published after his death:

Annabel Lee
By Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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