Converse College was first established on October 1, 1890, but planning for the college began 1889. One of the founders was Dexter Edgar Converse. He wanted to start a women’s college because his daughter was about to be in college and like every father, he wanted the best oppurtunity for his child. Converse was named after him because he was so involved in the process of establishing the college.
At first, Converse was used as a stock company. With in that company there was a board of directors to which the Rev. Benjamin Wilson was a member. He became the first president of Converse. The first class of Converse consisted of 16 faculty members and 168 female students.
Unfortunately, on January 2, 1892 a fire destroyed the main building. The annex was connected to this building and was able to be saved. However they did repair the building and made it bigger. The annex was renamed Pell Hall after Converse’s second president, Robert Pell. Pell Hall was built in 1861 and was the second building built on the campus. Pell Hall and the annex served a majority of functions, such as, classrooms, a cafeteria, and dorms. Today, Pell Hall only serves as a dorm.
Since the 1900′s Converse has been on of the leading women’s colleges in the South. Click on history to find out more information about Converse College
Some locals say that Converse College may be the second most haunted location in South Carolina. Many of the buildings on campus are still considered home to many spirits.
Williams Dorm-Legend has it that there is a ghost of a little boy near the laundry room of this building. If you throw a ball down the hallway, it is said that he will throw the ball back to you. He is said to be very friendly.
Hazel B. Abbott Theatre-The ghost of Miss Hazel resides here. No matter what time of the year it is, the theater is said to be VERY cold. If you sit in her seat, you will become haunted.
Wilson Hall-The stairway leading up to the bell tower is where 2 men were fighting. One of the men were pushed off. The door to this tower is locked, but it is said that the ghost has red eyes.
Pell Hall-Might be home to some of the most tragic accidents on campus. One night, a girl was sneaking out to elope. Her lover was down below. He swore that if she jumped, he would catch her. He didn’t catch her. You can still see a lady in white running down the hallway. People have experienced weird things going on this room., such as loud bangs and the ghost of the girl standing over you. Today, they keep the door locked and off limits. Another claim in this building is the legend of Betty Payne. She hung herself in her room. Today, no matter how many times they paint over the door, you can still see the mark of the noose, rope, and body outline.
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind(SCSDB) is located in Spartanburg. The school for the deaf and blind reaches out to children from preschool age until after graduating high school.
The SCSDB was founded in 1849. It was founded by Rev. Newton Pickney Walker and his wife Martha Walker. At first the school for the deaf and blind was a private school and only had five children who were deaf. In 1856, the school became a state school which grew and grew over time. During the Civil War, her son went off to fight. During this time, her 3 year old child and Rev. Walker passed away. She was left to run the school on her own. During Reconstruction of the Civil War, the school closed temporarily and then Martha’s brother took over for a while. Martha Walker lived in a room on the first floor of Walker Hall. She died in 1900.
It has been said that Martha Walker is still walking the halls at the SCSDB, specifically in the old historic building, which is now Walker Hall. Martha is said to be protecting the current students. Some may think that Martha Walker is still roaming the halls because she has never been offically recognized as a president of the school. Upon talking to many of the faculty memebers at the Deaf and Blind School, there have been numerous claims of voices, shadow figures,sounds of footsteps running up and down the hallways, and even a full body apparition of Martha standing on the staircase in Walker Hall. While we were exploring the Deaf and Blind School, we talked to several faculty members. One member told us about the time when a faculty member was interviewing a teacher. The teacher was blind and was accompanied by a seeing eye dog. The dog kept barking at the wall in the office, but there was nothing there. Many seeing eye dogs will not even go into this office, some won’t even go on the third floor. Most encounters with Martha take place on the third floor of Walker Hall.
By the name, the school obviously helps those who are deaf and blind, But it also reaches out to those students who are multi-handicapped. This is where the students are deaf and blind on top of some other disability.
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind is an amazing out reach. If you want to learn more about the Deaf and Blind School check out there website at South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind
Some of the grave markers date back to the mid 1800′s. Oakwood Cemetery is one of the oldest cemetaries in Spartanburg. Most of the graves are arranged by families. Oakwood Cemetery is the final resting spot of many politicians.
Upon talking to Matt and Thomas of the South Carolina Paranormal Investigations, we learned that the children’s section gets a lot of activity. Around 9:30 or 10:00 at night trains will pass close by the cemetery. During this time, people can see,hear, or feel the presence children. Some of the claims of the cemetery are that when a person walks through the oldest part of the cemetery their cell phone will have a busy signal, even if its not busy. Many unexplained lights have been spotted in the woods surronding the cemetery. One claim is that when you take a picture the flash will not work. People have also claimed to spot apparations of children and a white mist.
One of the haunting locations in the Spartanburg area, is St. John’s Lutheran Church. Although there may be some paranormal activity at this church, it is still a wonderful place to worship. Do not let the content of this page scare you away from visiting St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The church was established on September 28, 1902, it was then called Women’s Memorial Church. At its start the pastor was Dr. Samuel T. Hallman, and the church itself only consisted of 17 members. The first building was built in 1907 on 133 South Converse Street, were it remained until 1942 when the church moved to its new property on South Pine Street. In 1949 the Church changed its name from Women’s Memorial to St. John’s Lutheran Church. The current Senior Pastor is Mike Shakcleford, and the Assistant Pastor is Emily Edenfield. For more information on St. John’s, you can visit their website.
Many members of the church have had numerous encounters with the supernatural. Different people claiming to have heard voices when no one was around, lights flicking on and off, doors opening by themselves.
Outside the Church
Several members of our team scouted out this church, and interviewed several of its congregation, and the property manager for the church. Each has described their personal paranormal experiences within the church walls. One such experience came from the property manager, who told our team how he had the lights mysteriously switched off on him, while he was working alone in the boiler room.
Welcome to the Local Legends Blog. We are a group of Students at USC Upstate, in a class taught by Dr. G.H. Williams, who are attempting to create a website designed to instruct others about Local Legends in the Gaffney and Spartanburg areas. Our objective is to locate, research, and determine some of the more “haunted” locations in the Upstate. As young adults one of the most fun past times during Halloween is to go to areas that are supposedly occupied by spirits and ghosts from the other side, and scare the sense out of yourself and all your friends. So as a courtesy our group of students is making it easier for others to do so, by weeding out the less inspiring locations, and finding the most creepy, scary, and haunting parts of the Upstate.