The Most Haunted Places Near Charlotte

The Biltmore Estate with circular fountain, Ashville, NC
© Doug Coldwell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Written by Marisa Wilson

Published: October 24, 2022

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Charlotte is home to many exciting things, like the NASCAR Hall of Fame and ghosts. Wait… For what? Yes, this hoping town is hoping for things besides people! At least according to some of the lore floating around certain buildings. What’s the scoop on these stories? While most ghost stories are hard to prove, these are entertaining. 

If you’re looking to visit places around Charlotte and want some adventure, then one of these locations might satisfy your need for a good spook. You’ll learn some spooky stories from mansions to pubs in this post. If you’re a romantic who loves a heart-wrenching story, then you will love the Duke Mansion. Hide your feet under the blanket before you start reading about the most haunted places around Charlotte, North Carolina!

Dunhill Hotel

Sign over the entrance for the Dunhill hotel, Charlotte, NC

One of the ghosts that haunts the Dunhill Hotel is believed to be Alfred P. Forester, a young man who committed suicide.

©CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original

In the 1930s, it was claimed that dozens of men committed suicide by jumping from Dunhill’s upper stories. Many of their ghosts never left the Dunhill, reliving their final moments. An account from a guest who stayed at the Dunhill in the 1980s seems to support this. She reported that the woman had reserved a room on the hotel’s 10th floor while on business. After an extended day of meetings, she went back to her hotel. She had just finished removing the covers when she heard what appeared to be heavy footsteps coming from above. She walked over to the glass and looked out with curiosity. 

The woman first had trouble seeing anything because the night was dark and starless. A big, heavy object fell from the roof and passed her window instantly. The women backed away from the ledge while gasping. Whatever had just descended seemed strangely human, though she couldn’t be sure. She forced herself to look over the ledge despite her fear. The mangled, bloody body of a guy wearing a suit was lying on the pavement ten stories below, with his hat next to him. 

Screaming, the woman grabbed her phone and dialed 911. She could only hear static. She couldn’t see anyone when she went to the sidewalk below the window. Without even a drop of blood, the man vanished. She returned upstairs feeling that she might be crazy. Later that night, the woman repeatedly witnessed the same phantom diving by her window, landing on the sidewalk, and dissipating. She went to the neighborhood library the following day to search for local death certificates. Her investigation led her to Alfred P. Forester, who had committed suicide at the hotel on that particular evening precisely 50 years prior. And there are other beings in the hotel besides Alfred.

Carolina Theatre

Shot of the front of the Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC

One of the most active ghosts at the Carolina Theatre is “Fred.”

©Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original

Everyone permitted to enter the once-abandoned structure in Greensboro seems to have noticed the same persistent issue: the theater is always unnaturally black. No matter the number of lights you add, the structure always has some inherent darkness in its crevices and nooks. Some of the lights would flicker, and others would completely go out. A character named Fred is accused of problems with lighting. The most prominent and active resident spirit of the theater is, by far, Fred. Long before it closed its doors to the public, one specific spirit began to haunt the structure. 

The building’s staff started experiencing a white apparition everywhere. Lighting technician Bill Freeman, a former worker, claimed to have seen Fred’s spirit multiple times. He would frequently be seen gazing out over the sea of empty seats from the theater’s stage and balcony. One evening, Freeman was working at the theater when he experienced the peculiar feeling of being watched. 

He was immediately on edge because he knew everyone else on staff had left for the day. Freeman caught sight of a dead man standing on the balcony when he raised an eye. The apparition was visible and was giving him a direct look. The employees and guest performers started saying goodbye to Fred vocally every time they left the theater as a symbol of respect and goodwill. Fred was unsettling but harmless, and his visits were frequent. According to certain investigating teams, if you snap your fingers in the theater, you’ll hear a phantom snapback. It is still unclear who among the ghosts snaps back.

Ri Ra Irish Pub

Ri Ra intended to ensure it was as genuine as possible when establishing the Irish bar. Several Irish antiquities from the 1700s to 1800s were imported to create a historical atmosphere. The pub is thought to be haunted because of its history and collection of antique items. However, the belief does not come from just those two factors. Over the years, numerous odd things have happened. One instance is the writing of the alphabet on a wall in the nook over the host stand. The letters persist despite the staff’s efforts to brush them out, scrub them off, and paint over them. 

Many people believe that the ghost of a little child studying her ABCs on the wall is a girl with light eyes, curly hair, and Victorian-style attire. A brick still maintained in the manager’s office today has something to do with another bizarre incident. The pub’s manager decided to close it down for the evening one Sunday after midnight. Before leaving to go home, she checked the space, shut the doors, and activated the alarm. The pub’s alarm system was set off sometime during the night, calling the cops and the manager to action.

However, when they arrived, all they discovered was a lone brick lying in the center of the floor. There were no indications that anyone had entered or left the pub. Even after checking the security cameras, no findings could be drawn. However, nobody knows the brick’s origin or why it was left in the center of the floor. Over the years, Ri Ra staff members have said that none of the weird occurrences have ever caused harm to anyone and instead appear to be the work of tricksters and humorous ghosts.

Latta Plantation

View of yard and house, Latta Plantation, Huntersville, NC

Historical reenactors at Latta Plantation report hearing furniture moving in unoccupied rooms and seeing shadow figures and other apparitions.

©Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – Original

The county employs people to act out historic errands, pastimes, and local conflicts. Many of these workers have encountered paranormal activity while on the premises, which is located in Huntersville, NC. Although the facility’s director, Matthew Waisner, claims to have never encountered any paranormal activity, several volunteers and members of the board have been open about their encounters while on-site or working there. Even though the rooms appear vacant, many report hearing movement of the furniture. Even scarier, others claim to have seen shadow figures and hazy apparitions prowling around the grounds and through the house’s hallways. 

A strange thing happened when a laborer was about to depart the plantation one day. He was adjusting the thermostat when he heard a massive crash coming from what had once been the family parlor. In the middle of the space, face down, was the mirror. The glass didn’t have a scratch on its surface, despite the thunderous smashing sound. Many people who heard about the strange episode think it was the ghosts. 

Some are persuaded that the estate is haunted by the Latta family, the plantation’s original occupants, even though the shadowy spirits have never been very distinct. The attic is where most of the supernatural activity in the house is reported to have taken place. Visitors frequently report hearing kids laughing and playing with toys in the attic. Above their heads, they hear footsteps racing back and forth and doors slamming shut. Given that there is no actual flooring on the third story of the house, all this commotion is rather unsettling. These noises cannot be attributed to actual children.

Duke Mansion

Black cat on driveway in front of Duke Mansion

Jon Avery’s is reported to haunt Duke Mansion.

© CC BY 2.0. – Original / License

The tale of Jon Avery, who settled in the Duke Mansion in the late 1920s with his sickly wife Anatasia, is unquestionably the most well-known ghost story circulating about the Duke. After Anatasia’s health worsened, Jon put her in a hospital where she could receive round-the-clock care. He loved his wife dearly, but in her absence, he was engulfed in loneliness. He decided to rent a room for company, and a young lady named Maggie moved into the house. 

They became close friends fast, and Maggie knew she was madly in love with him. Since he was married, she knew he’d never leave his wife. In an attempt to protect herself from getting her heart broken, she plans to leave. Jon and Maggie met in the library the evening before she departed. As a horrible storm raged outside the vast glass windows, Jon urged Maggie to return to the mansion at midnight precisely one year later, dead or alive. She gave her approval, and a crack of thunder sealed the agreement. 

The following morning, Maggie departed without saying goodbye. She attempted to move on with her life by relocating far away from Charlotte. Yet she discovered that Jon was all she could think about all the time. She wrote poetry for him using subtle metaphors and parallels to the books they had studied together to express her sentiments. She even published a few of them anonymously, hoping he would see them and get in touch with her. But he never communicated with her. When she returned a year later to confess her love, she was greeted by the ghost of Jon. He had died the night before. As she tried to touch his hand, her fingers brushed through them. He said, “Dead or alive.” 

Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate with circular fountain, Ashville, NC

Edith Vanderbuilt is said to be among the ghosts that roam the Biltmore Estate.

©Doug Coldwell, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Numerous former guests and even employees have related tales of hearing a voice continually speak the name “George” in the hallways of the Biltmore Estate. It’s thought that Edith Vanderbilt herself — who is believed to be another ghost said to also reside in the mansion — is traversing the corridors and may be looking for her husband. Some of the groundskeepers who worked at night had overheard party-like conversation and laughter. The only issue is that nobody is hosting a celebration. Most tourists claimed to have witnessed ghosts ascending or descending the stairs. 

On numerous instances, footsteps could also be heard. When people would climb or descend the steps, there have reportedly been accounts of unusual scents, chilly places, and unsettling experiences. A collection of headless mannequins are kept in one of the mansion’s many rooms, which heightens the eerie atmosphere. The mannequins were decked out in vintage attire (dated in the early 20th century). 

George Washington Vanderbilt’s physical presence was felt everywhere, but so was his soul. A decapitated orange cat has been spotted by some wandering the garden area. There is another haunting location on the property. A lady of the night was murdered at the former Biltmore Forestry School’s old forest compound. The old compound is haunted by a woman and a few other people who were hanged inside the old structure. They haven’t been seen beyond that area of the land, however.

The Demon Dog in Valle Crucis

Around midnight, two young men were traveling on this route. The valley illuminated an unsettling white glow on that clear night with a full moon. The two young men saw a shadow jump from behind a grave into the road in front of their car. They turned a corner past the old church. The car driver slammed on the brakes and pulled off the narrow road after swerving to escape whatever had fallen into the street. 

He jerked his head back to look at what was on the road and wondered what he had nearly hit. It was a canine but not your typical dog. This dog was as long and broad as an adult male human, clothed in bristly black fur, and exposed its enormous, yellow fangs. The animal also had luminous eyes. Instead of reflecting light like a dog’s eyes do, they were glowing and burning with a searing red light that resembled the flames of Hell. The animal moved in the direction of their parked car. The driver abruptly pulled his foot off the brake and floored the accelerator. They accelerated to 80 mph down the steep road. 

The driver only noticed the dog following them when he glanced in his rearview mirror. The driver pushed the pedal one last time in a panic, expecting the dog’s jaws to latch on to the car’s bumper and drag them into Hell, and just as the creature was about to capture them, the car leaped the bridge and underneath it was where the two streams crossed. The dog then stopped pursuing them. As they watched it disappear into the horizon, they pondered what supernatural rule the animal was compelled to follow to keep its domain constrained by the edges of the water.

The Ghost of Jamestown Bridge

The underpasses of two bridges, one of which is an active railroad bridge and the other of which is an adjoining abandoned bridge, are reported to be haunted by a young woman. On gloomy, rainy nights, “Lydia,” a spirit, has been spotted walking by herself or standing by the road in quest of assistance to return home. 

The story of Lydia is based on appearances and reports of a young woman dressed in white who stands by the road and tries to signal passing cars for assistance for at least seventy years. The ghost is thought to be a young lady who tragically passed away at the bridge a very long time ago. A deadly vehicle accident that happened as a boy and girl were driving to a dance on a wet night is a common factor in the stories that have developed around the claimed sightings. 

Since that incident, the girl’s ghost has returned to the scene in search of aid while wearing her formal dress. Over the years, numerous people have reported seeing a young woman in white beside the roadside. Some people have pulled over to offer assistance, only to watch her disappear once they get out of their vehicles or turn around briefly. The old bridge now has a mystical, otherworldly air because of the vines and vegetation that have grown around it.


Let’s revisit some places you may like to see. You can visit the Dunhill Hotel if you’re curious about the tragic fate of the man in the suit. The Carolina Theater, if you can be permitted inside, will possibly give you a fun interaction of someone snapping back at you. Ri Ra Irish Pub may be an unfortunate encounter for some if you happen across the little curly-haired girl learning her alphabet. Latta Plantation is great for a basic spook like the ones you see in scary movies. 

The Duke Mansion is where two people fell in love and never moved forward in life. It might not be an idea of a fun experience, but you may get a glimpse of what was or what could have been. Biltmore Estate will be creepy if you have a problem with mannequins; remember, they don’t attack you! 

The Demon Dog in Valle Crucis will be for the brave souls who would be able to handle the situation of escaping a dog that sounds like a hellhound. Finally, The Ghost of Jamestown Bridge may be considered sad but not violent. You may see the apparition of a young lady seeking help and vanishing before you can assist her. There is much adventure here. The only thing holding you back is deciding which place to visit first.

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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