Unlocking Charlotte’s “Spirited” Past

You have to admit the older the city the more it inspires romance, intrigue, and of course, plenty of haunted history. Despite its modern exterior, when it comes to Southern allure, Charlotte has it all. The horse-drawn carriages, the stately colonial mansions, and a royal history that dates all the way back to the 1700’s, hence the nickname “Queen City.” Founded by European settlers in 1768, Charlotte’s Old South roots run so deep, that some would say the original inhabitants are still watching over the city today. Even if the idea of things going bump in the night seems a fanciful tale, most of us can’t resist a little dark folklore

Over the years, Carolina Theatre has brought new meaning to the saying “the show must go on”, and depending on who you talk to, it seems like perhaps it has. Built in 1927, the theatre was old Hollywood glamour at its opulent finest. Palatial architecture, richly painted wall murals, luxurious brocade drapery, the theatre began as a vaudeville and silent film venue and later went on to host its fair share of talent including the likes of Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. After the curtain fell for the final time in November of 1978, this Tryon Street landmark became the abandoned stuff of haunted legend. Currently being restored to its former glory by the Foundation for the Carolina’s, it’s hard to say whether or not the theatre’s “late” patrons will be hanging around for a second act.

Named one of Travel Channel’s “Top Haunted Cities in America” it would seem like the ideal place to book a Haunted Tour – but act fast, these tickets sell out like hotcakes. A delight for ghost hunters and history buffs alike, Charlotte’s Beyond the Grave walking tour will take you on a 1.5-hour lantern illuminated journey into the city’s past- brilliantly reenacted by authentically clad tour guides. If you want to add a little more tricky to your touring treat, hop aboard a Segway for a 90-minute group venture through town while delving into the city’s history with maybe a tall tale or two. The Haunted Pub Tour is by far the local favorite and for good reason. Combining the fun of a bike ride with stop-offs at some of Charlotte’s best watering holes, this kind of nightlife will definitely get your spirits up in more ways than one.

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