Halloween Comes Alive in Lake Murray Country

September 18, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes
The Lake Murray Country region has been bustling for centuries, and with old age comes much history. With Halloween right around the corner, creep it real with spine-chilling stories originating in the four-county region, like college campus ghosts and underwater graveyards. Make boo-tiful memories with family and friends at chilling museum tours and haunted attractions. Start planning your spook-tacular adventures in the region now!


Spooky Stories

Penelope | Newberry Opera House

In Newberry, SC, the arrival of spring brought a traveling vaudeville troupe, sparking excitement. Penelope, a young woman from a well-to-do family, was enchanted by a performer called “The Professor.” They fell in love and planned to elope, but he never showed up, leaving Penelope heartbroken. She fell ill and died, with rumors suggesting a broken heart or the flu. She now supposedly haunts the Newberry Opera House balcony, forever waiting for her lost love. “The Professor’s” fate remains a mystery.

The Newberry Opera House lit up with eerie purple lights

Miss Madeline | Newberry College

Newberry College is home to the infamous ghost of “Miss Madeline.” Originating from the 1959 student newspaper story, she was a Newberry local dating a Newberry College student named John. They were deeply in love until he learned of her infidelity and tragically jumped to his death from the Keller Hall steeple on November 17. Unaware of his passing, Madeline headed to confess her unfaithfulness but discovered his body on the way. She is rumored to return to campus every anniversary, searching for John with her lantern.

Underwater Towns | Lake Murray

Did you know that there are towns underneath the waters of Lake Murray? The dam’s construction nearly one hundred years ago led to the relocation of descendants from German, Dutch, and Swiss settlers of the 1700s. Despite efforts for smooth relocation, significant parts of their lives, such as churches, schools, and homes, were abandoned. There are over 2,300 graves that lie beneath Lake Murray’s waters, as well as the Wyse Ferry Bridge.


Museum Events

South Carolina State Museum Dark History Tour

SC State Museum | 301 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC | (803) 898-4921

Visitors gather around a well outside the Lexington County Museum at night, only lit by glowing orange lanterns as museum staff are dressed up and sharing tales of haunted regional history.

The South Carolina State Museum offers self-guided tours throughout October, with educator-guided tours on Saturdays at 10:30 AM and 2 PM.  The walkthroughs are educator-led and dive deep into the spookier side of SC history. Visitors will hear tales of Columbia’s catacombs, Gullah Geechee folklore, and General Sherman’s path through Columbia. FYI: Tours are free with museum admission or membership!

Lexington County Museum Haunted History Halloween

Lexington County Museum | 231 Fox Street, Lexington, SC | (803) 359-8369

Gear up for a spirited celebration at the Lexington County Museum. The 16th Annual Haunted History Halloween Program features ghoulish tour guides, strange and unusual stories of Lexington County, and frights and surprises around every corner. Be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time!

Run for Your Life

2023 Pumpkin Run

Northwest Family YMCA | 1501 Kennerly Road, Irmo, SC | October 21, 2023

It’s not too late to get in on the 2023 Pumpkin Run! Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes and participate by running, jogging, or walking for a noble cause. This family-friendly event extends its welcome to pets as well, featuring water and trick-or-treat stations along the course

2023 Nightmare In Elmwood 5k

Village Church on Park Street | 2204 Park Street, Columbia, SC | October 28, 2023

The Nightmare In Elmwood isn’t just a race; it’s an opportunity to create a positive impact. Event proceeds support the Historic Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association’s efforts to enhance and improve the neighborhood. Families, including young goblins and ghouls aged 12 and under, can join the fun with the Kids Fun Run.


Haunted Attractions

Deceased Farm

382 Olde Farm Road, Lexington, SC | Varying dates

Get a frightening dose of adrenaline at Deceased Farm Haunted Attraction, the spookier counterpart of Clinton Sease Farm. Embark on a chilling journey through eerie structures and unsettling corn fields. Note that this is a high-intensity haunted experience, so ensure you are emotionally prepared for this excursion.

Terror Falls Haunted Farm

370 Mack Street, Gaston SC | Varying dates

Prepare yourself for the 5 haunted attractions that reside at Terror Falls, like MeeMaw’s Dead and Breakfast, Terror Trail, Terror Falls Hospital, and more. Begin your ghostly interactions by checking the calendar to plan your visit.

Stutman HollowA scary clown waiting in darkness ready to spook at Stutman Hollow Haunted Attraction.

215 Stutman Road, Leesville, SC | Varying dates

Welcome to Lexington County’s newest and only outdoor haunted trail. Warning: Stutman Hollow is not for the faint of heart. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey through the unknown as you navigate the twists and turns of this eerie outdoor trail.


Frightening Festivals

Boo at the Zoo

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden | 500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia, SC | October 20-30, 2023

Boo at the Zoo is an annual favorite and features trick-or-treating and other family-friendly Halloween-themed activities throughout the park. Tickets are limited and should be purchased in advance.

Halloween at Saluda Shoals Park

6071 St Andrews Road, Columbia, SC | October 21, 2023

Start Halloween early this year at Saluda Shoals Park with a Trick-Or-Treat Trail held at Leo’s Landing for the kids. Tickets are limited, so register now. (If available, tickets will be sold on the day of the event.)

Annual Boo Bash

3677 State Park Road, Prosperity, SC | October 28, 2023

Boo Bash is back! The family-friendly event offers various activities, including pumpkin painting, pet costume contests, hayrides with trick-or-treating, and a marshmallow roast. Don’t forget to join in the campsite decorating contest or show off your costume in the exciting contest.


If you can’t attend these end-of-October events, plan to attend the City of West Columbia’s 7th Annual Fall Back Fest on Friday, November 3. The Fall fun continues in Lake Murray Country!



To find more Halloween hijinks and other events, visit LakeMurrayCountry.com/Events. Stop by the Lake Murray Country Visitors Center in the historic Lorick Plantation House (2184 North Lake Drive, Columbia) to discover hidden gems and more trip ideas.