Fall bringing ghost story tours to mill

PICKENS — Thrill seekers will have a chance to experience a frightfully good time at Hagood Mill next month.

Appalachian ghosts and spirits have come to us through stories shared by our parents and grandparents over the last 100 years, and the fun-filled mountain tradition will continue at the mill.

Master storyteller and local legend H. Dean Watson will host a nighttime “Ghosts and Witches” paranormal walking tour at the hallowed and haunted site of Hagood Mill, located in the gateway community to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Watson, an award-winning storyteller, will share stories of the paranormal laced with tidbits of local history. Dean says the old Hagood Mill is one of the most haunted sites in Upstate South Carolina.

There will be four separate two-hour tours from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday evenings, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Guests will gather at the Visitors Welcome Center at 7 p.m.

The first stop is a tour of the old mill itself, the reputed gathering place of a coven of witches located in the settlement of Pickens 100 years ago. In the mill’s creaky interior, Watson will relate the spine-tingling story about what took place in the mill as it was told to him many years ago by his grandfather. Watson’s grandfather was an old country preacher and founding pastor of three churches in the county.

The second stop is the nearby Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site, where visitors will be treated to a light show highlighting thousand-year-old Native American rock carvings recently discovered at the site. The ancient carvings and the Cherokee flute music create a spiritual experience in itself.

The third stop is a short walk by lantern light across the last steel truss bridge in Pickens County over a gurgling stream onto the site where there will be a flickering fire. In the firelight, Watson will relate the chilling story of Utlunta (“Spearfinger” in Cherokee), a horrible stone-skinned witch from Cherokee lore. Watson says the native Cherokee people have occupied this hallowed ground far longer than the white man, and their presence can still be felt; these feelings permeate his presentation.

The fourth stop is a return to one of the site’s primitive log cabins, where Watson will share one of his most riveting ghost stories, titled “The Golden Arm” … and beware of the ending! All guests who have survived the experience will then be given a “protection token” and departing cautionary warning about “Raw Head and Bloody Bones.” Do they still haunt the site? You be the judge.

9-14 Page 1A.inddThe tours will be held to a maximum of 30 people. Pre-registration and payment are required prior to the night of the tour. Register online at for your favorite date for only $12 for adults (16 and older) and $8 for children (7-15), no charge for ages 6 and under. Or you can also call Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 and register.

The Hagood mill is located just off U.S. Highway 178, three miles North of Pickens, at 138 Hagood Mill Road. Should there be a need for a rain date, one will be announced for sometime in November.

 For more information, contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or go to Those interested may also find out about Hagood Mill through Facebook and Twitter.