Ghosts of Christmas Past tours planned at historic Hagood Mill

PICKENS — Local residents have an opportunity to experience a unique tradition of Appalachian Christmas.

These customs were derived from the old world, especially England, Scotland and Ireland. The lovely mountain setting of Hagood Mill provides the perfect venue for residents to “get into the spirit” of Christmas past. In Victorian England, it was a custom to tell ghost stories around the fire during the season. The celebration season stretched from the normal Christmas in December into January. These customs traveled across the Atlantic with the immigrants and into the Appalachian settlements.

This Christmas season, Hagood Mill will present the Blue Ridge mountain custom called “Ole Christmas” or “Breaking Up Christmas.” Each ghost tour is an evening walk through the little Appalachian settlement at Hagood Mill. Visitors will be standing at the very gateway to the Appalachian chain of mountain communities. Along the way, participants will be treated to ghost stories by the mill’s resident storyteller and folk historian, Dean Watson. Watson. a noted regional storyteller and folk historian. created the events and will share stories of the paranormal laced with tidbits of local history. Watson says the old Hagood Mill is one of the most haunted sites in Upstate South Carolina.

The tours are scheduled for Friday nights from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Visitors are asked to wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes. A small flashlight may come in handy. The tours must be held to a maximum of 30 people. Pre-registration and payment are required prior to the night of the tour. No group tour rates are offered.

Guests can register online at for $12 for adults (16 and older) and $8 for children (7-15). There is no charge for ages 6 and under. Those interested can also call Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 to register. Registered participants will be notified online at the website if the tour has been cancelled or filled. If a tour is cancelled, the registration fee will be reimbursed. No reimbursements will be made the evening of the tour. In case of bad weather, tours will be moved from Friday evening to Saturday evening.