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It’s that time of the year again! What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than getting spooked by ghost stories in the oldest, and most haunted cities in the US?  With Charleston’s rich history comes unrested spirits that haunt many of the city’s oldest and most iconic homes and buildings. When people hear the word “ghost,” they often think of evil spirits that haunt the living. Although Charleston may possess a few evil spirits, there are more often cordial and even happy ghosts that make themselves known.

The ghost of George Poirier is one in particular that tends to be an office favorite here at Luxury Simplified, where all happy spirits are welcomed.

The story of George Poirier goes like this. George came from a family of wealthy cotton planters and tradesmen back in the late 1800’s. The family thrived from the cotton business for quite some time. As smart entrepreneurs, the Poirier’s diversified their wealth into British bonds so when cotton became a saturated market, their wealth continued to grow. George Poirier happened to be the lucky recipient of the families’ well-earned profits. However, he did not inherit the entrepreneur gene and blew through the majority of funds that were left in his name.

Just when George didn’t think things could get any worse, the boll weevil (a small beetle known for ruining cotton fields) invaded and depleted the Charleston cotton fields. With most of his trust and income depleted, George made a deal with the British and sold the last bit of his cotton. As his cotton was being loaded onto a British ship in the Charleston harbor, he sat watching from the third floor of the F.W. Wagener building – where the Poirier family rented office space at the time. As he sat watching from his captain’s chair, the ship suddenly went up in flames, leaving him with nothing left to live for.

In one last act of desperation, George stacked the office furniture with his captain’s chair on top, draped a rope over the rafters, and jumped.

Since the death of George Poirier, various restaurants have occupied the F.W. Wagener building at 161 East Bay Street. Most recently, Lagunitas Taproom has moved into the High Victorian building, making it the perfect place for a beer after a hard day of work.

Customers and employees of previous restaurants in the building have reported several incidences of paranormal activity. Frigid air has rushed through the building when the A/C was turned off, shadows of a swinging corpse has appeared on the walls, and even beer taps have mysteriously started pouring.

James McCallister, the manager of Easy Bay Trading Company, a restaurant previously occupying the building, reported a bone-chilling incident. As McCallister opened up the restaurant one morning, he found tables and chairs piled on top of one another with the captain’s chair rocking back and forth. As McCallister went to take down the mound of furniture, it all came crashing down right before him.

Although George may stage some creepy stunts, overall he’s known as a pretty stand-up ghost. So the next time you are enjoying a beer at Lagunitas and feel a cool chill fall over you, or see the taps mysteriously start pouring, just know its only George trying to have a good time, too.

Looking to take a Charleston ghost tour and possibly experience some paranormal activity first-hand this Halloween? Luxury Simplified Retreats invites you to visit Charleston and stay in our luxurious beachfront retreat located on Folly Beach. The View, which sleeps 10, is the perfect place for friends and family to get into the Halloween spirit. And don’t worry, we’ve checked it for any ghosts, so you can feel at ease knowing none will be joining you during your stay.

November marks that time of the year where New Englanders flock south to escape the impending frigid northern winters. Some fly, others drive and then there are those yachtsmen who brave the high seas and intercostal waterways to obtain winter warmth.

My solo migration sailing south for the winter began aboard Riverwind on November 1st with a thin sheet of ice covering the decks. Departing from Rowayton, CT at sunrise with the hell bent goal of reaching Cape May, NJ by sunset.

Once I hit the Atlantic, it was fairly smooth sailing down the east coast. Averaging 22 knots, 3 miles off-shore for about 8 hours a day, put me into Cape May, New Jersey for the 1st night, Virginia Beach for the 2nd, Beaufort, North Carolina for the 3rd and Conway, South Carolina for the 4th and final night before I reached my destination.

 

On a journey like this, utilizing every bit of sunlight is crucial, and besides, there really is nothing like an Atlantic sunrise while underway. I found myself not alone making the expedition down to warmer waters. Along with the annual migration of birds, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, migrating vessels were also heading down the east coast.

 

“We are seeing about 50-60 boats coming into and staying in Charleston for the winter. There are still quite a few transient customers that continue on to Florida or the Bahamas, but as the city’s popularity has grown, we are starting to see more and more people winterizing their boats here instead of heading further south” says Stephanie Collins, the Dock Office Manager at The Charleston City Marina.

 

The stretch from Virginia Beach to Beaufort included some Atlantic Ocean, but mostly an intracoastal duck-in at Pamlico Sound which was about 60 miles with an average of 9 to 12 feet of depth.  I attempted the open ocean from Beaufort to Conway, however, 9 foot swells and 30 knot winds, as well as the treacherous seas around Cape Fear, put me back through the intracoastal for the remainder of the excursion.

 

Four stops, 760 miles of open ocean and intracoastal waterways, and a six pack of Coronas later, I finally reached the Charleston SC port. Some treacherous moments, some passive, all awe inspiring.

 

In years to come, my wife and I plan to stay in Charleston for the winters at Luxury Simplified Retreats properties, such as Ivy Terrace. We  are also searching for an investment home for those long cold New England months that we can rent out for the times we are not in Charleston. For the time being, we will pop in and out to enjoy the boat with friends and family, even in the “dead of winter.”

 

Are you looking to sail south for the winter? Take a look at our portfolio of long- term luxurious homes that will serve as a perfect escape for the frigid months.

Each year the Preservation Society of Charleston holds their annual Fall Tour of Homes, History and Architecture. From Oct 3rd until Nov 2nd, friends of the Preservation Society of Charleston open their doors for a limited time and invite guests to experience the historic interiors of their homes. Tour a few of Charleston’s most historic and magnificent residences and live Charleston’s rich history, charm, and southern hospitality first hand. The significant beauty of these homes truly comes alive as you experience the rich antebellum interiors as the original inhabitants had.

As many of these homes currently exist as private residences, this is the perfect opportunity to tour a favorite home you’ve always admired and learn more about the history and significance of this beloved and special place. Whether you’ve lived in Charleston for years or are enjoying a fall, family vacation, the “Fall Tours – Homes, History and Architecture” offers a glimpse into Charleston’s storied past only available during this limited time. Pairing informative tours with the captivating visuals of lavish antebellum architectural  elements including beautiful fireplaces, staircases, moldings etc., as well as historic furnishings and design, makes for the perfect opportunity to learn about these structures and their landscapes.

The tour schedule runs throughout the month of October and allows you to choose different tours specific to your interests. Each day is a separate tour and is either laid out by street name or special topic. Historic street tours include: Legare, South Battery, Battery, East Battery, Broad, South of Broad, Tradd, Upper Tradd, Colonial Lake, Church, Meeting and King.

Other special topics tours include “Enduring Traditions: Ironwork of the Holy City Walking Tour,” “Invention of Wings: The Grimke Sisters of Charleston Walking Tour,” and “Gardens of Historic Ansonborough.” Choose from any of these tours and experience Charleston’s most prized treasures otherwise unseen. All proceeds from these tours support the Preservation Society of Charleston and their efforts to respect, cherish and protect Charleston’s rich history, unique culture, and significant historic materials.

Confirm times and ticket availability on the Preservation Society’s website for a full schedule and ticket information.

Since Charleston has been named the #1 destination in the world by Travel + Leisure, there are more reasons than ever to visit the Holy City. The combination of ideal weather and endless activities makes Charleston a perfect fall getaway for family and friends. This time of year you can enjoy walking around the cobblestone streets and taking in the historic sights without baking in the sorching Southern sun.

Autumn is a favorite for most Charlestonians with scores of outdoor festivals, fall foliage and what unofficially marks the end of the busy tourist season. Experience the best season of the year in the World’s Best City with Luxury Simplified Retreats at one of our luxury properties. While you’re here our Retreats Concierge team will handle all of the details so you can sit back, relax and enjoy all that Charleston has to offer.

We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite fall activities to get you started on your autumn getaway…

Arts

Art Walk (October 4th, 2019)

Enjoy a glass of wine while you wander around the 40+ art galleries of Charleston’s historic district. You may even meet a few of the local artists. There truly is no better time of the year for the Artwalk of Charleston’s Gallery Association.

Learn more here.

Eats

Charleston Farmers Market (Every Saturday until November 30th)  

Explore the sights and smells of fall at the local farmers market with fresh produce, art and food vendors alike. In beautiful Marion Square, you can experience the eclectic offering of local artists and craftsmen and pretend you’re a local Charlestonian!

Learn more here.

Charleston Restaurant Week (September 4th – 15th, 2019)

Looking for a to try a few new restaurants in town? Charleston Restaurant Week offers locals and visitors alike a chance to experience the world-renowned cuisine of Charleston chefs with prix fixe lunch and dinner menus.

Learn more here.

Happenings

Fall Tour of Homes (October 3rd – November 2nd, 2019)

The Preservation Society of Charleston provides a rare look inside the private homes and gardens of some of America’s most distinguished residences. Immerse yourself in this historically charming city, one beautiful interior at a time. Read our latest blog post on this!

Buy tickets here.

Holiday Festival of Lights (November 15th- December 31st)

Capture the magic of the holiday season at a cherished tradition for Charlestonians. James Island County Park comes alive with over 750 magical light displays spanning a breathtaking three-miles. The Holiday Festival of Lights is regarded around the country and the world as one of the top holiday events to attend.

Learn more here.

Want to experience Charleston’s fall festivities? Don’t miss out on one of the best times of the year. Book a luxury retreat –  all within a short distance from the autumn happenings!