Townville, SC

The Forgotten South Carolina Island that Is Thought To Be "Haunted"

Diana Rus

Cemetery Island, also known locally as Ghost Island, is located on Lake Hartwell in Townville, South Carolina.

Cemetery Island is all that remains of the Harrisburg Plantation, founded in the late 1700s near Andersonville, South Carolina. Due to the ruins of the Harrisburg Plantation cemetery on the island, the island is also known as Ghost Island or Cemetery Island.

Although it can only be accessed by boat, Cemetery Island is now public land for tourists.

The cemetery's hilltop location ensured that it remained above the lake's surface as one of the few remaining tangible traces of what was once there when the plantation and its surroundings were flooded in 1962 to create Lake Hartwell.
Cemetery Island on the mapPhoto byCemetery Island/Google Maps

Harris used the money he gained serving in the Revolutionary War to purchase land at the former confluence of the Seneca and Coneross Rivers in the late 1700s. John Harris Jr. was developed by Harrisburg Plantation was developed.

As a judge, doctor, and high sheriff until his death in 1845, Harris helped his family gain notoriety.

He and his wife, Mary, are buried in Harrisburg Plantation cemetery, along with their children and dozens of descendants.

In the 1950s, when the Savannah River threatened to flood the low-lying villages along its banks.

The Hartwell Dam project started in 1954 with the goals of establishing a hydroelectric station and controlling floods. The last descendants of some of the upstate's early residents were made offers for their property, which they all finally accepted.

When living relatives were purportedly approached about moving the family graves so that they would not be washed away by the floodwaters, they reportedly declined.

The former Harrisburg Plantation was scheduled to be flooded to create Lake Hartwell when construction of the Hartwell Dam was approved in 1950 as part of the Flood Control Act. After the dam was completed in 1962, the cemetery was the only recognizable element of the plantation that remained above water.
Lake HartwellPhoto byLake Hartwell/Wikipedia

Ghost Island is now a scary attraction for visitors.

According to local legend, dead Harrises still make appearances on their now-shrinking beachfront property.

Campers have reported seeing ghosts on the island, which lives up to its name. There is also a tradition that the neighborhood was home to Serril Broin, the granddaughter of a woman convicted of witchcraft and executed in the Salem, Massachusetts trials. Broin is said to haunt the island to this day, even though no evidence suggests she or her grandmother ever lived.


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My name is Diana Rus, and I'm a Romanian content writer with a passion for exploring the world and sharing my experiences with others. I studied Marketing at University and have a master's degree in Marketing Research. My true passion lies in writing, and in my articles, I share my thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics, including interesting places from the US and around the world, history, and important events.


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