Charleston, South Carolina is a destination people visit because it is rich in history. They also visit because of the many options available to them with regard to places to visit, things to do, and of course if you visit South Carolina you have to partake in the delightful southern cuisine afforded. Charleston offers beautiful scenery and if you are among the adventure sort that loves a good scare there are many different haunted places in Charleston to visit. The Francis Marion Hotel is among the most haunted places in Charleston. Scores of people flock to the historic hotel in hopes of having a ghostly encounter with one of the city’s most famous ghosts.


During the 1920s people visiting Charleston, South Carolina were enjoying the convenience of railroads and the luxury of grand hotels. The hotels in the area were designed with luxurious accommodations in mind. In 1924, the Francis Marion Hotel opened its doors ready to provide its guests with the most elegant accommodations available. The hotel received its name from the “Swamp Fox,” Francis Marion. Marion was a Revolutionary War Hero as he played a vital role in the battle between the Americans and the British. Many saw Francis Marion as an incredible leader, as a fair man because he did not feel Americans who remained loyal to the British should be punished, and his leadership skills were a huge reason the American troops were successful.

Guests of the hotel had the ability to enjoy unparalleled service whether they were staying at the hotel while passing through town or staying for a wedding, elaborate banquets or business dealings. Whatever the case, guests staying in the 12 story hotel, designed by architect W.L. Stoddard from New York, found themselves in the grandest and most sizable hotels in both North and South Carolina. Many people from the era stated that the “place to be,” was the Francis Marion Hotel, and that reputation remains to this day.

In 1996, after more than 70 years of service to locals and travelers, the Francis Marion Hotel underwent extensive and elaborate restoration. The Francis Marion maintains its original 1920s style while offering the people that stay in the 235 guestrooms and suites with modern conveniences. Guests can also enjoy some of the most spectacular views available of Charleston. Guests can enjoy views of the legendary King Street along with the historic harbor. When not enjoying the hotels amenities, guests of one of the haunted hotels in Charleston can enjoy an assortment of antique shops, world-class restaurants, antebellum homes, and some of the most magnificent gardens around.

Individuals looking to book a room at the Francis Marion Hotel today can anticipate a pleasurable experience in this historic hotel. The rooms are comfortably decorated and designed to suit the needs of all their guests. There are many people that state, that although the bathrooms in the hotel are well designed, they can be considered on the smaller side. Most people find this to be accurate considering the hotel was constructed during the 1920s.

Room Features

For anyone choosing to book a hotel room or suite at the Francis Marion all of the following are available to the guests:

  • Flat Screen HD cable television
  • Desk and Vanity sitting area
  • Heavenly Pillow-top mattress
  • Wireless Internet access (complimentary)
  • Coffee Maker
  • Room Service – all three daily meals
  • Room with wheelchair accessibility
  • Concierge
  • Laundry & Dry cleaning services
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Wake-up calls

Guests planning an extended stay at the Francis Marion Hotel might want to consider booking one of the penthouse suites available. The penthouse suites offer the guests with more than just a bed and a bathroom. Guests in the penthouse suites get the best views that the hotel offers. Depending on the suite chosen guests can have access to a full kitchen, a dining room that seat up to eight people, as well as a completely separate living space. Making the decision to book one of the penthouse suites will afford the individuals with the most square footage as well as completely separate sleeping quarters.

Before guests book a room or suite they should also consider some of the different packages that the hotel offers. There are packages that revolve around the season in which the stay occurs, as well as packages including spa treatments, dining packages, and packages revolving around tours of Charleston. Packages include horse drawn carriage rides, visits to the South Carolina Aquarium, and Historic Fort Sumter.

Francis Marion Hotel Hauntings

When people decide to book a room or suite at the Francis Marion Hotel they may go in not believing in ghosts or paranormal activity. There are those that visit the Francis Marion to conduct their own paranormal investigations. For many people over the years they have had their beliefs in whether or not ghosts exist changed.

There is a common belief that a Yankee by the name of Ned Cohen remains a forever guest of the Francis Marion. According to the lore, Ned Cohen, a northern, met and became tremendously enamored with an unnamed Southern Belle in New York. Ned was so enchanted with the woman that he requested that his boss from Florsheim Shoes send him to Charleston, South Carolina on business. In truth, Ned Cohen went there to see his lady love. See her is exactly what he did. They reportedly spent one incredibly beautiful weekend together.

Ned, blissfully happy, had no idea that his lady love would end up being the cause for his demise. According to reports, despite their connection the Southern Belle knew that a romance between someone from the North and someone from the South would not work because of post-war difficulties. Ned’s Southern Belle reportedly wrote him a letter and left it for him in his hotel room at the Francis Marion. Ned reportedly felt blindsided by the letter. His affections for the woman had apparently blinded him to the reality of unsettled feelings between people from the North and South.

Distraught over his loss, Ned Cohen made the decision to take his life. He opened the window of room 1010 and jumped to his death. He landed on the historic King Street. Although his body was sent to New York for burial, many people claim that his spirit remains at the Francis Marion Hotel.  Guests of the hotel have stated that no matter what they do, their room windows will not remain closed. Other guests and staff members have claimed that they have seen what appears to be a man crying in the hallway. The figure is known to vanish without explanation.

Other people that have visited the Francis Marion Hotel claim they have seen a figure of Ned Cohen late at night. There are those that say they never saw Ned’s ghost but they have felt his presence. The sensation of someone lightly touching or caressing their cheek is common. Others have stated that while they attempt to rest in their hotel room they get the feeling that someone is looking at them. There is no malicious intent behind either of these occurrences but more of sadness.  Could it be that Ned Cohen’s ghost is looking on at the hotel guests as they sleep seeing the face of his former love? No one will ever know the answer to that question.

There are even more unexplained incidents connected with Ned Cohen. The haunted activity even includes windows that rattled when the wind is non-existent outside. Some people have heard their silk drapes rustling when there is no source of air, or human, near them to cause such a noise. On some occasions people who have been both inside and outside the hotel see what appears to be a man talking to himself or perhaps directing his question to a person passing by his location. If it is Ned’s spirit what could he be asking? Some believe he is asking himself whether or not he has any other option than to kill himself after his love has abandoned him.

People walking along the streets outside the Francis Marion Hotel not only get treated to a visually appealing, historic building, sometimes they get more.  There have been people who have stated that they have seen what appears to be someone falling from one of the windows of the hotel. Alternatively, people who have been spending time relaxing in their hotel room have had the disturbing experience of seeing what they believe is someone falling past their window. Naturally when they run to the window and look out there is nothing unusual to see on the street below. Are these sightings brought on by the rumors that Ned Cohen’s spirit remains a resident of the hotel or are they seeing the ghost of Ned Cohen when he jumped to his death so many years ago? The only real answer is that with so many different ghost sightings and reports of other paranormal activity the Francis Marion Hotel is definitely one of the most haunted locations people can visit in Charleston, South Carolina.

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