Ghost Island: Desecration on the Ashley
Many years ago, a local family dedicated a small, wooded island near the Ashley River as a solemn refuge for their deceased relations. A mortuary vault of brick and stone sheltered numerous coffins from the passing seasons, but could not repel the intrusion of gnawing vermin and curious humans. After scores of visitors vandalized the secluded crypt, descendants gathered more than a century ago to salvage the remains and demolish the vault. This Gothic story of decay and morbid curiosity underscores the virtues of remembrance and respect in our historic community.
Ghost Island is a small, pear-shaped hummock on the west side of the Ashley River, containing approximate two-and-a-half acres of dry land covered with tall pines, moss-draped oaks, and native underbrush. Tidal marshlands surround most of the island, but its west side touches Old Town Creek, a serpentine tributary of the Ashley River. If you were to set out in a boat from Charleston’s White Point Garden, you’d have to sail four miles up the Ashley River to reach the island. If you embarked from the west end of Grove Street, just north of the Citadel campus, you’d row one mile due west, across the Ashley River. If you visit Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and climb aboard the merchant ketch Adventure, floating in Old Town Creek, you can see Ghost Island approximately eight hundred feet to the southwest. If you stand at the northern tip of Brown Cemetery in modern Maryville, you can see the island approximately four hundred feet to the northeast.
But let me be clear: I am not encouraging anyone to visit the private property legally-known as Ghost Island. Trespassing is a grave offense. While the island’s name seems tailor-made for Halloween storytelling, the factual narrative of Ghost Island is a tragic, cautionary tale about the importance of respecting boundaries. This saga includes ghouls and evil spirits, but they were not ethereal phantoms from the afterlife. The zombie villains of this true story were mindless citizens who tramped beyond the pale of human decency and desecrated the rotting corpses of their former neighbors.
Part 1: Lining Island
The island at the center of this story was formerly associated with a larger tract of property on the adjacent mainland, now called Maryville. This land was first developed in the 1670s as a plantation owned by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, adjacent to the original site of Charles Town at Albemarle Point, and inhabited by the provincial governor. By the 1690s, the plantation known as “Governor’s Point” was in the hands of Captain John Godfrey. Charleston merchant Charles Hill married into the Godfrey family in the early 1700s and later gained control of this property, which he named Hillsborough before his death in 1734. Dr. John Lining (1708–1760), a Charleston physician, married into the Hill family in 1739 and acquired Hillsborough through his wife’s inheritance. The Lining family held the plantation for nearly a century, and their presence shaped the trajectory of the present story.1
The Godfreys, Hills, and Linings were not the only people residing at Hillsborough, of course. Throughout the colonial era, generations of enslaved people living and working on the plantation grew rice, indigo, and other crops. They too raised families of their own and buried their dead nearby. Few details of their identities and lives survive, but the descendants of the enslaved residents at Hillsborough played an important role in the later story of Ghost Island.2
Following the death of Dr. Lining in 1760, ownership of Hillsborough passed to his principal heir, Major John Lining, who died during the American Revolution without a will. His widow, Sarah, died in 1789 and devised the plantation to their son, Charles Lining (1753–1813), who was a captain in the 1st Regiment of South Carolina Continentals during the War of Independence.3 Around the turn of the nineteenth century, Charles followed a local, post-war agricultural trend towards the cultivation of sea-island cotton, which the enslaved people working at Hillsborough continued for several decades.4 Charles Lining died in 1813, and his widow, Polly Blake Rose Lining (1758–1836), maintained the plantation for another two decades. Beset by a legacy of debts, however, Polly was obliged to sell Hillsborough in 1834.
The official record of Polly Lining’s sale of Hillsborough includes a plat of the plantation, surveyed in the spring of 1826. The plat depicts a typical agricultural landscape encompassing more than five hundred acres, bounded to the east by the marshes of the Ashley River and to the north by Old Town Creek. Among the many features noted on the plat is a cemetery located on the western edge of Hillsborough, some distance from the water. It remains unclear, however, whether this was a cemetery associated with the Lining family and/or their predecessors, or a burying ground for the enslaved people residing on the property. In either case, we know this cemetery was not the only burial site used by the Lining family.5
The 1834 sale of Hillsborough did not include a small island near the plantation’s principal boat landing in Old Town Creek, which the Lining family had previously reserved for burial purposes. Extant records from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries contain no specific references to the island in question, but we can imagine that the family and their neighbors likely called it Lining Island.6 At some unknown point in time, the Linings and their White neighbors began interring family members on the small hummock, which was just a short distance from their respective waterfront properties. This practice might have commenced in the colonial era, or perhaps shortly after the American Revolution. A visitor to the island in 1898 described seeing there a coffin bearing the date 1790, but, thanks to later vandalism, that observation is now unverifiable. Stronger documentary evidence of a funerary trend on Lining Island survives from the beginning of the nineteenth century, in the form of a brief legal transaction.
In the summer of 1801, Charles Lining sold a small parcel of land somewhere on the island to his closest neighbor, Thomas Horry (1748–1820) of Fairfield Plantation (now the Wespanee subdivision). The deed of sale describes the property in question as “forty feet square being part of a small island, situated on Old Town Creek, between the landing place at Hillsborough and Fairfield, and which forty feet are fixed and ascertained by four corner stones, marked each T. Horry . . . and which is intended to be used by the said Thomas Horry as a Burial Ground, for himself and family, and their descendants forever.” 7
I know of no further details relating to the number of Horry family burials within this island reservation, nor how long the Horry family retained an interest in the small square of land. The twentieth-century descendants of the Lining family claimed ownership of the entire island, leaving a small legal mystery yet to be resolved. Their claims extended from the actions of Charles Lining, who retained ownership of the bulk of the island at the time of his death in 1813. Prior to his demise, Charles erected a mortuary structure that transformed the identity of the site.
Part 2: Tomb Island
In a building campaign that either commenced or ended on June 26th, 1805, tradesmen employed by Charles Lining built a substantial burial vault or tomb on the island adjacent to Hillsborough Plantation. That date, along with the owner’s name, was inscribed on a stone tablet surmounting the structure’s main entrance, according to several visitors’ accounts published in local newspapers around the turn of the twentieth century. Eyewitnesses of that era described it as a brick edifice, while a 1938 article described it as “an imposing brown stone mausoleum.” The tomb, as Charles Lining called it, was probably built of brick and rendered with a smooth coating of plaster, and perhaps included several ornamental features made of imported brownstone.
Lining’s tomb was said to occupy the highest point of dry land near the center of the island, oriented with the principal entrance facing to the southwest. A 1906 article opined that the structure measured “about fifteen feet square and about ten feet in height.” Access to the interior was through a pair of “heavy oak doors” fitted with “large brass hinges, securely rivetted,” although some reports mentioned only a singular oak door. Inside the cavernous space, the sturdy brick walls supported “a number of shelves on which are placed the caskets, containing the dead.” 8
Lining’s mortuary tomb was not unique, of course. Anyone familiar with historic sites across the Lowcountry of South Carolina and beyond will recall similar structures at places like Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, at the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, and at the Chapel of Ease on St. Helena Island, just to name a few examples. That built by Charles Lining in 1805 was perhaps slightly larger than those surviving structures, however.
Two years after constructing his substantial family tomb, Charles Lining made his last will and testament. In late January 1807, he dictated specific instructions for the disposition of his corpse:
“I desire that my coffin shall be plain, not exceeding thirty dollars. The funeral ceremony to be performed in my own house. My body to be deposited in the tomb I lately built, on a small island, near my landing at Hillsborough. My funeral to be as plain and as frugal as possible. I desire that the said island (except forty feet square which I have conveyed to my friend Thomas Horry Esquire, for a burial ground) shall never be sold, or disposed of on any account or pretence [sic] whatever, but that it shall be kept for the sacred purpose of a burial place, for my family for ever. And if the said tomb should be injured by time or otherwise, I enjoyn [sic] upon my children as an indispensible [sic] duty, to have it repaired immediately, without any loss of time.” 9
Charles Lining died in August 1813 and, according to instruction, his plain coffin was placed on a shelf within the tomb he had commissioned several years earlier. In subsequent decades, other members of the family joined the patriarch in the secluded vault. The precise number and identities of the burials is unclear, but the site continued to receive family members until the era of the American Civil War.10 The Lining clan retained legal ownership of the small island, but, after the sale of Hillsborough Plantation in 1834, no longer owned any property in the neighborhood. The name Lining Island, perhaps once in common use among locals, was supplanted by the more somber appellation “Tomb Island.” 11
Most of the descendants of Charles Lining left the Charleston area in the years after the Civil War, and Tomb Island endured many seasons without a caretaker. Despite the eternal duty dictated by Captain Lining’s last will and testament, the substantial brick vault filled with wooden coffins began to decay. The surrounding native vegetation also encroached on a secondary grave site nearby. A subterranean burial chamber of unknown vintage, fitted with some manner of above-ground hatchways, occupied a patch of ground near the Lining tomb. It might have contained Horry family graves, or perhaps earlier generations of Lining ancestors. In either case, their days of rest were numbered. In the waning years of the nineteenth century, strangers began to visit the island and unravel their plans for eternal peace.
Part 3: Ghost Island
The end of legal slavery in South Carolina in 1865 emancipated the majority of the population living in the Lowcountry parishes. Among these newly-freed people of African descent were the inhabitants of Hillsborough and neighboring plantations, many of whom began to form settlement communities in clusters where they felt safe. The widow of the last owner of Hillsborough, Mary Taft, for example, began subdividing the property into small residential lots in 1885, and sold the bulk of them to formerly-enslaved people and their descendants. For the African-American residents of Maryville, incorporated in 1886, Tomb Island was a familiar part of the local scenery. They were generally disinclined to visit the site, however, owing to superstitions and “weird tales” about the small island of the dead. Among the Black population on the adjacent shore, the silent isle of tombs was known as “Ghost Island.” 12
At some unknown point in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, bold, water-borne visitors to the island began to infiltrate the stout mausoleum and haunt the corpses resting within. In a 1915 publication, local judge and historian Henry Augustus Middleton Smith (1853–1924) blamed members of the United States Army for the initial desecration of the Lining tomb. “According to [a] report,” said Smith, without specifying the nature of his source, the vault was “broken open . . . by a marauding party of the enemy after the [Confederate] evacuation of Charleston in [February] 1865 and the contents rifled and desecrated.” Six months after the Confederate evacuation, however, members of the Lining clan buried one of their own in the family’s island tomb—a fact suggesting that the structure was not damaged by the occupying army. 13
In contrast to Judge Smith’s assertion, I suspect that the vandalism to the Lining family tomb commenced after the destructive earthquake of 1886 that likely damaged the brickwork. An article published in 1896 described entering the vault, but the author did not use the door. “Two openings in opposite walls permit an entrance,” said the writer, and a visitor to the site had to “squeeze one’s way through.” 14 Another observer, writing in 1898, stated that a “portion” of the vault had “fallen in.” By 1903, however, a curious visitor to the secluded tomb noted that “a massive oak door facing to the southwest was ajar,” facilitating easy entry for hundreds of subsequent trespassers.
Most of the people living in the Charleston area at the end of the nineteenth century first learned about the secluded brick tomb near the Ashley River from a brief article published in the Charleston Evening Post in December 1896. The author, using the pen name “Daurah,” described a recent visit to the Lining vault on what they called “Ghost Island” and summarized the shocking state of the mortuary crypt:
“But where the wind and rain have dealt gently[,] the hand of man has laid its sacrilegious touch. . . . Fifteen or more coffins, plain, but substantial, lie piled in disorder, mostly unopened, but sad to say, not all are untouched; for the lids of several have been forced and what remains of their mortal contents are exposed to the view of the curious and the stranger. The aged grandmother lies in well preserved apparel, with cap and burial shroud still intact after over eighty years of burial. Nearby is the tiny coffin of a very young child[,] its body almost entirely turned to dust, save where from beneath its dress one little infant hand appears remarkably well preserved. Upon its little feet are white laced shoes and stockings which fall to pieces at the touch. But the most pathetic sight of all is where across its childish breast lies its favorite doll, still dressed in bright colors with [a] tiny straw hat, where tender hands had placed it. It was this touching sight that appealed to the writer’s heart, and prompted him to draw attention to this neglected tomb, in hopes that some descendant of Charles L[ining]. might see these lines and at a very small outlay preserve his ancestral dead from further desecration.” 15
Another article, written like a Gothic short story and published in 1903, told of a group visit to the island that included a reporter for the Charleston News and Courier. The visitors in a small wooden boat sailed up the Ashley River in daylight, disembarked at Ghost Island, “and fought their way towards the centre of the pine grove that covered it. There wholly concealed from view and apparently forgotten of all men stood a substantial brick structure.” The visitors entered through the doorway and described the gruesome scene before their eyes:
“Within the vault could be seen one coffin after another arranged in ghastly formality about the walls. . . . Within the tomb the silent, but persistent years had done their work effectually. The coffins are rapidly toppling to decay. From the bottom of one protrudes a gaunt, fleshless foot. The head-piece having fallen away from another, a round white skull shone through the yawning cavity. The coffins were originally inconsiderable affairs. Leaden plates and handles of simple workmanship adorn some of them. One has split sheer in half, and another is rapidly adding its dust to that of its erstwhile occupant. Twenty in number, they rest there, long forgotten of man, keeping together a vigil which will soon end now in complete disintegration and utter oblivion. They are the coffins of men and women and children. In one from which the lid has partially fallen away rest the bones of what was once a tall man. The fine cloth coat in which he was buried has become leathery and stiff. At a glance one might think he wore some fancy uniform, but it was probably no more than a handsome plum-colored frock coat of the fashion of the early part of the last century. [Actually, it was probably the uniform of Captain Charles Lining himself.] The skull is thrown well back upon its cushion and is intact, but the jaws have fallen wide apart. One might fancy that the dead man was shouting with laughter. The occasion of such mirth no man may know, for this good gentleman here understands many things not dreamed of in the philosophy of all the Horatios in the world. He has had his great joke all to himself for more than a half century, unless the boatmen who have plied back and forth in the Ashley have caught the echo of his ghostly shout in the twilight, or when the shadows of the evening have fallen on the waters of the Ashley. . . . In a wee bit of a coffin from which the lid has fallen a way there is a mass of crumbling cloth. The little girl who once rested in it has disappeared completely, but her dolly is there still.” 16
Following the publication of that eerie essay in 1903, swarms of curious cretins paddled, rowed, and sailed to Ghost Island to see the ghastly carnage in person. The desecration and destruction increased over the subsequent months, until the vandalism reached a sad climax in the spring of 1906. An article published on April 5th of that year reported that scores of “curiosity seekers” had visited the island in recent years, but, for reasons unknown, the traffic had spiked in the early months of 1906. The Evening Post estimated “that the little island has been visited by many hundred[s of] people during the last few weeks.” The island was “within easy approach” of the Ashley River, but there was no boat landing, and visitors found it difficult to access the island without a shallow draft boat and steady nerves.
“In all there are about twenty-five caskets in the vault. The caskets are generally without covers, and this fact makes the visit of the curious so gruesome. The small boats come up to the edge of the island and the parties are disembarked to enter the vault and peer into those uncovered caskets. How the covers have happened to be off it is not known. The covers may never have been screwed and perhaps in some instance through idle curiosity one cover was raised and the experiment was followed in the case of the others, until all the caskets had their lids removed.
The vandalism of the visitors to the burial ground is shown in the removal of the silver plates which formerly adorned each casket, giving the name of the deceased within the box. Every one of these plates has been stripped from the caskets and, not content with this plunder, the very person of the dead has been robbed.
In one instance a doll was torn from the arms of a little girl in one of the caskets and buttons have been cut from the clothing of the dead. In one of the caskets are the remains of a member of the family, clothed in a uniform resembling that of a Continental [soldier], which attracts special attention from the visitors.
The preservation of the bodies and dress is said to be remarkable. In the case of some of the caskets the limbs are still held together by a tegument which has become petrified in a way, and the clothing is also intact and in instances appear as clean and well arranged as the day that the bodies were dressed for burial. With the remains uncovered and the increased interest in the burial ground, it is not expected that the bodies will longer survive the treatment of the spectators in viewing the remains.” 17
In early April 1906, a person who occupied “a position of prominence in Charleston” visited the island “for the purpose of satisfying himself of the conditions which were alleged to exist.” The experience convinced him that that the exposed burials probably represented “a menace to public health,” and he recommended closing the island “for the forcible preservation of common decency, if for no other reason.” In a subsequent newspaper article, the prominent citizen described the scene on Ghost Island as “an outrage upon decency and a serious reflection upon the character of our civilization.” He described the scene in detail to a reporter who concluded that “the picture which the citizen painted today of the condition of the burial ground of an old, respected family is so horribly gruesome that it should not be printed.” Although the reported demurred, he could not resist printing a few choice details of the scene:
“Corpses had been stripped and mutilated . . . a limb of the body of one of the women has been brought to the city. . . . The caskets with their contents are now thrown promiscuously over the floor of the tomb. The bodies [buried in the underground vault] have been gradually disinterred one after another from the brick and cement casings built over each coffin in turn and the whole contents of the underground tomb scattered over the floor of the vault. The covers of the caskets have been wrenched from the boxes . . . in the endeavor of the ghouls, who first took the bodies from the underground resting place, and as the pile[s] stand in parts of the vaults, bodies are exposed in and out of the coffins, while in some cases an inverted casket partly hides from view the body which it formerly contained.
The dress[es] of the women have in cases been torn from the bodies or become awry, exposing the limbs in the confusion of mahogany, and human flesh and bone which are spread on the vault floor. The bodies present evidence of the work of ghouls. Judging from the disordered condition of the bodies and the break[ing] of the casket covers, and with the vandalism and desecration which continue through the curiosity of the visitors, the condition of the bodies is becoming more disordered, calling all the more for some action on the part of the authorities to enforce some respect for the dead.” 18
Local officials eventually contacted a descendant of the Lining family residing beyond South Carolina. In mid-April, John Dent Lining (1843–1926) of Mobile, Alabama, grandson of the man who built the vault, said he was “greatly shocked at the horrible treatment of the bodies of his ancestors,” and agreed to visit Charleston as soon as possible to address the matter. Mr. Lining contacted several relatives living in other states, and the descendants later convened in Charleston to determine a course of action. Before their arrival, the local press stated that the family planned to “close” the vault, but provided no further details.
While the Lining descendants were en route to the scene, the desecration continued. The successive newspaper articles about the ghoulish vandalism at Ghost Island inspired even more vandals to visit the site. On April 23rd, 1906, the Evening Post reported that “a party went up to the island yesterday and in the endeavor to reach the shore, a well-known member of the local sporting fraternity lost his balance and fell into the water, sinking to the waist in the water. . . . In the absence of a guard, it will probably be difficult to keep people from trespassing on the island, unless a few warrants are sworn out and the parties prosecuted for trespass, but with the closing of the big heavy oak doors and keeping the curiosity [sic] out of the vault, all interest in the place will be lost.” 19
The twentieth-century descendants of the antebellum Lining family finally visited the island in late April 1906 and saw the vandalized crypt with their own eyes. Shocked by the outrageous desecration, they resolved to extract the crumbling remains of their forebears and demolish the tomb. By the second week of May their work was done, and the local press described their efforts. “The gruesome exhibit of Ghost Island . . . has been razed,” said the Evening Post. “There is now no trace of the old tomb on the island, the structure having been completely destroyed and the material of which it was built removed. . . . The bodies which had been so rudely disturbed were gathered as best they could be and removed to another place and buried. Ghost Island will no more appeal to the spirit of gruesome curiosity[,] and it will probably be a long time before anybody seeks its secluded shades.” 20
Part 4: Ghostless Island
The small hummock of dry land in the historic marshes of the Ashley River, formerly known as Lining Island and Tomb Island, has been vacant for more than century. Distant descendants of Charles Lining retained ownership of the property until 2016, then sold it to strangers with no interest in its mortuary legacy. The secluded site retains the legally-recognized name “Ghost Island” in the twenty-first century, but few locals remember the traumatic story of its desecration and evacuation. Although there is some lingering debate about whether or not the descendants removed all of the human remains from the site in 1906, the Lining family tomb is quite extinct. For all practical purposes, it is now a Ghostless Island.21
My purpose in reviving this morbid narrative is not to stimulate interest in visiting the private island, but rather to remind citizens to exercise respect when visiting historic sites in general. The Lowcountry of South Carolina is home to scores of historic buildings, landscapes, cemeteries, and neglected graveyards. We gain valuable experience and knowledge from visiting such sites, and, in turn, we must tread lightly to ensure later generations can enjoy similar benefits. As the season of Halloween grows near, recall this chilling fact: The real ghouls of Ghost Island were the vandals who wantonly desecrated the graves of the defenseless dead.22
 For an overview of the property’s ownership, see Henry A. M. Smith, “Old Charles Town and Its Vicinity, Accabee and Wappoo Where Indigo Was First Cultivated, With Some Adjoining Places in Old St. Andrew’s Parish,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 16 (April 1916): 49–67.
 An 1826 plat included with an 1834 conveyance of the property indicates the location of “old indigo works” and rice fields; see Polly Lining, executrix of the estate of Charles Lining, to Edward B. Fishburne, conveyance, 1 January 1834, Charleston County Register of Deeds, W10: 539–40.
 Will of Sarah Lining, dated 7 March 1787, proved on 16 March 1789, recorded in Will Book B (1786–1793), page 272, at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History; WPA transcript volume 23 (1786–1793): 403–8, available at the South Carolina History Room at the Charleston County Public Library. For Charles Lining’s war service, see Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983), 571.
 See sale descriptions of Hillsborough Plantation in Charleston Courier, 27 October 1818, page 2; 14 December 1831, page 3; 20 January 1842, page 3.
 See the plat described in note 2 above. Polly’s financial troubles were resolved after her death by an act of the United States Congress on 3 March 1839: “An Act for the relief of Polly Lining, executrix of the last will and testament of Charles Lining, deceased, who in his life-time, and at the time of his death, was executor of the last will and testament of Edward Blake, deceased”; see Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1846), 785.
 Descendants asserted in 1938 that Lining Island was “its correct name”; see Charleston News and Courier, 10 January 1938, page 3A, “Lining Descendants Bid To Observance Here.”
 Charles Lining to Thomas Horry, release, 25 July 1801, Charleston County Register of Deeds, E7: 82.
 Charleston Evening Post, 5 April 1906, page 10, “Scores Visit Ghost Island.”
 Will of Charles Lining, dated 28 January 1807, proved on 27 August 1813, recorded in Will Book E (1800–1807), pages 335–38, at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History; WPA transcript volume 32 (1807–1818), 695–99, available at the South Carolina History Room at the Charleston County Public Library.
 In his 1846 will, for example, Edward Blake Lining (1790–1849) directed his executors to deposit his body “in the tomb erected by my late father on a small island near the landing at Hillsborough in the parish of St. Andrew”; see his will dated 11 September 1846; proved on 31 August 1849; recorded in SCDAH, Will Book K (1845–1851), pages 298–99; WPA transcript volume 45 (1845–1851): 557–58. In the abovementioned 1938 article, a Lining family descendant said that no members of the family were buried in the island tomb after the middle of the nineteenth century.
 A plat of Old Town Plantation in St. Andrew’s Parish, surveyed by T. A. Huguenin in 1878, includes “Tomb Island”; see Henry A. M. Smith Papers, ca. 1744–1922, South Carolina Historical Society, collection No. 1102, folder 47/12a/180. A 1907 plat of the same area, compiled from earlier plats, includes “Tomb Island” with the caption “Island belonging to the est. of Chas. Linning [sic]”; see Plat No. 896 of the John McCrady Plat Collection, held by the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyance Office.
 Charleston Evening Post, 15 December 1896, page 8, “A Desecrated Grave.”
 Smith, “Old Charles Town and Its Vicinity,” 58. According to the “Return of Deaths within the City of Charleston” for the week of 6–12 August 1865 (held in the Charleston Archive at CCPL), H[enrietta]. P[arker]. Lining died on 8 August 1865 at the age of 74 and was buried in the “Lining cem[etery]. [in] St. Andrews Parish.” She was almost certainly placed in the island tomb with her late husband, Edward Blake Lining (1790–1849).
 Charleston Evening Post, 15 December 1896, page 8, “A Desecrated Grave.”
 Charleston Evening Post, 15 December 1896, page 8, “A Desecrated Grave.”
 Charleston News and Courier, 19 April 1903, page 19, “Dead of Long Ago.”
 Charleston Evening Post, 5 April 1906, page 10, “Scores Visit Ghost Island.”
 Charleston Evening Post, 7 April 1906, page 1, “Shocking Deeds of Some Vandals.”
 Charleston Evening Post, 23 April 1906, page 1, “To Close Vault On Ghost Island.”
 Charleston Evening Post, 9 May 1906, page 2, “Ghost Island Cleared.”
 Charleston Post and Courier, 18 June 2018, page A1, “Happenings on historic ‘Ghost Island’ intrigue neighbors,” by Robert Behre; 16 December 2019, page A4, “Finding what haunts ‘Ghost Island,” by Bo Petersen; 25 December 2019, page A1, “Ghost Island owner to delay project for a review by city,” by Bo Petersen.
 This essay benefitted greatly from conversations with Charlie Smith, a generous colleague well-versed in the history of all things West of the Ashley.