The Story of “Bubba,” South Carolina State Museum’s Resident Ghost
There’s a lot more to the South Carolina State Museum than meets the eye!
“Many people don’t realize that the State Museum’s largest artifact is the Columbia Mills building that houses the museum itself,” spokesman Jared Glover told The Charlotte Observer.
Columbia Mills, a booming textile business built in the late 1800s, was the first totally electric powered mill in the world. When it closed in 1981, the building was donated to the state.
The mill’s original freight elevator, which was used to transport cotton between floors, is still in use today. It’s in this ancient elevator where the story of Bubba the ghost begins.
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According to lore, an employee of the mill poked his head into the elevator shaft thinking the elevator was below him. Unfortunately, it was above him, and before he knew it, the elevator came down on his head, decapitating him. He’s been roaming the floors of the old mill building ever since.
“After the mill’s conversion to a museum, a ghost, nicknamed ‘Bubba,’ was reported on the third floor,” Glover told the Observer. Though he’s personally never seen him, Glover said that Bubba has been spotted by a number of visitors, “wandering about the exhibits wearing overalls and boots.”
“We’ve had some former employees that have had encounters with Bubba, near the schoolhouse on the fourth floor,” Glover added. “There are reports of the bell ringing while nobody is around. Others have said they spotted a dark shadowy figure near the hearse.”
Looking for a run-in with Bubba? Head to SCMuseum.org hours, admission and more information.