Grim reaper on the side of the road We absolutely love working in the historic district, but what comes with the bewitching city of Charleston and our historic office is a ghostly tale…

The Honorable Rhett Barker spent most of his life on his family’s Sea Island Cotton Plantation, north of Johns Island near the Bohicket river and its moss laden oaks.  As the years rolled by, those slow, humid lowcountry summers became increasingly onerous and he yearned for the sights and sounds of a more vibrant downtown life. A decision was finally made and he moved his permanent residence to their town home at 95 Broad St taking with him a long term family friend and servant.  

A new routine began, one metric being a weekly sojourn to the City Market paying their respects to acquaintances and friends on the way along East Bay and back via Meeting or King St.  The outing could on occasion last most of the afternoon and was anticipated as an enjoyable social event as much as the practicalities of a shopping expedition.

On one such day the unwanted and unexpected befell Rhett.  With trinkets and flowers in hand he rounded the corner of Market and Meeting by the Daughters of the Confederacy.  There, unnoticed by all except Rhett stood Death, the Grim Reaper, dark garbed and calling his name, searching for a first and final confluence. Now Rhett for all his years was not prepared for such, and seeing Death unseen himself turned quickly to melt in to the crowd.  Shaken and severely perturbed, the advice of his servant was to flee post haste, to take his leave of the City on the first packet for Savannah and there to remain until called for.

And so it befell that Rhett packed a small case, expressed a hurried farewell and departed for Savannah on that evenings outgoing tide.  Life in the Broad St household continued its steady routine in the weeks that passed. Summer slowly faded to fall with its morning mists over the Cooper and Ashley rivers, balmy days and ongoing festivities.  Then, as fall established its full grip and house fires began to warm downtown Charleston parlors around again rolled market day and off went Rhett’s servant on their once shared routine.

Strolling east past Blind Tiger an unusual chill settled on his demeanor.  Unusual in that the sun was well up in the sky and the day no less cool than any other. The feeling clung to him, growing slowly ominous as he passed the various cobbled lanes leading off East Bay towards the docks.  Past Gadsden House then the Customs Hall; turning in to Market St he felt unwell.  Deciding to cut short the outing, he turned down Church Street and there before him, unnoticed by all around, stood Death, his hooded visage staring him fully in the face. Time froze; he froze.

Mustering all his courage and sensibilities the servant addressed the abject horror before him.

Have you come for me, Death? ” he ventured.

Not on this occasion, ” was the loaded reply.

Have you come for Rhett? You waste your time as he is not here.

I well know, ” answered Death, “for I have an appointment with him tonight ………………….. in Savannah!

Epilogue: Death is all around us in this city of Charleston, under our feet, it mixes with the living and provides foundations for our future.  It may hold many secrets and be many things but one aspect is for certain, it is inescapable.  

Happy Halloween from “Rhett ” and the team at Luxury Simplified, 95 Broad St, Charleston SC. 

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