Zoe St. Amand – Ghost of Poogan’s Porch

Poogan’s Porch (Carragher, 2011)

When you’re in Charleston, you may have a hard time deciding on a particular place to eat.  There are lots and lots of restaurants in Charleston with all sorts of delectable and mouth-watering selections.

There’s one tasty treat tucked away at 72 Queen Street that gives guests a little something extra.  The house that is now Poogan’s Porch was built in 1888.  It’s charming, with an inviting front porch, delicious food, and impeccable service.  It gets its name from “Poogan,” a scruffy neighborhood mutt who began parking himself on the porch when Bobbie Ball bought the house and turned it into the restaurant that stands there today.  He was a friendly little dog, so Ball adopted him.  When Poogan’s Porch restaurant opened, Poogan acted as host.

But the building’s history goes back much further.

Around 1900, Zoe St. Amand and her sister, Elizabeth, lived in the house.  Zoe, a school teacher, looked every bit the spinster.  She often wore long, black Puritan-style dresses and round, wire-rimmed glasses.  The sisters seemed to prefer the company of each other, and kept mostly to themselves.

Zoe St. Amand, in black, with her sister, Elizabeth. (SCIWAY, 2012)

When Elizabeth died in 1945, Zoe became incredibly lonely.  She was depressed, and her mental state may have deteriorated—she was reportedly often seen calling out her sister’s name.  Finally, neighbors took her to St. Francis Hospital to live out the remainder of her days.  Today, Zoe’s body rests in St. Lawrence Cemetery, at 60 Huguenin Avenue, just north of downtown.  Where her spirit is, however, seems to be debatable.

There have been numerous sightings of Zoe St. Amand at Poogan’s Porch.  Restaurant employees have certainly seen her, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility to see a diner or two run from the building looking like they’ve just seen a, well, ghost.

Interestingly, many people who have seen Zoe have reported that they had no idea she was a ghost.  She’ll walk in to the ladies’ restroom, and other the women won’t realize that she’s not simply an elderly customer until they see her in an old photograph on the wall.    Guests of the Mills House Hotel across the street have seen Zoe waving at them from the restaurant’s second floor windows.  They’ve even called the police to investigate, believing an elderly woman was trapped in the restaurant.

Want to check out a video of some restaurant employees talking about their experiences?

I’ve been told that the best time to get a glimpse of Zoe is late at night, when the restaurant is nearly empty.  If you’re going, give Poogan’s a call to make reservations.  And if you’d like to try to stay at the Mills House, ask about a room on the Queen Street side.

Just don’t forget to pay your respects to Poogan.

Little Poogan is buried on the property. (Irish311, 2011)

Image Credits:

Carragher, G. (2011). Bob krist’s method – charleston, sc. Retrieved from http://www.gennifercarragher.com/2011/05/22/bob-krists-method-charleston-sc/

SCIWAY. (2012). Charleston chillers. Retrieved from http://sciway2.net/2002/a34k/zoe.htm

Irish311. (2011, September). Poogan’s porch: Restaurant reviews. Retrieved from http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g54171-d476125-r117773835-Poogan_s_Porch-Charleston_South_Carolina.html

~ by scareschs on March 13, 2012.

14 Responses to “Zoe St. Amand – Ghost of Poogan’s Porch”

  1. My daughter, Shannon, my self and my sister and brother-in-law, Bev and Chuck, have reservations at Poogan’s for Mother’s Day brunch. We will all be looking for Poogan and any sign of Zoe. Hopefully she will greet us as guests in her lovely home.

  2. My children and I ate there many years ago for a late afternoon lunch. As we were finishing, a stack of dishes on an empty table on the other side of the room was swept off onto the floor. There was no one near the table. The staff took it in stride and said, “it happens.”

  3. […] dating back to 1888 tucked away on Queen Street. (Check out the story of the infamous ghost here.) This beautifully restored Victorian house serves a fresh spin on southern comfort food and is […]

  4. […] Not only does this Charleston restaurant have delicious food and mimosas but it is also haunted! Legend has it that one of the former residents of the house haunts one of the ladies’ restroom and […]

  5. Yep – it’s true! We just returned from Charleston where we participated in a ghost tour that featured Poogan’s Porch. The next morning (11/16/13) I stepped out early to take pictures around town. Passing Poogan’s I noticed the staff briskly sprucing up the place and a black gentleman relaxed leaning over the top balcony taking a little break. Our eyes met and he kindly greeted me – I waived/smiled back. As I passed in front of the house I noticed the center top balcony door ajar. For some reason I felt a strong chill and didn’t want to continue looking, but I kept my camera facing the house and took a couple of photos as I passed. Since I forgot my charger I couldn’t review my images until I got home. When I did, sure enough and easily to detect, there is the ghostly image of Ms. Zoe looking straight at me as I walked by. I can see why she likes it there! The place is clearly loved and absolutely beautiful! Lots of beloved teachers in my family – perhaps that’s the connection.

  6. I had the pleasure of having lunch there last week. I wished I known the history as I would have paid my respects to Poogan for sure. Can you tell I’m an animal lover?

    • Just one more reason to go back for a visit, Sandy! Little Poogan’s statue is on the right side of the walkway, before you reach the steps to the front porch. I’m told that folks eating on the porch have felt him rubbing against their legs under the table.


  7. After we had dinner at Poogans Porch, I stood on the staircase for my husband to take my picture. When we got home and looked at our pictures on our computer, there was Zoe right next to me. It was like a green mist, but you could tell that her hair was in a bun.

  8. So, after dinner my girl friend went up srairs at poogans, all the lights wete off, beutiful place, I had heard it was haunted, I took a picture, and in the picture was a of a heavy mist in the firm of a person,

    • Park Ranger,

      Congratulations on your picture! Even with all of the reported activity at Poogan’s, I’m told it’s quite rare to actually capture something with a camera. Great find!


  9. […] seems to be debatable. There have been numerous sightings of Zoe St. Amand at Poogan’s Porch. (source) KenzoMackenzie (aka kenzo ) is a contributing blogger for OddNormality. Keeping an open mind about […]

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