Area Guide | Seasonal

Ghost Stories: The Tale of the Poogan’s Porch Dog Ghost

Foodies from across the world flock to the Charleston area to get a taste of its culinary scene. With award-winning chefs and restaurants crafting up the best that the industry can offer, it’s no wonder that nearly 7.3 million people visit Charleston for a bite of Lowcountry plates.

One of Charleston’s oldest and most renowned restaurants, Poogan’s Porch, has been dishing out true, southern food since its opening in 1976. But its menu isn’t the only attraction that has longtime patrons, celebrities, politicians, tourists and locals coming back for more.

Legend has it that there’s a four-legged ghost scurrying around the restaurant, greeting diners and perching under tables with hopes of catching the fallen scraps of food. And it’s none other than the restaurant’s namesake himself – Poogan.

During his lifetime, Poogan was the neighborhood stray who had grown accustomed to stopping by the Queen St. location when it was still a residential property as the homeowners would often offer the pooch some much needed porch shade, food and water. When the last residential owners sold the spacious, commodious property and the home transitioned into a restaurant, Poogan continued to visit his favorite porch at 72 Queen, even during its renovation stages.

By the time the restaurant officially opened in 1976, Poogan had become a staple of the culinary establishment. Diners were pleasantly greeted by the pup at the top of the porch as they climbed the stairs to the restaurant. When he wasn’t manning his porch post, Poogan was often found scavenging the restaurant’s heart-of-pine floors for food crumbs and scraps.

By the time Poogan died of natural causes in 1979, the restaurant’s owners had adopted Poogan as their own. He was buried on the restaurant’s property, and the establishment was thereafter named Poogan’s Porch as tribute to the beloved dog.

Today, many of Poogan’s diners claim that the restaurant’s namesake still roams the grounds, with reports of doghair brushing their legs underneath the table while they’re eating. Most attribute the sensation to Poogan’s spirit still wandering from table to table with the hopes of finding fallen food from diners’ plates.

Poogan’s spirit isn’t the only apparition at the restaurant though. Long before 72 Queen was Poogan’s Porch, it was home to the St. Amand family. One of the family’s daughters, Zoe, is still believed to walk the grounds at 72 Queen, searching for her beloved sister who died years before her own passing.

Zoe died in 1954 (long before Poogan’s Porch opened), but there are modern-day reports of Zoe’s ghost wandering around the restaurant, knocking over glasses, slamming doors and even yelling her sister’s name. Diners have testified to seeing Zoe, often mistaking her ghost for an elderly customer and only recognizing the apparition after seeing a photo of Zoe.

Whether they’re furry or spooky, Poogan’s Porch has enough haunting attractions to keep visitors coming back for a bite and a fright!