Philadelphia Alley, one of Charleston’s famous ghost stories is part of the agenda for Charleston Cavalier Tour’s “Stories in the Cemetery, Interactive Ghost Hunting Experience”. When you book your experience, you’ll hear the story of The Whistling Doctor and how he battled out a duel with his best friend Ralph Isaacs on the historical bricks of what is now known as Philadelphia Alley.
Investigating Philadelphia Alley during your tour holds the possibility of finding cold spots measured with both infrared and ambient thermometers, audibles of whistling and gunshots from past duels through a digital recorder, or even an apparition using a laser grid pen. Although no apparitions have been reported, anything is possible on a ghost hunt.
Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd arrived in Charleston to begin his medical practice. Upon arriving, he was saved from being robbed and murdered, by Ralph Isaacs. Isaacs and Ladd soon became friends. After settling in on Church Street, the doctor was excited to begin his new practice and invite his fiancée to accompany him. Overall, Ladd was always happy and whistling to prove it.
But the doctor’s reputation around the city grew the jealousy from Isaacs and they soon would have a dispute in Dueler’s Alley. The duel would prove the doctor’s reputation but also ended with his demise in his home on Church Street.
The legend states that if you listen very carefully, you can hear the whistling of Dr. Ladd in the alley after the sun sets. During your investigation, Nicholas will record your entire experience for you to listen for Dr. Ladd’s whistling. You may even hear it for yourself while lurking in the alley, searching for the spirit of Dr. Ladd. And who knows, you just might run into the spirit of Ralph Isaacs, the winner of the duel.
During my tours of Philadelphia Alley, an EMF (electromagnetic field) detector tends to spike in several areas and the quiet alley away from the busy streets of Charleston allows us to listen for ghostly whistling or disembodied voices of previous duelers.