The Catacombs beneath Woodburn

Catacomb Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton

•Exploring mysteries in Pendleton•

Today I descend below one of the most beautiful homes in South Carolina to photograph a mysterious subterranean cavern that few have ever seen. It was a thrilling and terrifying experience that I hope you will enjoy seeing almost as much as I did. Below is only a small glimpse into one of many fascinating mysteries that exist inside the Historic Woodburn home.
Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
To me, no place better represents a dichotomy than Woodburn does. Standing outside I could spend forever exploring the Adger Carriage building and the Moorhead cabin. Walking around on the elegantly designed double piazza porch really takes you back to another time. It is no surprise why this location makes for such a charming wedding venue. I really mean that too. You couldn’t ask for a nicer place for the pairing of unfading devotion.
Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
Not everything about Woodburn is so majestic though. Many mysteries lie just within the entrance to this old building. Some of them you may have heard while sitting around the campfire, others are rarely told. Perhaps you know the one about The White Lady who is all too frequently seen. She is said to have even been photographed peering out from an upstairs window of the house. Other tales of ash footprints appearing and disappearing accompanied by laughter are renowned. It then should not surprise you that Woodburn is a place of constant perplexity. I would like to share something I recently discovered while touring the house.
Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
With permission from the Pendleton Historical Foundation, I descend through a trap door and down into the darkness. All just to explore a forgotten place. Just underneath exists a catacomb-like structure used long ago as a cistern. Rainwater once flooded this area giving the owners a constant supply. This water would be used to wash clothes and for many other chores. Today these antiquated cisterns are extremely valuable to archeology thanks to having so rarely been disturbed.
Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
It is not completely uncommon to find incredibly well-preserved treasures in these underground caverns. The cold rainwater would have once filled this place making it nearly impossible to explore, but now I moved unobstructed. I had no idea what would be found down here and my thoughts wandered. What if the trapdoor were to lock behind me?
Catacomb Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
My camera was my guide. Each flash of light revealing what was ahead of me. I could hear the sound of water flooding in and slowly drowning me. How easily this could become my watery tomb. Yet, each time I pressed the shutter release I could see the reality, how whimsical my imagination can be. I found very little underneath the earth. A set of stones stacked up in one corner was my only surprise. I will admit now the truth, I was simply terrified.
Catacomb Woodburn Plantation house Pendleton
I did manage to survive my visit to Woodburn and while my discoveries were small, I still believe this house has many bewildering and unusual mysteries to unravel. It is hard to imagine that such a beautiful place can also contain so many mysteries. Who knows what else can be found in this extraordinary place. If you would like to see the Woodburn house make sure to visit during the Christmas Open House December 9th.
Pendleton Historic Christmas

#86 on the Adventure Map
Pendleton Historic Foundation

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2 Comments

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