Relic Room lecture to deal with museum’s creepiest artifacts on Halloween

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Have your Halloweens just not been creepy enough lately? Come to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum on Wednesday, Oct. 31, at noon, and we’ll supply the shivers you’ve been missing.

Curator of Education Joe Long has rummaged through the museum’s dustiest, most cobwebbed cupboards to dig up some of our most eerie artifacts, and he’ll be showing them off and telling the stories behind them in a special Lunch & Learn session.
Here are some of the tales of the weird he’ll be telling:

Weller Rothrock. When the museum was preparing to put the reunion uniform of former Confederate soldier Weller Rothrock on display, there was a problem. Each time the staff left the mannequin alone, when they came back it was stooped over with the right arm extended as though reaching for something. Also, staff kept finding a drawer containing some of his stuff left open. Was Rothrock trying to tell us something?

The Cursed Love Token. Awhile back, a donor gave the museum a 19th-century one-dollar gold piece that had been carried by someone as a keepsake. Only later did the donor tell the Relic Room why he had been eager to get rid of it…

The Foot that Was Not Lost. One unlucky day in the Civil War, a single cannonball killed a man and two horses and took off the foot of a second man, Matthew Calbraith Butler. For the rest of his life, Butler kept a grisly reminder of that day…

The Ghost of Wade Hampton Rides. We have a lot of Gen. Wade Hampton III artifacts on display, but one thing we can only tell you about: His mounted ghost, which was seen riding through the treetops on Bull Street in Columbia for several nights in 1914. Or so some said...

You can learn about those stories in a special series of videos on the Relic Room Facebook page being posted throughout October. But you’ll learn even more at the event on Oct. 31 at noon.

About the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
Founded in 1896, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is an accredited museum focusing on South Carolina’s distinguished martial tradition through the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, the War on Terror, and other American conflicts. It serves as the state’s military history museum by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting South Carolina’s military heritage from the colonial era to the present, and by providing superior educational experiences and programming. It is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia, sharing the Columbia Mills building with the State Museum. For more information, go to

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