Wedding Transportation: Historic Downtown Raleigh Trolley

Downtown Raleigh is full of beautiful and affordable wedding venues. Whether you’re dreaming of an outdoor Autumn wedding in the flower fields of Dix Park, a memorable portrait of your first kiss with the city skyline behind you, an intimate gathering in All Saint’s Chapel, or a historic party on the cobblestone streets of City Market—the historic Great Raleigh Trolley provides a picturesque wedding transportation that’s an iconic piece of Downtown Raleigh culture.

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Create Memorable Wedding Moments in Raleigh

If you’re looking to create classic wedding photos and beautiful moments, our trolleys provide fun, whimsical, and photogenic wedding transportation. Allow the “shuttle” between your wedding location and reception to be part of the memorable experience. We can provide champagne, music, professional photos, first looks, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, and even tours to ensure the transportation between events is more than “down time” — it’s part of the party!

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Historic Raleigh Wedding Transportation

Did you know that antique trolley rails are still beneath Fayetteville Street, Hillsborough Street, and Glenwood Avenue? The Great Raleigh Trolley is modeled after our city’s vintage trolley system, which ran in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. In those days, men and women would dress up in their finest clothes just to ride the trolley downtown for a few coins.

Prior to the trolley, Raleigh’s people still rode horses and wagons into and out of the city. Some of Raleigh’s older citizens still remember riding on wagons. The state-of-the-art trolley system served as the major transportation between the growing suburbs, allowing citizens to move further away from downtown, then travel into town for work.

Raleigh even had a trolley park on Glenwood Avenue, which had an electric roller coaster, dance pavilion, picnic grounds, a lake, and a carousel. The carousel was later bought by Pullen Park. In 1914, people would ride the trolley to the end of the line and enjoy a beautiful day at the park.

Because the trolley is Raleigh’s iconic and historic form of transportation, it’s perfect for couples who want to incorporate our city’s history and culture into their special day.

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Picturesque Wedding Transportation for Your Perfect Day

We can visit Raleigh’s most picturesque places for photos — Fayetteville Street, City Market, Dix Park, or anywhere that’s special to you. We also do travel outside of Raleigh, so contact us with your specific needs!

Far from your basic wedding shuttle, we’ll help with:

  • Wedding flowers and decorations

  • Professional trolley photo shoot

  • Champagne or cocktails

  • Music and playlists

  • Entertainment during transportation

  • Romantic “first looks”

  • Bachelorette parties

  • Get away vehicles

  • Professional tours

Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you create your perfect day!


Haunted Raleigh: The Ghost of Spring Hill House

The next time you take a stroll through Dix Park, pay close attention. You may be walking over the unmarked graves of lost, unnamed people who were once enslaved on the plantation that once stood there. And if legends are true, the souls resting there may be unhappy.

History of Raleigh’s Haunted Spring Hill Plantation

Beginning in the late 1700’s, Dix Park was home to one of Wake County’s largest plantations—a 5,000 acre farm known as Spring Hill. The antique plantation home still stands on a quiet road near a dark patch of woods. Behind it, the 221 year old grave of Colonel Theophilus Hunter sits weathering away in the shadows of gnarled, ancient oaks—the oldest grave in Wake County. But according to security and students who work inside the house, which is now part of Centennial Campus, Theophilus may not be resting peacefully in his centuries old casket.

According to several reports, some evenings—late after everyone has left the park—the motion sensors inside the house set off alarms. Security guards have verified the motion sensors are detecting someone walking down the stairs and out the back door — as if Theophilus is walking back to his grave.

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The Grave of Theophilus Hunter

According to the N&O, NCSU has released a statement of intention to move Hunter’s grave. The ramifications of moving the oldest grave in Wake County impact Hunter’s family, history itself, and possibly the soul of Theophilus.

NCSU also hopes to “disinterred, removed, and reinterred” the 17 unmarked graves thought to belong to the enslaved persons on the property.

Given that intention, the restless spiritual energy within the Spring Hill House could be Theophilus, but it could also be any unhappy spirit who once lived there.

Paranormal Investigations

Paranormal investigators have visited to determine if there is any truth to the legend. Photos show several orbs of light hovering the Hunter gravesite, and security guards confess to have responded to several alarms of the motion sensors going off. One guard also claimed to see lights in the windows after 3am, long after everyone has gone home.

The old oak sitting in front of the house has a human-sized bulge growing like a tumor out the side, calling to mind old legends about trees growing gnarls and lumps after pulling souls from the earth. Walking near the old plantation house at dusk evokes a chill having nothing to do with the crisp Autumn air — it’s the chill of knowing you are walking over unmarked, unnamed graves on a land that once enslaved hundreds of humans. Add in the unmarked plots where forgotten orphans were buried and the nameless Jane Doe’s left behind at Dorothea Dix Hospital, and it seems an area ripe for ghostly legends and haunted tales.

Join a Real Paranormal Investigation

If you love history and ghost stories, check out our new Haunted History: Paranormal Investigation! We’ll visit Raleigh’s spookiest historic places and learn Raleigh’s haunted legends. Guests get to use real ghost hunting gear and get off the trolley to see one haunted place up-close for a real paranormal investigation!

If you prefer a more light-hearted tour, with lots of beer, jokes, and scary stories, check out our Laugh Yourself to Death Tour!

Raleigh’s Heck-Andrews House

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HAUNTED MANSION IN DOWNTOWN: Built in 1870, the Heck-Andrews House was one of the first houses built in Raleigh in the aftermath of the Civil War. This Second-Empire style mansion, featuring a unique spiral staircase curling into a tower with a trap door, once held a bustling Raleigh family with 13 children.

However, by the 1980’s it had dwindled down to just one tenant — a bag-lady who would often be seen rolling her cart up and down Blount Street, collecting “treasures.”

Somewhat of a hermit, Gladys Perry was occasionally seen wandering the streets with ghost-white makeup and red-rouged cheeks; but most of the time her creaky old mansion was sealed. Sadly, she was forcibly evicted when the state decided to buy her home. With no family, she was sent to a nursing home, where she rapidly deteriorated and passed away. Her home, full of piles of antique roadside “treasures,” remained abandoned for decades — slowly falling apart inside. The antique stairwell caved in; the beautiful mirrored walls cracked; the ornate ceiling tiles caked in dust and mildew. Ivy grew over the windows and doors, and when curious people would peek inside the dark windows, they’d sometimes swear they saw Gladys’ ghostly white face peering back out at them.

Due to the disturbances, psychics and shamans were called in to do a reading on the house. One shaman reported being haunted by terrible nightmares for weeks after investigating the Heck-Andrews House, describing seeing a “body beneath the basement floor” in her dreams, and hearing it call out to her with wild loneliness. She believed it to be the spirit of the house—or perhaps of Gladys herself—longing for its glory days as a beautiful Blount-Street Mansion, full of children and fancy parties. Tragically, both the house and the tenant both wasted away for decades due to abandonment — so the lonely, haunting soul within could be either one.

Do you want to see some Raleigh sites with REAL history and paranormal legends? Come on our Haunted History: Paranormal Expedition tour, led by a real historian and paranormal investigator, using real ghost-hunting equipment like EVP and air temperature thermometers. Our first tours are this weekend!

leaders in diversity award

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We are proud to highlight the stories and history of marginalized communities here in Raleigh, as well as hire diverse employees with diverse skills and backgrounds. Specifically, our Hidden History tours have focused on untold oral histories from historically black communities like Oberlin Village, Method, St. Agnes Hospital, Latta University, and more. We also offer a LGBTQIA+ history tour, visiting places in Raleigh that once played a huge role in providing safety and community for LGBTQIA+ Raleighites. These are the stories that don’t make it into history books—but through collecting firsthand accounts and oral history, we can provide a platform for these important stories from Raleigh’s past. Thank you, Triangle Business Journal, for highlighting our efforts through your Leaders in Diversity awards!

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Take A Stroll Through The Graveyard

Take a walk through Raleigh’s cemeteries after dark, visit our city’s spookiest abandoned mansions, and use actual paranormal investigation tools to search for spirits. The Haunted History: Paranormal Expedition is more than just a trolley tour — it’s a hands-on experience with Raleigh’s eeriest legends. Starts this weekend! Tickets —— > https://www.greatraleightrolley.com/paranormal-expedition

Soul cIty

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ABANDONED TOWN: An entire abandoned town sits just an hour north of Raleigh. Called Soul City, it was built in 1969 with great dreams during the Civil Rights era. By 1979, it was foreclosed. Today, all the municipal buildings — parks, hospitals, a retirement facility, a dentist office, and even a fire station with vintage fire trucks still inside—are still standing, deteriorating as the years pass. Old wooden street signs have fallen from their poles, rotting on the ground. The old Soul City sign stands like a sentinel over the historic house from the 1700’s, and streets lined with retro street lights lead to cul-de-sacs where no houses were ever built. Here are some photos our historian and guide snapped while visiting Soul City. If you enjoy ghost towns and eerie history, check out our newest Haunted History tour! We will visit Raleigh’s cemeteries, abandoned mansions, and eerie pieces of urban legends. Tickets and info ——> https://www.greatraleightrolley.com/paranormal-expedition

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