5 of the Best Haunted Attractions Near Your Emerald Isle Rental
Not for the faint of heart, there are tales of unusual sights and sounds, unexplained occurrences, and tales from the past that still haunt the Crystal Coast of North Carolina to this very day. Are you looking for a real-life history lesson combined with the chance to experience the unexpected? Then these five local attractions will have you looking over your shoulder. Visit one or visit them all, if you dare. They're all close and convenient enough to do as a day trip from your Emerald Isle rental. Blackbeard the pirate tales and tragedies, Civil War soldier apparitions, and the ghost of the little girl buried in a rum keg are all ghost stories you're likely to hear, and perhaps see for yourself, during your visit. Don't go these alone!
It's not hard to imagine why ghost stories surface and resurface in a place like Fort Macon. This Civil War era historic site has been through a lot—if only the walls could talk, oh the stories they'd tell. They don't actually talk but the chilling sound of dripping water, cannon-ball-chipped walls, and the echoes of the past are enough to send a shiver down your spine. But are there any ghosts? Well, that depends on who you ask. There's one particular story of an unlucky soldier named Ben Combs who stood sentinel in the April of 1862 as the Confederate Army was huddled inside the Fort while Union cannons rained down all around them in a bombardment that lasted 11 hours. He was only 25 and had volunteered in the months after the secession, leaving behind his wife, Eliza, and their Wayne County farm. As he stood dutifully with a rifle on his shoulder, a mortar shell dropped out of the sky and landed a little too close for comfort on a hill nearby, rolling down to him on this fateful day. The explosion left him alive, but barely. Ben Combs suffered for five long days before dying a painful death. The story gets more intriguing and macabre when in the early 1980s a woman named Linda Coats, who claimed to have spoken with the ghost of Ben Combs, also met an untimely death by the hand of a soldier. You can read more about exactly what happened and more of the Ben Combs ghost story and haunting of Fort Macon here.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the real life stories and war time history that you'll find at Historic Fort Macon are haunting enough to make it worthy of a visit next time you're in town.
The Webb Memorial Library was not always a library. In 1929, Mr. Earle W. Webb, Sr., CEO of Ethyl Corporation in NYC and native Morehead City resident, began construction of a commercial building on the corner of 9th and Evans Streets in downtown Morehead City, North Carolina. For the first few years the building had doctors’ offices downstairs and a training facility for the local garment factory upstairs. When the upstairs noise became too much for the downstairs occupants, the garment factory left. Mrs. Webb, a member of the Morehead Woman’s Club, asked her husband if the club could move its 300 book library to one of the upstairs rooms. When he agreed, the library was moved. A few years later in 1936, the Webbs’ son, Earle W. Webb, Jr., became ill and died. In honor of their son, Mr. and Mrs. Webb dedicated the building as the Earle W. Webb Jr. Memorial Library and Civic Center and opened it to all the citizens of Morehead City for community use. You can read more about the history of the Webb Memorial Library here.
Did you know that the Webb Memorial is the most paranormally investigated building on the Crystal Coast? It is. So here's your chance to experience it with an after-hours paranormal investigation led by an expert in the field. On this tour you can join a real hands-on investigation by using varying paranormal equipment. Learn about the history of the Webb, hear about the real hauntings over the years, and perhaps come home with a ghost story of your very own. Due to the nature of this tour, it's only available to those age 13 and older. Port City Tour Company has been doing ghost tours in the Webb Memorial since 2008, so they know a little bit about things that go bump in the night. They offer tours year-round and reservations are required. (IMG Source: Haunted Webb Memorial)
With the oldest grave marker dated back to 1711, it's fair to say that the Old Burying Grounds in Beaufort holds a lot of history within its gates. A stroll through the cemetery is pretty peaceful with its shady live oaks and shadowy gravestones of those who lived before us. Probably the most notable grave site in the cemetery is the one marked "Little Girl Buried in a Keg of Rum". You'll see tokens from sympathetic visitors strewn all over and around this little girl's grave. Have you heard of her story? It begins in the mid-18th Century, when a family named Sloo (pronounced Slow) traveled from England to the North Carolina colony bringing with them their infant daughter. Sloo was a merchant captain who made his living trading in the English settlements scattered across the Atlantic. The family was prosperous, and they soon built a gorgeous house which still stands on the Beaufort waterfront. But despite thriving in the colonies, the mother was homesick and often spoke of England. As the Sloo's daughter grew, hearing her mother's stories, she too began to long to see the distant land where she was born. Whenever her father was about to set sail, she would beg him to take her with him so she could see England for herself. Long story short, she finally got her wish. The voyage to England took months, and a sailing ship was no place for a child. After years of pleading, her father finally agreed that she could travel with him. The mother consented to the voyage on one condition, that no matter what happened, he would bring their daughter back to her in Beaufort. And so, Sloo and his daughter set sail for England.
Have you been to any of these haunted places on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina? Did you hear or see anything unusual? Inquiring minds want to know!