Ghost Stories of the Crystal Coast: History, Haunts and More
*This post has been updated in October 2016 to include Ghost Tours of the Crystal Coast and more information on the local haunts.
Steeped in maritime history, pirateering, high seas adventure, shipwrecks, war and the occasional tempestuous relationship, the Crystal Coast offers the perfect setting for ghost stories, mysterious happenings and intriguing legend. Whether or not you believe in ghosts doesn't matter much, the history behind some of our local lore is fascinating in and of itself.
Read on to dig a little deeper into what lies behind some of the area's top legend and lore. What is fact and what is fiction? You decide.
Crystal Coast Ghost Tours
Arguably the best way to learn about the history and mystery of the Crystal Coast and its hauntings, legends and ghost stories is by taking a guided tour led by locals who know the back story and inside scoop of what really goes on here. It's an interesting way to spend an evening and sure to give you lasting memories to take home with you—along with a few ghost stories to share.
Beaufort Ghost Walk
The most popular Crystal Coast ghost tour is the Beaufort Ghost Walk. The hour-and-fifteen-minute tour is led by none other than pirates who guide you through 300 years of Beaufort history. The Beaufort Ghost Walk is a walking tour through the Historic District of Beaufort, North Carolina, which was founded in 1709. Beaufort is the 3rd oldest town in NC, and the 12th oldest town in North America, so you know there are some stories to be told.
On the Ghost Walk, you'll be thoroughly entertained by your Pirate Guides, as they regale you with an enjoyable assortment of haunted tales, ghost stories, and interesting histories of the Beaufort area. In addition, you will hear about some of the amazing unexplainable encounters experienced by both the guests and guides during Ghost Walks of the past.
The Beaufort Ghost Walk is a top-rated attraction on the Crystal Coast by TripAdvisor and is enjoyed by couples, families and kids. The tour operates year-round, so be sure to include it on your Emerald Isle beach vacation itinerary next time you're in town. (Image Source: beauforthistoricsite.org)
Haunted Webb Memorial Tour
This tour is a real hands-on experience that takes place in the Historic Waterfront District of Morehead City. The Haunted Webb Memorial Paranormal Investigation and Tour begins at 10p.m. and lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Due to the nature of this tour, only those age 13 and older are permitted. You'll have the chance to see, hear, touch and feel paranormal investigative equipment. The Haunted Webb Memorial tour guides have years of experience investigating the supernatural and have been involved in several investigations.
The Webb Memorial is the most paranormally investigated building on the Crystal Coast. Investigated dozens of times by professional paranormal teams, their findings have been nothing short of spectacular. Paranormal experiences can happen at anytime, so be prepared for anything – and bring your camera! It’s possible that you might capture ghostly images in your pictures. If you do, send them in; they might be featured on the Haunted Webb Memorial website.
The Haunted Webb Memorial Paranormal Investigation is a year-round tour which operates rain or shine. Group minimums are required for the tour to run, so gather up your fearless friends. Make it part of your next Crystal Coast vacation experience, if you dare. It's not for the faint-hearted!
The Hammock House in BeaufortThe Hammock House has a long history and tainted reputation. Aye 'tis true, Captain Edward Teach (better known as the infamous Blackbeard the Pirate) roamed these parts and sailed the local seas. He reportedly stayed for a stint in the historic Hammock House, built in the early 1700s and set not far off of Taylor's Creek on the Beaufort waterfront.
During his time there, it's been told that Blackbeard kept his young (think teenager), common-law wife there against her will. There was rumor of her involvement with another local lad during her imposed stay, which did not sit well with the nefarious Blackbeard. It did not end well for her, as she swung in the coastal breeze from the old oak tree in the backyard. Blackbeard is said to have hanged her from that tree before his departure from the Hammock House.
Some claim that her screams can still be heard to this day, if the conditions are just right. (We're not sure what that means, exactly.)
There are other stories that raise an air of caution when it comes to associations with that house. Blood-stained stairs, human remains found during renovations, along with other tales of tragedy and misfortune in the 300 years of history in the Hammock House. (Image Source: blackbeardthepirate.com)
Beaufort's Old Burying GroundDeeded to the town in 1731, Beaufort's Old Burying Ground is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This town treasure holds the history of over 200 stones from the pre-Civil War era with the earliest legible date reading 1765, 45 known from the Civil War period, and 150 grave markers from 1865 to around 1900.
Buried here you'll find Revolutionary and Civil War heroes, descendants of the Mayflower pilgrims, drowned sailors from area shipwrecks, and North Carolina's famed 1812 war hero Captain Otway Burns.
Then there's the unnamed girl buried in a rum barrel who seems to draw quite a crowd.
The epitaph Little Girl Buried in Rum Keg marks the small wooden plank of a young girl with the last name Sloo. Her father was a local sea merchant on his way to trade in London. Begging for an adventure at sea to her native England, the little girl managed to convince her parents to allow her to go, despite her mother's reservations about the perils of travel by sea. Sadly, her mother's fears became reality. The little girl died on the return voyage to her home in Beaufort. Not wanting to have to throw her body overboard, her father purchased a cask of rum from the captain and sealed her inside.
Today you'll see the trinkets and tokens of memorial strewn over her grave by visitors to the site. Some say the little girl roams the cemetery at night, though the Beaufort Historical Association assures us that is not the case.
One thing is for certain, there is a lot of history buried on those grounds. If only the branches of the old live oak trees and the creeping vines that encase the cemetery could talk; oh the stories they'd tell.
Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach
Who really knows what goes on in the dark of night as the fort lies silent? We know for certain that it's a local treasure with an intriguing history all its own, even during the daylight hours. (Image Source: wikipedia.org)
These are just a few of our Crystal Coast ghost stories, local legends and lore, and the history behind them. What's your favorite Crystal Coast ghost story?