There are many locations along North Carolina’s Outer banks with rich history, beautiful scenery and most of all, ghostly tales of pirates, Civil War battles & stories, haunted lighthouses and much more. I will touch on a couple locations known for their ghostly tales.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Completed in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in The USA and is the main one out of 5 lighthouses on the North Carolina coast most associated with the state. In 1999 the lighthouse and its historic surrounding structure were moved 3000 feet from the original location due to erosion causing the land it stood on to recede. Rough waters and the infamous Diamond Shoals have caused many ships to wreck in the area, in a section known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Reports of paranormal activity are that of shadow people inside with most of the occurrences happening in the water and around the lighthouse grounds. Ghostly sailors and pirates as well as phantom ships have been reported to be seen in the waters around the lighthouse.
In December 1812, Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr, was sailing with a group to New York from South Carolina on the Patriot when the schooner was blown off course by a gale, taking it close to the Outer Banks. During that time, pirates regularly sailed the area in search of treasure. It is believed that pirates captured the Patriot, killing everyone on board. For many years, there have been sightings of a female apparition, thought to be the spirit of Theodosia Burr, who roams the beach around the lighthouse.
Another known spirit of the lighthouse is the Gray Man of Hatteras who has been appearing to people since the early 1900’s. It is believed by many that the man was a sailor named Gray who lived near Cape Point. The story is that Gray drowned when his ship was caught in a hurricane. He often appears out of nowhere with verbal warnings of impending doom and then vanishes. Witnesses say that they feel no fear as they believe he is just trying to prevent the same tragedy that happened to him.
Teach’s Hole is named after Edward Teach, more widely known as Blackbeard the Pirate. A cove on Ocracoke Island is known as Teach’s Hole because it is the supposed site of Blackbeard’s execution at sea.
Blackbeard terrorized the sailors of the Atlantic and the Caribbean for twenty seven months by ambushing ships and stealing their cargo and killing anyone who got in his way. He would often attack at dawn or dusk when his ship was harder to see. When prisoners willing surrendered, he would spare
them. There is a story of one man who refused to give up a diamond ring he was wearing, so the feared pirate cut the ring off, finger and all.
In November of 1718, Blackbeard retreated to Teach’s Island and threw a wild pirate party that lasted for three days. When word got to Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia, he immediately ordered two sloops, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy, to go to Ocracoke and capture the pirate They hung the head from the bowsprit and threw the pirate’s body overboard. As the body hit the water, the head hanging from the bowsprit shouted: “Come on Edward” and the headless body swam three times around the ship before sinking to the bottom.
To this day, Blackbeard’s ghost has haunted Teach’s Hole, forever searching for his missing head. Sometimes, the headless ghost floats on the surface of the water, or swims around and around and around Teach’s Hole, glowing just underneath the water. Sometimes, people see a strange light coming from the shore on the Pamlico Sound side of Ocracoke Island and know that it is “Teach’s light”. On night’s that the ghost light appears, if the wind is blowing inland, you can still hear Blackbeard’s ghost tramping up and down and roaring: ‘Where’s my head?