Nothing beats good Halloween ghost stories. And nothing is better than a South Carolina ghost story. After all, we’ve got everything from the mountains to the sea, and whole lot more in between! All Hallow’s Eve is a mere 24 days away and already the town is festooned with cheap yard art…plastic tombstones, inflatable pumpkins, witches, skeletons, and the like. (anybody seen my front porch on Blossom Street?) However, the ghosts that walk amongst us are eerily silent, but when they make their presence known, it’s a powerful testament to the supernatural.
Our last blog took you all the way to Hollywood for Halloween Ghost Stories, but some readers took offense that we omitted several of the most famous and enduring ghost stories, right here at home. After all, South Carolina has played host to countless otherworldly beings since Native Americans (please note we did not say Red Skins) discovered our great state nearly 13,000 b.c. And no place is safe from their silent footsteps. This week we’ve decided to highlight some of our most infamous residents … the kind that will never need Obamacare.
Now, let go local for some Halloween Ghost Stories! Nestled between Garden City and Pawley’s Island, the quaint hamlet of Murrells Inlet will kick off this week’s entry. As widely known for its seafood as it is for the most famous, dearly departed Alice Flagg, Murrells Inlet has boasted years of summer homes, 19th century plantations, and plenty of mystery. About as much mystery as who sired Mia Farrow’s son.
Alice Flagg resided with her brother, Dr. Allard Flagg, and her mother at The Hermitage, a home on Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The Flagg family was one of the most prominent in the area, and Allard and his older brother, Arthur, were well-respected physicians in the small community. When Alice fell in love with a young lumberman, her brothers were incensed that she had become involved with a man beneath her station in life.
As often happens, Alice’s outrage at her brother’s treatment of her beau only pushed her further into his arms. Having become secretly engaged, Alice wore a ring tied to a ribbon around her neck. In his attempt to distract the lovelorn Alice, Dr. Flagg sent her away to boarding school in Charleston. It was here that she became ill with malaria and had to return home. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Alice passed away soon after she arrived. It was then her brother discovered the engagement ring around her neck. In his anger, he tossed the ring into the marsh.
Although more than 150 years have passed, the ghost of Alice Flagg is still occasionally seen in her lovely white dress coming in and out of the front door of The Hermitage and walking the grounds at All Saints Cemetery. Visitors to the cemetery report circling her gravesite backwards 13 times only to find the ring they had on their finger is gone. Is Alice is still looking for her ring. Believers say she is!
Further up the coast, Halloween Ghost stories abound of a mysterious gray entity that appears before storms or life threatening events to warn those with whom he comes in contact of grave danger. The Gray Man, as he has come to be called, is a benevolent spirit who comes with a warning and nearly all those who have met him are spared some form of harm.
For every hurricane to hit the coast of South Carolina, there is a story of someone meeting the Gray Man and heeding his warning…of lives saved, and oftentimes property. Who is this messenger? Some give credit to Black Beard the Pirate, others say he was previous owner of the Pelican Inn at Pawley’s. Regardless, if you encounter him one stormy afternoon, heed his warning.
From the coast straight to the midlands is yet another Halloween Ghost Story! Here one will find a lonely stretch of the Sumter Highway that many report is haunted by a beautiful young girl trying to make her way to Columbia. The swamp girl tale tells of a well-dressed woman seen walking down a dark highway in the middle of dense swampland. A couple, seeing the girl, stopped to offer her a ride. The young girl accepted the ride explaining that she was on her way to Columbia to visit her sick mother. When the wife asked the young girl a question and received no response, turned to discover she had vanished. Remembering the address of the young girl’s destination, the husband made his way to Pickens Street. The woman who answered the door knew immediately why he was there. He was one of three people to have picked up the woman in the swamp only to have her disappear. As legend has it, the disappearing girl was killed in an auto accident. On the anniversary of her death, she appears on the swamp road where she lost her life.
Join us next week for still more Halloween Ghost Stories: We continue to introduce you to things that go bump in the night … and we’re not talking Miley Cyrus twerking in a drug video! Plastic tombstones anyone?
J.L. Mann (Bubba) Cromer is an Attorney in Columbia, whose practice focuses on DUI Defense, Criminal Defense & Probate Administration and Estate Planning. Admitted to practice in South Carolina, California & The District of Columbia, “Bubba” has been in practice for 26 years. In addition to his Solo Practice at Cromer Law Offices, LLC, Bubba Served as the only true Independent In the S.C. Legislature from 1990-1998. For the past 16 years, he has Served as the Reading Clerk of the House.Bubba resides in Columbia, S.C and Rosman, N.C. where he built a cabin 4 years ago. Bubba lives with his Hungarian Golden Retriever Casper (pictured).