Top Spooky Places on the Outer Banks
For eerie tales of haunted places, the south is always full of stories that will make your spine tingle and your hair stand on end. On the Outer Banks, those looking for spooky spots to visit have several to choose from.
The Outer Banks have long been suspected to be haunted and with such a turbulent past with pirates to hurricanes, how could it not be? In fact, many ghost hunters and paranormal experts claim that the Outer Banks is one of the most haunted places in the United States.
The residents of North Carolina range from descendants of the very first English settlers and Native Americans to mountain folk whose families lived in the same mountain valleys for centuries. Legend and folklore across the coast resonate with tales of the supernatural.
While there are countless options for spooky spots in North Carolina, there are a few places right here on the Outer Banks that are worth visiting. So, come see for yourself if these haunting tales are true.
1. Teach's Hole
Teach's Hole is named after Edward Teach, better known throughout history as Blackbeard the Pirate. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, a cove on Ocracoke Island is known as Teach's Hole because it is the supposed site of Blackbeard's execution at sea.
The legend says that when Blackbeard was finally caught he was beheaded; his head hung from a ship's bowsprit, and his body was thrown overboard. Witnesses recall his head continued to scream after the beheading and his headless body swam around before it died.
Since that day in 1718 there have been many reports of a headless body swimming in the cove and also reports of a headless Blackbeard walking the beaches of the cove with a lantern looking for his head.
2. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Theodos Burr was lost in a shipwreck off the coast here in 1812. His ghost is still seen walking the shores late at night near the lighthouse.
3. Roanoke Island Inn
The Roanoke Island Inn is a picturesque refuge in the small coastal town of Manteo. More than a century old, this house was built in 1860s by Asa Jones and his wife, Martha. Now owned by John Wilson -- great-great-grandson of Asa Jones -- the Roanoke Island Inn has more than doubled in size from its original structure.
However, along with its serenity and peacefulness, comes tales of strange events.
According to the innkeeper, the ghost of Roscoe Jones -- former owner of the inn and member of the Wilson family -- refuses to leave. Roscoe Wilson had been postmaster for many years in Manteo...until he received a pink slip from the U.S. Postal Service. Greatly humiliated, Roscoe Jones felt his life would never be the same and so withdrew from his family and friends. He never left his room -- unless no one else was around.
A few years later, Roscoe died and not long afterward the figure of a man in a postal uniform began to be seen leaving the house or entering the front door. Sometimes people downstairs would turn their head just in time to see a tall, shadowy, stooped man ascending the stairs.
Other strange occurrences include footsteps heard walking back and forth in room number seven, vases breaking, blinds moving up and down and a radio turning on in room number three.
4. The Black Pelican Restaurant
The Black Pelican Restaurant used to be Station Six -- one of seven old lifesaving stations built along the Outer Banks. Although it's since been transformed into a popular Outer Banks restaurant, it still retains part of the early lifesaving building...along with its ghost.
In 1884, Captain James Hobbs was the keeper of Station Six. He was a man accustomed to respect from his lifesaving crew, and when he gave orders, he expected obedience. While rare for there to be any serious arguments, in July of 1884, antagonism erupted between Hobbs and a young surfman named T.L. Daniels.
Daniels didn't like taking orders from anyone and made sure to show his arrogance and dislike for Hobbs any chance he could. On one occasion, Daniels offended Hobbs' wife to the point that Hobbs reached for his revolver and shot Daniels dead -- in front of the the Station Six lifesaving crew. After cleaning up the mess, the surfmen took Daniels' body in one of the boats and buried it at sea. Without any witnesses or local law enforcement nearby, Captain Hobbs was cleared of any wrong doing.
But according to many who have owned or worked in the old Station Six, the spirit of the defiant young surfman is still there.
5. The Bodie Island Lighthouse
The Bodie Island Lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction at the tip of south Nags Head and Coquina Beach on Route 12'. The current lighthouse was remodeled in 1872, after the first edition was destroyed in the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, when Confederate soldiers on a covert operation entered the lighthouse area and blew up the tower to prevent the Union Army from using it as lookout tower. (It is currently the property of the National Park Service and tours of the buildings and property are free to the public.)
Bodie Island Lighthouse, as far as we know is relatively spook-free, however the old gatekeeper's cottage, where the gift shop is located has a bit of a scary story. Nearly every afternoon, shortly after 4:00 PM someone or something knocks from behind the massive bricked-over fireplace.
6. The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island & the Legend of the White Doe
There is nothing more haunting than the complete disappearance of an entire colony. Imagine Eleanor Dare cradling her infant daughter, Virginia, as they struggle through a vast wilderness, seemingly forgotten by her father who brought them to an unfamiliar land, then left them to fend for themselves.
In the four centuries since their disappearance, Eleanor and Virginia Dare have become true American heroines, players in an epic unsolved mystery that still challenges historians and archaeologists as one of America's oldest. In 1587, over 100 men, women and children journeyed from England to Roanoke Island and established the first English settlement in America. Within three years, they had vanished with scarcely a trace. England's initial attempt at colonization of the New World was a disaster, and one of America's most enduring legends was born.
Virginia Dare is still documented as the first child born in America to English parents -- and it is thought that she survived and lived with the Croatoan tribe. Legend has it that Virginia, after living among the natives, became transformed into a white doe in death by a Native witch doctor with whom she had a dispute with. It is said that the ghost of Virginia Dare roams Roanoke Island to this day in the form of a white deer which has been seen on the island occasionally by locals and visitors alike.
7. Graveyard of the Atlantic
The hazards of severe weather, strong currents, and navigational challenges, particularly in the Diamond Sholes area off Cape Hatteras, combined to cause the loss of thousands of ships and an unknown number of human lives. More than 1,000 ships have sunk in these waters since records began in 1526. Among the better known shipwrecks was the USS Monitor which sank on December 31,1862. People have reported seeing "ghost ships" and hearing the eerie sounds of drowning screams for centuries, even now.
8. The North Room of Currituck Lighthouse
Currently, the lighthouse at Currituck Beach, like most lighthouses across the country, is completely automated, requiring nothing more of humans than the occasional maintenance.
This was not always the case, however. There was a time, in recent history actually, when lighthouses were operated by people who actually lived on the property and operated the lights by hand. The keeper's quarters became home to many families throughout the years, and some of its inhabitants are still quite reluctant to leave. It's the North Room of the keepers house that seems to be the hot spot for activity.
Little Sadie Johnson's family was the first to live in the light keepers quarters, and her bedroom was set up in the north bedroom of the house. Day after day Sadie would play in the sand by the water, but one day she didn't come home. Her small body washed up on shore the next day, dead from drowning. No one gave a second thought to the child's death, just assuming it had been a horrible accident. Until the next deaths occurred, that is.
During a brief visit, a friend of the keeper's wife came to stay with them and was boarded in the north bedroom. Inexplicably, she was infected with a mysterious illness and died. The last family that inhibited the house experienced tragedy also. The light keeper's wife was quarantined to the north bedroom after contracting tuberculosis. After being confined from her family and friends, the woman soon lost the will to live, and she too became among the victims of the north room of the Currituck Lighthouse.
Is a supernatural phenomenon really to blame for these deaths? No one can say for sure. What is known is that the north room remains a dark, foreboding area in the historic house. It's reported that many a guest have refused to enter the room, citing an unseen presence for their feelings of unfavorable. Even some of the workers who were hired during the renovation refused to enter the room, even though they had no prior knowledge of the deaths that had taken place in there. And since the last tenants moved out, not one person has spent an entire night in the north room at the keepers house.
9. Flaming Ship of Ocracoke
Legend says that every September, on the first night of the new moon, a flaming ship sails past the coast of Ocracoke. The ghostly light is from an old sailing vessel that brought refugees from the Rhine Valley to the New World in the early 1700s. While anchored off the coast here once, the crew mutilated and robbed all the immigrants of their valuables. Then they set the ship afire, puled up the anchor ,and abandoned her. The vessel drifted out to sea, but the screams of its passangers could be heard for miles away.
No matter the direction or velocity of the wind, this fiery vessel moves swiftly toward the northeast, they say, always accompanied by an eerie wailing sound.