North Carolina’s More Popular Ghost Stories and Their Coastal Haunts

An eerie sound in the dark, a stray shadow caught only from the corner of your eye, the feeling that your every footstep is being haunted: ‘tis the season to swap ghost stories!

Here on North Carolina’s coast, tall tales about things that go bump in the night are a local pastime, and a tourist’s encouragement to explore some of the oldest and most iconic parts of the state.

If you’re new to our area, you might not have heard any of these well-worn stories. And in the spirit of the upcoming Halloween holiday, the Michelle Clark Team is eager to fill you in on the spooky details.

The USS North Carolina in Wilmington

When most think of the USS North Carolina, they are reminded of its World War II origins, or of its silhouette stationed in the river right across from downtown Wilmington’s river walk. But the locals, and avid visitors of the museum know that while by day it’s a time-honored display of the state’s patriotic history, by night it has the potential to reveal a different sort of exhibit. Those who have reported ghostly sightings on the battleship claim to have seen faces gazing out from the portholes, hatches opening and closing at will, and even disembodied footsteps perusing the depths of the vessel. Every year, you can experience some of the thrill yourself when the battleship is outfitted for a haunted house in honor of Halloween, but don’t be fooled – if you stop by, the real ghosts might just make an appearance!

Blackbeard’s Ghost

As one of the most famous of the pirates to favor Carolina shores, Blackbeard was already awash in legends and heresay when he was still alive. Hundreds of years after his death – the result of a rumored five gunshots, twenty or more stab wounds, and finally losing his head – they say he still haunts our coast. He’s been heard splashing around in the sea, supposedly preceded by a strange light in the water as he swims in search of his lost head, and on stormy nights near Bath, the locals swear you can hear his booming voice on the wind, calling out for a reunion of the body. The stories resurfaced and became even more popular after the discovery of his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, but there are those that say he’s never truly left the North Carolina coast.

The Specters of Fort Fisher

Known as the favorite haunt of a great many soldiers, Confederate and Union, Fort Fisher is also home to their stories, dug up by curious residents seeking an explanation for the supernatural visitors. One of these tales is that of Maj. Gen. H.C. Whiting, who purportedly returns to the fort because, although he was eventually returned to his wife after being held prisoner in New York following the siege, he claimed to have known all along about the impending attack and stomps about the place, waiting for a chance to protect the iconic mounds he once helped build along with his men.

Whether or not you believe in ghost stories, there are plenty of chances to delve into our region’s history – Halloween just so happens to be a great reason to explore some of the area’s greatest mysteries! For more about life in southeastern North Carolina, stay tuned to updates from the Michelle Clark Team!