To some people,North Carolinais historied with haunted places and ghost stories. Crazy stories of unexplainable happenings, disappearing travelers, the lights of spirits, angry pirates, demon dogs, the devil’s walking ground and deadly beautiful women mark the grounds of this state.
The Biltmore House sits inAsheville,North Carolina. It is a common tourist attraction for its beautiful architecture and stories of the family, but some of the stories aren’t told by the tour guide. The Biltmore House is said to have numerous hauntings. The 250-room mansion that opened in 1895 has 34 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. The owner of The Biltmore House, George Vanderbilt, died in 1914 of appendicitis. His wife reported that after he died, she heard him quietly speaking in the library. George Vanderbilt has also been spotted in his favorite rooms in the house. There are other reports of a headless orange cat roaming the grounds and voices echoing in the swimming pool room. Another haunted place inAshevilleis the Grove Park Inn. GroveParkis a hotel/spa that was built with boulders from a nearby mountain. In the 1920’s a woman in gauzy pink clothing fell to her death in the atrium; some suspect that she committed suicide after having her heart broken. This woman now haunts the fifth floor guest room of the Grove Park Inn.
First reported by Native Americans, the Brown Mountain Lights appear after sunset above the mountains in the foothills ofNorth Carolina. These light are visible from Linville, theBlue Ridge Parkwayand Wiseman’s Gap. They change in size, shape, and color. The U.S. Geological Survey has dismissed the lights as marsh gas, but there are no marshes in the area surrounding the lights. The legend of the lights have changed through time. The earliest legend of the lights is that a woman is looking for her lost warriors after a great battle between the Cherokee and Catawba. SilerCity, 150 miles away, lies the Devil’s Tramping Ground. The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a 40-foot diameter circle where nothing grows. The Devil’s footprints prevents anything from growing in the area.
The 112,000 acres that make up the Great Dismal Swamp are on theNorth Carolinaline borderingVirginia. The Great Dismal Swamp is open from sunrise to sunset. The cypress forests and shaded waterways of this swamp make the perfect creepy setting for all kinds of hauntings. Spooked visitors report seeing lights, spotting ghosts, and hearing unexplainable sounds. The legend of the swamp is that slaves escaped to the swamp in the 1600’s and lived in their own small isolated world which inspired a novel by Harriett Beecher Stowe.
Edward Teach, the pirate known as Blackbeard, came to his death in a battle in the sound of Ocracoke Island,North Carolina. This battle took place in 1718, when the governor ofVirginiadecided to put a stop to Blackbeards piracy after his long two year reign of the seas. Blackbeard was killed by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy when his head was severed. His body was then thrown overboard. Blackbeard’s ghost haunts Teach’s Hole, his favorite hideaway, searching for his head and howling for his loss. Another ghost on the coast is at the Maco Station a few miles fromWilmington. A conductor of a train in 1867 lost its caboose on a rainy night. He flashed his lights trying to warn the train that was advancing behind him, but to no success. The advancing train hit the caboose of the other train, killing a man named Joe Baldwin and severing his head. On some nights, people have seen a light swinging back and forth and advancing faster towards them. Some say it is Joe Baldwin looking for his head.
Many ghostly hitchhikers look for rides inNorth Carolina. Lydia’s Bride inGreensboro,North Carolinatells of a woman in white namedLydialooking for a ride home. Lydiaflags down passing cars and sits in the backseat on the way to the address that she gives the driver. Upon arriving at the destination, she is gone. If one knocks on the door of the houseLydiaasked to be taken to, there is an old woman who says thatLydiadied on that bridge in a car crash many years ago.
In a small town named Valle Crucis in the mountains ofNorth Carolina, stands a cemetery of an old stone church. People claim that those who drive by at night will see a huge dog with glowing red eyes and yellow teeth. This dog supposedly jumps out from behind a headstone and chases the car, keeping pace no matter what the speed.
On theFrench BroadRiverlies Paint Rock. It is the spot where theAppalachian Trailcrosses the waterway. Young men who camp in the area claim that they have strange dreams of a beautiful Cherokee woman. She awakens them with a song. She awakens the men earlier and earlier each night until they are exhausted. Being too tired to carry on, the men pitch a tent near a deep pool. When the men are close to the pool, the song awakens them once again, but this time the song gets louder and louder and seems to be coming from the deep pool. As the men look into the pool they see the beautiful Cherokee woman. If they reach into the pool to grab her, they are pulled to their ultimate death by a scaly creature that was once the beautiful woman.
North Carolina holds many tales and stories of ghosts. It is known for the unexplained happenings that occur and the imaginations of the people…or is it their imagination?