There's no lack of haunted places in North Carolina, which is famous for its many ghost stories. From ghost cats and pirates to a mountain phantom horsewoman in the Civil War, the state's ghosts are colorful and active.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (1870s) is the scene of several hauntings. The lighthouse is located in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore that is open year-round, although entry into the lighthouse has a different schedule. The hauntings of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse aren't restricted to the interior.
- People have observed the ghost of Theodos Burr, the victim of a shipwreck at the Cape in 1812, along the shoreline of the lighthouse.
- Another spirit that roams near the lighthouse is a 20-pound cat that remained with the lighthouse when it was moved farther inland in 1999 to avoid the beach erosion. The same cat is said to have been a ghost mascot of the lighthouse for over 150 years. It has been known to weave through bystanders' legs. However, if anyone attempts to pick the feline up, it vanishes into thin air.
- The Grey Man of Hatteras appears walking on the beach near the lighthouse whenever a hurricane is brewing at sea. If anyone approaches him, the ghost fades away.
Visiting Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is open year-round. Self-guided climbs of the lighthouse begin the third Friday in April and end on Columbus Day. The cost ranges for $4 to $8.
Phantom Rider of the Confederacy, Fletcher
Fletcher, a town outside of Asheville, is haunted by a phantom woman riding a Palomino horse. According to legend, a young woman draped in a Confederate flag taunted Union soldiers to give chase. She then led the troops right into a Confederate army ambush. The surviving Union soldiers attempted to capture her, but she and her mount vanished into a mist.
Witnesses Describe Phantom Rider
Many people have witnessed the ghostly rider over the years. According to Ghosts of the Prairie, a former church minister saw her riding near the Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher. Her trek seems to gravitate from the church all the way to the next town of Arden. You never know when you might see her or where she might suddenly appear riding her Palomino.
Latta Plantation, Huntersville
Just out of Charlotte, the 52-acre Latta Plantation is a historic site that sits on the 1,343-acre Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. The acreage is surrounded on three sides by the Catawba River. James Latta built the main home in 1800. Many of the plantation employees and visitors claim to have paranormal experiences. Some ghost stories include:
- A visitor witnessed a cane the tour guide pointed out begin to move on its own as though aiding an invisible walking person.
- Witnesses report sounds of children playing in the attic and running around on the third floor. Much of the flooring on the third floor is missing.
- Workers have heard doors slamming shut on their own.
- People have seen shadowy figures throughout the house.
Visit the Plantation
You can visit the plantation Tuesday through Sunday (1 pm to 5 pm) with the last entry allowed at 4 pm. Guided house tours are available at 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm. The plantation is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is about $9.
Blackbeard's Ghost, Ocracoke Island
Ocracoke Island's small sheltered harbor, Silver Lake, was also known as Teach's Hole since it was a favorite port of the pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach). A fierce adversary who stood a towering 6'5", Blackbeard created a fearsome dramatic boarding by lighting fuses woven into his beard. The Virginia governor sent John Maynard to kill Blackbeard and he did just that, cutting off the pirate's head and hanging it from his ship's bowsprit.
Haunting of Blackbeard
The pirate's body was tossed overboard, but it was said that the beheaded body of the fearsome pirate swam around the boat three times before disappearing underneath the water's surface. Witness reports of a strange light coursing underneath the water in Silver Lake is said to be Blackbeard's ghost searching for his severed head.
Reed Gold Mine, Midland
Before the California Gold Rush, there was the Carolina Gold Rush (1830s to 1840s). Reed Gold Mine is still operational today as a state historic site. During its earlier days, it was said to be haunted. The legend of the mine being haunted began when neighbors Eugene and Eleanor Mills got into a fight. Eleanor was shouting at Eugene, who stormed off. Distraught, Elanor started down the staircase. She slipped and fell, breaking her neck. When Eugene returned, he found her body but could still hear her shouting at him. He tossed his wife's body down the mine shaft. People claim to hear a woman shouting from the mine shaft.
Visit Reed Gold Mine
You can visit the Reed Gold Mine (state historic site) at 9621 Reed Mine Road, which is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm. Panning for gold costs $3 plus tax per pan. You just might hear Eleanor's spirit shouting
Scary Real Haunted Places in North Carolina
There are many ghost stories of real haunted places in North Carolina. Whether you are in the mountains or at the beach, there are many spirits anchored to these places that refuse to move on to the next life.