Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WW - Memories in the Fog

As I read Life, Liberty and the Pursuit today it brought me back to memories of days in South Carolina. I remember spending my summer weeks in 1989-90 at my uncle's beach house. Each night my friends and I would go down the road a clip to the Grey Man Saloon to play pool, and listen to a little known band, Hootie & The Blow Fish. This all before they became big. Great memories of those summers. The sun, sand, surf, friends, girls and the Grey Man. I heard a few years ago the saloon was no longer there, but the memories will always last. So too will the timeless tale of the Grey Man. I will now share one of South Carolina's best ghost stories. His appearance means danger is near, and those who see him do well to heed his warning!

From Elizabeth Huntsinger

Perhaps the most frequently told ghost story in Georgetown County is that of the Grey Man. According to numerous documented accounts, he appears on the beach at Pawleys Island prior to hurricanes. Everyone who has seen the Grey Man says that he warns them to leave the island.

Residents who are wise enough to heed the Grey Man's warning always find their homes undamaged after the storm. Encounters with the Grey Man have taken place before every major hurricane that has struck the island for more than a hundred years.

The Grey Man is unquestionably a permanent resident of Pawleys Island, but what causes this kind spirit to warn unsuspecting residents of approaching danger? The answer may lie in one of three different accounts that exist about the origin of the Grey Man.

According to one legend, a young woman was walking the windswept, lonely beach not far from her parent's Pawleys Island home. She was in mourning for her childhood sweetheart who had recently died in a tragic accident on the island.

Her love had returned to Georgetown by ship after an absence of several months. He was so eager to see his beloved fiancee that, rather than wasting one more precious moment away from her, he took a shortcut across previously untraveled marshland.

With his faithful manservant riding a short distance behind, the eager fellow and his horse came to a sudden stop and began to sink rapidly into a patch of deadly quicksand. His manservant watched in horror, unable to help his young master, as the young man and his horse disappeared into the mire. When the young woman heard of her finance's tragic death, she was heartbroken.

After the funeral, she took to walking the stretch of beach where she and her beau used to stroll in happier times. This particular day was windier than most, but it suited her recent mood. She was alone with her sadness in the whipping wind, with the ocean crashing by her side.

Suddenly, a figure appeared ahead. As she walked closer, the young woman could have sworn it was her finance. With no fear, she walked toward him. "Leave the island at once," he said. "You are in danger. Leave the island!"

Then he disappeared.

The young lady hurried home to tell her father and mother about the strange, unsettling experience. Upon hearing their daughter's strange story, her parents immediately began making plans to leave Pawleys Island for their inland home. They did not know what danger they were fleeing, but they did know that their daughter was a sensible person and not prone to flights of fancy.

The family left Pawleys Island before dawn the following morning. That night, as they lay sleeping in the safety of their inland home, a fierce hurricane ravaged Pawleys Island. The hurricane destroyed most of the homes on Pawleys Island, but the home of the young woman's family was undamaged.


CaJoh said...

I always find ghost stories very interesting. I'm glad that this one is not the kind that keeps you up at night.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Incredible story!!! I love oceanside folk lore - so scary, in that perfect way.

Only thing that would have made it better would be hearing it while roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach.

Thanks for the linky love :-), and glad I took you back to good memories. Em

The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic said...

Gotta love those souls that take the time to care for us here. Great "ghost story" and the memories of my late 80's summers~

Have a great week!

angie said...

OOOOOOhhhhhhhhh...........I love hearing ghost stories. Especially ocean side ones!