Every area has legends and ghost stories. The Grand Strand is no different. In fact, some of the most well-known haunts and ghost stories come from coastal South Carolina.  Let's take a look at some of the most haunted places in our area...

The Gray Man of Pawleys Island
Pawleys Island is fairly well-known for being the first vacation destination on the east coast, back in the days of the rice plantations in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Viewed by locals as a protector of sorts, the Gray Man has been warning people of incoming hurricanes for close to 200 years. Typical sightings involve an individual or a couple being approached by a man dressed all in gray with old-style buckled boots waving his hands in warning at them. In some encounters, he walks away into the fog and in others he simply vanishes. In several accounts, he has spoken to tell of a dangerous storm approaching and in a few tales, even knocking on the doors to awaken people in the middle of the night before vanishing into the darkness. Those who heed his warnings and quickly relocate inland live to tell the tale and often return to find their homes still standing while others are piles of rubble. In the days before satellite and radar could track hurricanes from the other side of the world, a warning from the Gray Man might be the only notice of an impending storm, growing his reputation. Record numbers of Gray Man sightings were reported after Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989 - two of the strongest hurricanes to impact the region.

Litchfield Plantation - A Doctor and the Chambermaids
While the Litchfield Plantation near Pawleys Island dates back to 1740, it wasn't known for being haunted until the late 1800s after the passing of Dr. Henry Tucker. Dr. Tucker was a member of one of the last families to own the plantation before it became the historic landmark it is today. After Dr. Tucker's passing, witnesses began reporting sightings of old-fashioned chambermaids in various rooms and walking down stairways. As for Dr. Tucker, he prefers to spend his time in The Blue Room, where witnesses have described his apparition as fairly friendly in nature.

The Hermitage and All Saints Cemetery - Alice Flagg
In Murrells Inlet, the National Historic site of The Hermitage, nearby All Saints Cemetery and marsh area encompass the tragic tale of Alice Flagg. After moving to the Hermitage estate to live with her brother, Alice fell in love with a local lumberman, accepting his proposal for marriage and his ring on her hand. Outraged, her brother sent her away to a school in Charleston where she wore her true love's ring on a ribbon hidden under her dress. In Charleston, Alice fell critically ill with malaria and was brought back to the Hermitage where she died. While preparing her for burial, her brother found the lumberman's ring hidden in the folds of her dress, ripped it loose and threw it into the marsh. Alice was buried in neighboring All Saints Cemetery. Her apparition has been sighted leaving the Hermitage, and wandering the cemetery and the nearby marsh searching for the ring of her beloved.

These areas are only a few of the haunted places near Myrtle Beach. The rich history of the South Carolina coast provides an ideal backdrop for the restless to wander. And an ideal backdrop for those who love to explore a good haunt. Do us a favor though? If you happen to see a man all in gray, be sure to thank him for his (weather) service.