You’ve probably heard of the most famous Myrtle Beach ghosts, Alice and the Grey Man, but there are many tales of hauntings and ghostly encounters along the Grand Strand. Haunted houses, beaches, churches, graveyards, even a haunted restaurant can be found here, but the area’s two most prominent spirits still capture our imagination.
If you’re on the beaches of the South Strand near Pawleys Island, and you see a young man dressed all in grey, beware. He may be the ghostly Grey Man who warns people of coming storms.
The tale goes that a young man, returning to his fiancé after having been in Europe for two years, took a short cut across a treacherous piece of land, and found himself caught in quicksand. As his companion watched helplessly, both the young man and his horse were quickly engulfed in the swirling sands.
A few days later, the young man appeared on the beach to warn his fiancé of an approaching storm. She and her family escaped to the mainland and were saved. Over the years, many people have claimed to have seen the Grey Man, sometimes on horseback, sometimes alone, but always just before a hurricane. Those who see him and heed his warning, find that no harm comes to them or their homes.
The spirit of Alice has been seen in two locations, both at her home, The Hermitage in Murrells Inlet, and in the graveyard at All Saints Waccamaw in Pawleys Island where some people believe she is buried.
Alice was a young girl of good family who fell in love with a young man who was a tradesman by profession. He gave her a ring and they considered themselves engaged. When her family learned of their friendship, they forbade her to see him again. They sent her to school in Charleston where Alice pined away for her lost love. She soon became very ill with what today we know as malaria. She grew weaker and weaker and was soon brought home to be nursed by her family.
While she was unconscious from the fever, her brother, a doctor, discovered the ring she secretly wore on a ribbon around her neck. He took the ring and threw it into the nearby creek. When Alice awoke and discovered the ring was gone, she begged her brother to return it, but to no avail. She soon died, from the fever and a broken heart. Today Alice can be seen searching for her lost ring, in the Hermitage, by the creek and in the graveyard at All Saints.
For more ghostly tales, be sure and pick up a copy of Elizabeth Huntsinger’s book, the Ghosts of Georgetown, or take one of her spirit-filled tours with the Georgetown Ghost Tour Company. Call 843-543-5777 reservations.
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