While traveling through the South, doing research for Spooky North Carolina, I encountered many spooky locations full of ghosts, hauntings and mysterious happenings. These are some of my favorite spooky spots from that trip. Enjoy!
Maco, North Carolina Joe Baldwin was a railroad conductor who worked for the Atlantic Coast line. Late one night in 1867, the car to which Joe was assigned became uncoupled from the rest of the train and stood helpless on the tracks as another engine approached at speed. With a shout of dismay, Joe grabbed his signal lantern and ran out on the rear platform, desperately signaling for the engineer in the following train to stop. But the train barreled forward, speed unabated and struck the helpless car. Joe was killed in the wreck; his body was smashed between the two trains and his severed head rolled away from the scene and was never located.
Shortly after the train accident, the Maco Light began to appear on the tracks near the station. People reported that the light moved back and forth frantically, as if it were signaling a train to stop. Folks believed it was the spirit of Joe Baldwin the conductor, desperately replaying his final moments over and over again, trying to get the following train to stop before it hit his helpless car. >>Read the Maco Ghost Light
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Polly was the sweetest, prettiest girl in Goldsboro, yes sir. She was courted by a handsome university student named George, and they planned a great big wedding. But George fell in love with another girl and ran away with her instead, leaving Polly waiting at the church in her wedding dress. When she heard abpit his elopement, she died of a heart attack right there at the church, and was buried in the church yard. The disgraced George fled town with his new wife and stayed away for many years. When George’s father passed, the disgraced man snuck back to town to visit his father’s grave, only to encounter Polly’s ghost in her wedding dress. She grabbed his hand in a burning grip and dragged him toward the church so they could be married at last. George tore himself out of her grasp and ran away, his arm black and withered where the ghost had scorched him. Infection spread rapidly through his body and George died the next day. >>Read the Handshake
Statesville, North Carolina
Early in the morning of August 27, 1891, a passenger train racing across the stone-and-brick Bostian Bridge near Statesville suddenly derailed. The train fell sixty feet and smashed into the stream. Trapped passengers screamed and moaned in agony as the twisted wreckage of the train was encompassed by the waters of the creek. Twenty-two people were killed that night in the worst train wreck in the history of North Carolina. It is said that on people visiting the site of the wreck on August 27th will see the tragedy reenacted before their eyes. >>Read the Phantom Train Wreck
Greensboro, North Carolina
Life seemed perfect to Mark when the widower brought his new bride Lisa home to the lovely two-story cottage he had build for his deceased first wife. Things were very happy for about a year, and Mark was ecstatic when he learned Lisa was expecting twins. The house was rather small for a double addition to the family, so Mark and Lisa put the cottage up for sale and started searching for a bigger house. Shortly after the couple received a generous bid on the cottage, a ghost appeared to Lisa while she was doing laundry in the basement. “Don’t sell my house,” the phantom exclaimed. “If you sell my house, something terrible will happen to your family.” When Lisa described the ghost to her husband, Mark recognized his dead wife. After much discussion, Mark and Lisa decided to defy the phantom and sell the cottage. As it turned out, this was a very bad move for the whole family…. >>Read Don’t Sell My House
Boone, North Carolina
There is a stretch of trail on Grandfather Mountain where a phantom man sometimes tramps past his viewers without acknowledging their nods or greetings, and then vanishes into thin air. Folks believe the phantom must be a hiker must be a mountain man who had died somewhere near here and had returned refused to leave after death. Others say he must be a long-ago explorer who fell off the mountain while hiking. >>Read the Phantom Hiker of Grandfather Mountain