Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, is known for its natural beauty with sixteen miles of pristine, wild beaches. Island guests won’t find a better place to enjoy shelling, boogieboarding, kiteboarding, surf fishing, or just soaking up the sun.
However, the island also offers a Ghost Walk which proves to be a uniquely interesting way to learn about the island’s rich history.
Ocracoke Island’s history dates back to colonial times, and also includes stories from the Civil War and international wars. With the establishment of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore came a thriving tourism trade, but the island has successfully avoided being overtaken with big development.
The Ghost Tour offered on Ocracoke is a walking tour that explores the island’s past. Participants learn about interesting local stories handed down for generations by the island natives.
Among the stories shared, participants will hear about harrowing hurricanes and shipwrecks, but along with that, the tales enter the supernatural realm with creepy local legends. The walk includes a visit to the graves of some of Ocracoke’s founding families, and many of the stories involve pirate lore and other Ocracoke oral traditions.
Ghost Walks take about 90 minutes and cover about 1 ½ miles. Tours start at Village Craftsmen on Howard Street.
Two distinct tours are offered, and while tour schedules are subject to change to accommodate weather or other unforeseen circumstances, participants can expect to learn about some or all of the following:
Round Creek Tour: Explores the “Creekside” area of Ocracoke Village
- Learn about the astonishing story of the altar cross in the Methodist Church
- The woman who kept her own coffin on her porch
- The Christmas Eve wreck of the “Ariosto,”
- Spooks on Howard Street
- The Phantom Freighter
- Mad Mag Howard
Down Point Tour: Explores the “Point” side of Ocracoke Village
- Ghost that haunts the Island Inn
- 1837 wreck of the steamboat “Home”
- Learn about the history of the Ocracoke Lighthouse
- Disembodied head
- Beheading of Blackbeard
- The Supernatural “Dream of Death”
Tours are interactive and questions are welcomed. Ghost walks do fill up quickly though so call ahead to make reservations (252-928-6300 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) or to check availability and times. Special tours can be arranged.
Tour Guides include people with deeply connected island roots. One guide, Philip Howard, can trace his ancestry back eight generations to William Howard, Blackbeard’s quartermaster and colonial owner of Ocracoke Island!
The cost of Ghost Walks is $15.00 for adults (tax included) and $5.00 for children ages 6-12. Be sure to wear comfy walking shoes and bring a flashlight.