Blackbeard the Pirate may be the most famous pirate ever known, and his legend, his legacy, and his ghost remain with us to this day. His proper name was Edward Teach. He gained the nickname of Blackbeard from his long mass of tousled black hair that whipped around his head, as well as his scruffy black beard. The combination gave him a dark, forbidding look, and it was reported at times that he would place lit fuses under his hat that would shower his face in sparks, in order to further intimidate and scare people.
He was ruthless as a pirate, but reports also state that no captive of his was ever injured or killed. Before his death in 1718, Blackbeard lived in several areas of North Carolina, including the villages of Bath and Beaufort. Blackbeard’s final battle was with Lieutenant Maynard of the British Navy on Ocracoke Island. Blackbeard fought valiantly with his sword but at the end was overtaken by the sheer numbers of Maynard’s crew. By the time he was taken down, he had been shot five times and stabbed more than 20 times.
Once he was confirmed dead, Lieutenant Maynard ordered that Blackbeard’s head be cut off and hung from the bow of Maynard’s ship. Blackbeard’s headless body was then thrown into the water near Ocracoke Island.
The ghost of Blackbeard Continues to Roam the Coast of North Carolina
Reports of Blackbeard’s ghost began in the 1800s. Locals reported seeing and hearing an epic battle with ghostly ships and men waging war against each other near Bath Creek and the inlet. Massive balls of fire were also seen moving back and forth across the water toward the ships.
Legends state that Blackbeard’s ghost most often appears right before a storm rages along the coast of Ocracoke, Bath, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sound. He seems drawn to the sea when the waves pick up and are thrashing, and some say he is looking for his head. There is often a light seen accompanying his ghost, which is referred to as Teach’s Light.
Blackbeard continues to roam the coast of North Carolina and is said to frequently visit the coastal towns where he once lived. On a dark and stormy night, don’t be surprised if you run into the pirate walking along the coast.
Journey with author Kala Ambrose as she explores the most terrifying paranormal spots in the state of North Carolina in her book Ghosthunting North Carolina.
Southern Hospitality Extends into the Afterlife at the haunted Blount-Bridgers House in Tarboro
Tarboro was established in 1760 along the Tar River and is located in what is described as the Inner Banks area of North Carolina. Originally it was referred to as Tawboro, taw being a Native American word referring to “the river of health.”
My favorite part of Tarboro is the historic area, which is a 45-block district with more than 300 residential homes, historic churches, and many nineteenth-century buildings still standing and in use. Tarboro also has a 15-acre park with war memorials and a town common.
I visited Tarboro in 2010, as the town celebrated its 250th anniversary. The celebration included a variety of events based on the town’s history. Driving around the Tarboro historic commons, one senses how ripe it must be for ghostly activity. In 1863, 800 Union soldiers engaged in a five-day attack on Greenville, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount, destroying steamboats and supplies in Tarboro. As we’ve already seen in these investigations, the Civil War made its mark across North Carolina, and many ghosts remain to tell the tale.
Where is the Haunted Blount-Bridgers House?
In the historic district is the haunted Blount-Bridgers House, a Federal-style plantation home built in 1808 by Thomas Blount. Blount built the plantation, originally called the Grove, on 296 acres of land. Throughout the years, the house seemed to welcome and favor military men. Thomas Blount lived in the home from 1808 to 1812, Col. Louis Dicken Wilson lived there from 1831 to 1847, and Col. John Bridgers lived in the home from 1850 to 1880.
During the American Revolution, many of the locals fought valiantly in the war, including Thomas Blount, who became a prisoner of war in England. He was eventually freed and returned to North Carolina to help create one of the largest shipping companies in the late eighteenth century and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Colonel Wilson served in the North Carolina Senate and fought in the Mexican-American War, and Colonel Bridgers is best known for his service as a commandant in the Civil War, where he served at Fort Macon.
The Blount-Bridgers House served as a public library and a dance studio before it was turned into a museum in 1979. It features a nice collection of nineteenth-century furniture along with the art collection of Tarboro-born Hobson Pittman. The home is welcoming with wraparound porches, which I love; I could spend an afternoon here just relaxing and chatting on the porch. While taking the tour of the haunted Blount-Bridgers House, we were guided to two areas of the home where a female ghost has been seen and felt by visitors and staff. Many presume the ghost to be Jackie Blount, and she is most often seen in the parlor and the art room displaying Hobson Pittman’s art. Apparently a lady of good taste and breeding, she has a love and appreciation of art and likes to show her Southern hospitality by greeting guests who visit her home.
During my research and conversations with local residents, I learned that the ghost, Jackie (Mary Jacqueline Sumner Blount), was the wife of Thomas Blount and part of the Sumner family connected to the Mordecai House in Raleigh. I write more about the Mordecai House in the Central Carolina section of this book, as it is also haunted. This led me to wonder: Do ghosts visit all of their family homes and haunts, much as they used to travel back then between their winter and summer homes? Could the ghosts of the Blount-Bridgers House also be haunting the Mordecai House? Did Jackie still spend time between the two cities, coming and going according to social occasions in spirit, and was John Bridgers enjoying the Blount-Bridgers home in the afterlife while also spending time checking on his troops at Fort Macon, which is also haunted?
Most likely, we’ll never know for sure, though it is interesting to ponder. I also find it fascinating that the more I travel and investigate throughout the state, the more connections I find between haunted areas, historic sites, and family trees. Some people leave such an impression by their lives that their presence continues to be felt in every location where they lived, fought, and loved.
While visiting Tarboro, I also learned about the gravesite of Civil War Gen. William Dorsey Pender, who is buried in Calvary Churchyard in Tarboro. He was fatally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg. Many locals say that his ghost is still around today and has been seen in both the church graveyard and in the town commons area. He’s reported to be cordial and a true Southern gentleman. What I found most romantic about his story is that the letters that the general wrote to his wife were collected and published almost 100 years after his death in a book titled, The General to His Lady: The Civil War Letters of William Dorsey Pender to Fanny Pender.
When I travel to towns, I generally get a feeling about the area and how it’s doing economically, emotionally, and otherwise. My feeling about Tarboro is that it’s on its way up, and about to experience a renaissance and period of new growth and expansion. History in the making is occurring in Tarboro, and the local ghosts couldn’t be more pleased.
For more information on the haunted Blount-Bridgers House click HERE. Want more spooky stories of Ghoshunting in North Carolina? Check out Kala Ambrose’s book Ghosthunting North Carolina.
This week Kala Ambrose, takes us Ghosthunting in North Carolina.
Kala Ambrose is “Your Travel Guide to the Other Side”. An award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show. Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations. Make sure to read all about Kala at the end of her story. But without further due we invite you to sit back and follow your host on a trip through North Carolina:
It’s my pleasure to share with you, the stories from the ghosts of North Carolina. As your travel guide to the haunted state of North Carolina, it seems appropriate to let you know who your guide is on this journey. Since my childhood, I’ve seen ghosts and restless spirits. As an adult, I’ve had experiences with the supernatural and paranormal realms. I’ve interacted with powerful beings of light, faced encounters with beings from the dark side and seen ghosts from every walk of life.
In my work, I share my experience and training in workshops around the country. I teach others how to become more intuitive, how to connect with the other side, how to sense negative energy in a home or building and more importantly, how to discern whether the energy can be removed and cleansed or whether it is best left alone.
Over the past decade, I’ve seen a rise in paranormal activity, which corresponds to the lifting of the veil between the earth plane and the spiritual realms at this time. I believe that a conscious evolution is occurring on the mind, body and spirit level and as this evolution continues, many people will connect with their intuitive abilities and be able to communicate with the spirit world, including with ghosts that have remained here on the earth plane.
With this in mind, the mystical and haunted lands of North Carolina have a profound and deeply moving story to tell. So gather your family and friends and join me as we go ghost hunting across the state of North Carolina. The journey begins in the Atlantic coastal wetlands of East Carolina full of haunted lighthouses, battleships, and the shipwrecked beaches where the ghosts of Blackbeard and his pirates still roam. Next we explore the Piedmont area of North Carolina where I spent the night in the most actively haunted capitol in the United States and interacted with the ghost of a former North Carolina State Governor.
Our quest continues west into the Blue Ridge Mountains to meet the ghost known as the Pink Lady, who awaits your presence at the historic Grove Park Inn, where many presidents, celebrities and ghosts have stayed over the decades. I researched over one hundred reportedly haunted sites located in North Carolina and culled this list down to the twenty-five chapters here in my book Ghosthunting North Carolina.
My reason for choosing this particular twenty-five had to do first and foremost with finding historical research, which confirmed some of the details with the legend of each haunted site. The second most important criteria in my selection process included being able to confirm reports of ghost activity around the site by a variety of people over a generous span of time. After each site made the cut on these two selections, the final decision then came down to my personal experiences at each of these locations including what I experienced psychically first-hand at each location relative to paranormal activity. My intent is to provide you with all three of the above listed criteria in order to assist you in your paranormal research and ghostly investigations.
Happy Haunting! Enjoy the journey as you ghost hunt your way across North Carolina.
A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala teaches and writes about ancient wisdom teachings and how their techniques can be used in modern day living. Her books, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled both cover these topics.
Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Entrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce’s ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, Daily Om and her school, the Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences. More about Kala at http://www.ExploreYourSpirit.com
About the American Haunted Road Trip Series:
America’s Haunted Road Trip is a one-of-a-kind series of haunted travel guides. Each book profiles 30-100 haunted places open to the public. From inns and museums to cemeteries and theaters, the author visits each place, interviewing people who live and work there. Books also include travel instructions, maps, and an appendix of 50 more places the reader can visit. Check out a complete list of our books here.