North Carolina Hauntings
Ghost Related Topics
To make a long story short, Blackbeard kind of blundered into pirating for a living, but once he decided what his life calling was, there was no stopping him. If you're going to be a pirate, BE A PIRATE seemed to be his motto, and he will be forever remembered in history because of that attitude. A big man for his time, (over 6 feet tall and husky), Blackbeard put his all into the myth and mystique of being a pirate. He was obviously quite a hairy man, because he grew a long black beard that people said went all the way up his cheeks to his eyeballs, which were apparently the psycho kind of eyeballs that unnerve people. Before battle, he would braid the beard up for a ferocious snake-like look, and to top off the ensemble, he would put slow burning plugs on the ends of his hair and under his big black pirate hat so that as he ran, smoke would billow off his head, giving him even a more demonic look. He was an enterprising and successful pirate, at one point having a fleet of four well-armed ships and a crew of over 300. Most merchant ships gave up without a fight when attacked, and there's surprisingly no clear record of Blackbeard ever having to kill anyone aboard a merchant ship until the day of his death (they took one look and apparently ran screaming to the far side of the boat). He was finally ambushed and took multiple shots and stab wounds before finally succumbing to death, at which time he was decapitated and his head was placed on the mast of the ship of his attackers (that's what they liked to do to captured notorious pirates in those days). Legend has it that his decapitated body swam around the offending ship 4 times before it finally sank (yikes!).
But I digress. This is a story of Blackbeard's house, Hammock House in Beaufort, North Carolina. The house is called Hammock house because it is built on a hammock, which is old-time language for a wooded hill (learn something new every day!). Blackbeard had been exiled from the Bahamas for bad behavior shortly before moving to North Carolina, and apparently felt right at home in this circa 1700 house, which is built in Bahamas style. It is not clear if he rented a room or owned the entire house. Apparently, one of his 14 wives was with him at the time and did something to anger him. Not one to take guff from a woman, he subsequently had her hung on an old oak tree out back, buried her under the same tree, then set sail to do more pirating. Legend has it that her screams can still be heard at night in the area.
After the death of Blackbeard, the violence didn't stop at Hammock house. One story tells of another seafaring man who became angry at one of his slaves, took him up to the attic for punishment, and ended up being pushed down the stairs by the slave, breaking his neck and killing him.
But that's not all. Another brutal killing at the house was apparently done over jealousy when a man came home to find his wife with another man. Blood stains from that killing allegedly keep coming back on the floor, no matter what treatment is used on the spot. This spot is said in most accounts to be on the stairs, but a few accounts put it somewhere in the upstairs section of the house.
Lastly, several union soldiers disappeared on the grounds after being dispatched to investigate the area. They were never seen again until the early 1900's, when workmen found the bones while excavating around the house. There are also reports of an unidentified femur being found on the grounds of the house during a renovation.
Unfortunately, Hammock house is now
owned privately, but one can still go by and get a taste of the atmosphere.
At times an eerie fog comes off the waters, shrouding the house in mystery.
On nights that match the night of the murder of Blackbeard's wife, it is
said that you can still hear her screams. Many have reported an uncomfortable
feeling of being watched in the vicinity of this house, which the locals
have considered haunted for at least 250 years. Don't step on the
owner's toes, but if you find yourself in the Beaufort area, do check out
this historic and very probably haunted site!