SLOAN COLUMN: Ghost stories of the Pee Dee
Ready to get your spook on?
In honor of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share a few ghost stories from around the Pee Dee. There is little or no truth to any of these tales, although I’m sure some out there would swear on their mother’s grave that the stories are true.
True or not, just hearing them can cause a few goose bumps to rise on your arm or make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. For the record, these accounts are taken from the book, “Ghosts of the Pee Dee,” written by author Tally Johnson.
Capt. Blakeney’s Cemetery
Captain John Blakeney served in North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War. He died at the age of 100 in 1832 and was buried in the family cemetery in the Dudley community of Chesterfield County. The cemetery is located near the intersection of S.C. 9 and U.S. 601. It is said that after nightfall, visitors can hear deceased Blakeney family members rustling about between the gravestones. Several have reported getting a case of the cold chills.
Johnson Road Light
Venture down Johnson Road behind Rocky Creek Presbyterian Church in Jefferson and wait until just after dusk. Gaze toward the brush near Black Creek, not far from the Old Johnson place, and it is said you’ll be able to see an eerie glowing light. Locals have said the light serves as a death omen for those who see it.
Lamar High Legend
Local legend has it that a former star girls’ basketball player for the school still haunts the gymnasium. The story goes that the young lady was killed in a car wreck and returns to the sight of her glory days on the anniversary of her death. A young lady by the name of Courtney Bell played at Lamar. She also died in a car wreck during her senior year. Her jersey is still displayed in the school’s trophy case.
Lincoln Village Apartments
The former apartment complex in Hartsville closed in the late 1970s. It is said the reason the complex was shuttered is because residents complained that they would awaken in the middle of the night to the sound of babies crying and adult voices begging for help.
The complex is located near Greenlawn Cemetery and some say unmarked graves were disturbed when the apartments were first built. That could explain the restless spirits.
Ghost of Madeline Savage
For years, Coker University students have been told the ghost of a former student still haunts Memorial Hall, the campus’ oldest residence hall.
Madeline Savage was an actual student at Coker in the 1920s. One version of Madeline’s story is that she had a tryst with a faculty member and ended up pregnant. Distraught, she hung herself in Memorial Hall and her ghost still walks its halls.
The real Madeline Savage transferred from Coker during her junior year. She died rather uneventfully in 1978.
The legend of “Montrose” at Lowther’s Hill Cemetery in Darlington dates all the way back to the 1950’s.
The tale is told of an eight-foot ghost that haunts the cemetery in the Darlington County town of Mechanicsville. It is said that children were murdered in the cemetery by a man named “Montrose” and their spirits still haunt the place. Visitors insist they can hear the children crying. Some have described feelings of fear and nausea as they walked through the graveyard. “Cold spots” have also been reported.
The Bingham Lights
No list of local ghost stories would be complete without the eerie swinging lights of Bingham.
People have reported seeing a light similar to that of a swinging lantern in the distance near the town’s cemetery. If you call out, it is said the light changes colors, turning from white to red.
One tale says the light belongs to a man who went out looking for his children during a blizzard in the 1800s. The man and his children are said to have perished in the storm. Legend has it that his spirit is still searching for his lost children.
Another tale is of a railroad worker who was beheaded by a passing train one night while trying to fix the tracks. It is he who holds the light (lantern) as he searches for his missing head. Locals say if you cry out, “Bill Bingham, I’ve found your head,” the light (lantern) will change colors.
Scared yet? There are plenty more where these came from.
Have a safe and happy Halloween.