Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ghost of Blackbeard - Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Around 1718 along the south eastern coast of the new found American colonies, there lurked a terror that history has never forgotten even though his terror lasted only a couple of years.  Edward Teach otherwise known as Blackbeard, is undoubtedly the most notorious pirate that has ever lived.  And according to local legend where he met his end in North Carolina, he still haunts the shores to this day.


A depiction of Edward Teach more commonly known as Blackbeard the Pirate
A depiction of Edward Teach more commonly known as Blackbeard the Pirate

Edward Teach was a crew member on board the pirate vessel La Concorde captained by Benjamin Hornigold.  When Hornigold was through with pirating, he turned the ship over to Teach.  Captain Teach then renamed he vessel Queen Anne's Revenge.  Possibly after what is known as Queen Anne's War in which Teach participated in.

Teach liked to psychologically defeat his victims before ever raising a sword or firing a shot.  In his appearance while attacking other ships, he dressed in all black and wore long black ribbons in his braided beard.  He stuffed pieces of rope under his hat and lit them so that they smoldered, billowing smoke around his head, giving him a scary unworldly like appearance to his victims.  He always attacked at dawn or dusk with the sun behind his back so that the ships and crew he victimized would not see him coming until it was too late.  Ironically though, he never attacked or harmed other ship's crews unless they resisted.  Only then would he kill them.  He commanded a flotilla of pirate ships which he commanded from the Queen Anne's Revenge, his flagship.  He was the most feared pirate of his day.

The flag of Blackbeard the Pirate

Blackbeard once captured and ransomed the entire harbor of Charleston and ransomed it.  It was in his escape that he ran the Queen Anne's Revenge aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina.  He then transferred his flag to one of his other ships, the Adventure.  Blackbeard was known to use as a secret code to recruit crew members, the nursery rhyme "Sing a song of Sixpence".  Each line in the song representing coded messages to lure those who understood into piracy.



Blackbeard's pirate ship Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina and had to be abandoned
Blackbeard's pirate ship Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina and had to be abandoned

In late 1718, Blackbeard retreated to his favorite hideout called "Teach's Hole" located in North Carolina just off of Ocracoke Island. Word got out to the Governor of Virginia and the sent Lieutenant Robert Maynard and a small band of ships to capture or kill Blackbeard.  An immense battle broke out.  After his ship was severely damaged and many of the crew killed by cannon fire, Maynard feigned the destruction of the crew and hid them below decks.  When Blackbeard and his men boarded, they launched a surprise attack.  A bloody hand-to-hand battle ensued and finally Blackbeard and Maynard met face to face.  Maynard managed to shoot the pirate, but Blackbeard continued to fight on, blood gushing from his body after being cut by Maynard's sword and after he was also shot about five more times.  Blackbeard finally fell and Maynard cut off his head to make sure the pirate was dead.  After throwing his body overboard, they hung his head from the ship's beam.  It is said that Blackbeard's head called out and then his body swam around the ship five times.

To this day, many claim to have seen the headless body of Blackbeard roaming around "Teach's Hole" near what is today Springer's Point Nature Preserve and surrounding beaches in North Carolina looking for his head.  The ghost has also been seen swimming underwater casting an eerie glow as it moves along. Others have spotted an eerie light glowing off of Ocracoke Island that is believed to be a manifestation of Blackbeard. 


Ocracoke Island, North Carolina - the beach and waters off Springer's Point.  The former haunt of Blackbeard the Pirate known as Teach's Hole.
Ocracoke Island, North Carolina - the beach and waters off Springer's Point.  The former haunt of Blackbeard the Pirate known as Teach's Hole.

Some of Blackbeard's hidden treasure along the East Coast of the United States has never been found and they say the Blackbeard's ghost will roam the beaches until it is discovered.  According to legend, one of Blackbeard's men and a dog was buried along with treasure whenever it was hidden.  It is said that many caches along the East Coast as far north as the Chesapeake Bay area.  One of his treasures of sorts, has been found recently.  In 1996, underwater explorers discovered what is believed to be the remains of Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's ill fated pirate ship.


Virginia Beach - Sandbridge on Dwellable

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