Edisto Beach: A Haunting Relived!
Haunted Edisto Island
A History of Edisto Island
What comes to mind when you think of the south and southern ways ? Most think of vast plantations and the days of the plantation owners with rich soils and crops . While these stories are in fact true some southern stories are very skin crawling. A closer look at Edisto Island where there are beautiful beaches, scenery, and a history for cotton growing . According to these stories some of the best cotton grown was from Edisto Island itself. In fact most of the cotton grown was bought before even seeded in the ground. Thanks to its vast land , rich soils , and terrific location Edisto was a " cash cow " for any new settler. This little island is located between the mouths of the North and South Edisto Rivers , and only 45 minutes from Charleston . But, how did Edisto Island get its name? Naturally it was named after the first inhabitants on the land, the Edisto Indians . It wasn't until the late 1700 's when the English arrived and forcibly inhabited the vast, rich land. In today's population, the good people of South Carolina enjoy the slow-paced, calm life, and vacation on the island when their summers grow near. With every bright and sunny attraction, there are dark stories that follow. Some that are hidden and some that are well known. In fact, some are shared from personal experience. This hair raising story I will inform you about is of personal experience.
Beach of Edisto
Island of Paradise
Family Tomb of Legare
A Horrific Tragedy
At the age of 14 was the first time I heard this chilling story from none other than my History teacher. A story of a wealthy plantation owner, his young son, and older daughter. At this point in time cotton was a very demanding material and brought income to many plantations around the area. Though the muggy air and marshes helped for cotton growth, it was also a breeding ground for Diphtheria. This deadly disease was very common to younger children and was fatal during these times. Medicine and the medical technology we have today was not even thought of during this time period, which caused a lot of deaths. Symptoms of this disease were very hard to notice if you did not tend to your children every day. And, unfortunately in those times it was mainly slaves who looked after plantation owner's children. One summer the plantation owner had noticed that his older daughter had become very ill. There was a chilling breeze as he feared it could only be the disease she had become infected with. House slaves could only care for her as her sore throat worsened and fever reached dangerously high temperatures. The girls father felt helpless as he watched his daughter slowly suffocate. Diphtheria was a disease that causes a person's throat to swell and eventually kills its victims through strangulation. During these times when someone died, it was important to bury them right away for the heat helped decompose the remains. While the daughter had passed away, the family decided to keep her several more days for an important family member to bid their goodbyes. With morgues not being advanced in these times dead bodies were unbearable to stand at funerals and many carried nose plugs. They delay had caused the father no choice but to carry his daughter to the family crypt. But, relatives were so upset that they failed to notice that the body was still as fresh as the day she passed. There was no stench, signs of decomposition, or any other signs of death. As the funeral had ended, the plantation owner placed his daughter on a slab in the tomb and shut and locked the door. It was 10 years later before the son met his fate whilst serving in the Civil War. Plantation owner returning once again to the family tomb to say goodbyes to their son. But there would be an even greater horror when he arrived.
Crypt Left Opened
The father opened the tomb door only to find the remains of his daughter by the door. The bones in her hands and fingers were shattered and frayed from trying to escape. Also, deep scratches were found inside the wall and on the floors where she tried to dig out. Finally, the father recalled that his daughter was not decomposing at the funeral and he had sealed her fate when he locked the crypt door. The young girl had been buried alive after awakening from a deep coma and dug around to the only source of light through the crypt's keyhole. Later, people would testify that they heard screams from the crypt but only thought of it to be old ghosts from the cemetery. But, the horror doesn't end here! Several days after placing the son's body in the crypt and locking the door behind them, it was found open the next day. Not giving a second thought, the family locked the door once more. A few days later the same door was found open once again. A friend of the family would offer his hand and seal the crypt permanently without a chance of opening again. But, a week later the tomb was, again opened only it was off the hinges and laying on the ground. The family door is still embedded in the crypt to this day and is located near the woods of the Old Presbyterian Church.
J B Legare
A Ghostly Encounter
Now a grown woman at the age of 23, I paid a visit to a relative who resided on Edisto Island. I had been following the Wiccan belief for a few years and had many encounters with ghosts of the afterlife. Once I left my relative's home I recalled the story that my history teacher had told and decided to pay the crypt a visit. It was approximately 11:00 pm at night when I parked my car beside the road of the Old Presbyterian Church. As I walked close to the crypt I would hear scratching noises from a distance and muffled voices. Once in front of the door I could hear clearly the voice of a girl talking but could not understand the words. Scratching noises became louder as I attempted to enter but backed away for the respect of the dead. I looked closer and saw a door propped up on the outside of the crypt. I knelt to my knees and said a Wiccan prayer for the lost soul of this young girl whose life was cut short unfairly. And, as much as I tried to communicate the only noises I heard were scratching and a muffled voice of a young girl. I felt a sense of failure with trying to communicate so I placed the door on the side back in place. While walking to the car I could not believe what happened next. The ghost apparently enraged flew the door off and hit a nearby gate falling to the ground. Now, feeling a sense of some communication I prayed once more. But, after I only heard the muffled feminine voice of her. Before I rose to my feet I picked a flower from a nearby Magnolia tree and placed it inside of the tomb. I prayed for her soul and hoped that she would find the gate that lead her to the afterlife. Afterwards, I felt a sense of calm and understanding as a low breeze swept over me. As I walked to my car I would never imagine what had happened next. My car door was open and I was getting inside when I heard very clearly, " I don't like it here, it's dark here. " With a nod and a scared sense I got in my car and drove home. To this day I remember the chilling sensation I felt when communicating with her and how I wish I could have helped in some way.