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4 Interesting North Carolina Legends & Ghost Stories

Updated on September 30, 2018
Lauren Rhodes profile image

Lauren was born and raised in North Carolina, and currently resides near Raleigh. She is fascinated by the state history and legends.

Growing up in North Carolina, you eventually discover what a rich history and heritage this state truly has. One of which, includes ghost stories and legends. The first time I truly became interested in the legends of my state, was when I discovered an old ghost story book on the topic, that my mother owned. Today, I'll be discussing some of my favorite North Carolina legends. Real or not, these stories are pretty "legend"-dary!

The Siren of the French Broad River

Pictured: The Kiss of the Siren (1882) by Gustav Wertheimer
Pictured: The Kiss of the Siren (1882) by Gustav Wertheimer | Source

Legend says that a strikingly beautiful woman, or I suppose "creature" lurks deep in the Appalachian Mountains, beckoning male travelers to their untimely demise within the French Broad River, near Paint Rock, N.C. Said male traveler stops for a rest, often tired after a long journey, only to find himself staring at a pair of dark eyes peering up at him from the water. As he slowly sinks further into the river, the lovely figure before him turns rancid. What appeared to be long, black hair is actually strings of seaweed, her brown eyes, are actually eye sockets of an old, long-forgotten skull, and her soft, pale hands, are slimy scales, sharp claws and all. The traveller realizes his mistake, only too late, as the monster has already swallowed him up into the river's murky depths. This story used to be one of my favorites, and it still is, because well, siren's are freaking cool.

The Brown Mountain Lights

Pictured: Brown Mountain
Pictured: Brown Mountain | Source

There's one thing that is certain, these mysterious mountain lights are definitely real. Many people have photographic evidence of such. What isn't so certain is... what exactly are they? As night falls in the autumn months, lights can sometimes be seen in the crevices of Brown Mountain. Old stories claim the lights to be the wandering spirits of Native American women, searching for their lost husbands, or possibly spirits of those searching for a murdered woman in the 19th century. Some people have even attributed the lights to UFO activity (my personal favorite explanation.)

Many logical explanations have been disproven, and the mystery is still unsolved.

What do you think the explanation is?

The Legend of Blowing Rock

Pictured: Native American man and woman
Pictured: Native American man and woman | Source

The story goes like this...

There were two Native American lovers, who both came from different, opposing tribes, that were at war with each other. The lovers met privately, away from the animosity of their tribes. One day, the pair saw a bright red sky, almost blood red, and the Native man believed it was a sign that a violent, vicious war was about to begin between the two tribes. He didn't want to pick between his love and his community, so he lept off the rock, attempting suicide. His lover prayed to the gods to bring him back and supposedly the wind swept him back up the rock and into her arms. They eventually traveled the world and their love was a testimony that the tribes shouldn't fight, but should be at peace with each other.

Sappy, I know. But I kinda dig this folklore.

The modern claim is that anything you throw off Blowing Rock will come back to you. I've never been to this rock, but I'd love to go and test the legend out one day.


The Pink Lady at The Grove Park Inn

Pictured: Ghost Woman
Pictured: Ghost Woman | Source

Many spirits are hailed as scary, dreadful things. Things to avoid. This spirit, however, is anything but. The Pink Lady is a ghost said to be haunting The Grove Park Inn, a very old hotel in the North Carolina Mountains, that has been the temporary home to many celebrities.


The Pink Lady is said to be a very sweet ghost, who is friendly to children, and loves to play practical jokes. Stories vary about just who the Pink Lady was before her demise, but all in all, she's welcome at the hotel, even to the extent of the employees treating her like any old guest. It'd be really interesting to see this apparition, I think.

Which was your favorite legend? Are there any special ghost stories from your hometown? Would you like a part two, with more legends? Let me know in the comments!

For more info on these legends, and others like them, visit northcarolinaghosts.com!

© 2018 Lauren Rhodes

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    • Lauren Rhodes profile imageAUTHOR

      Lauren Rhodes 

      15 months ago from North Carolina

      @Cristina Vanthul That's so cool! Glad to see another person as passionate about state legends as me! Mind linking me to your short story? I'd love to give it a look!

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 

      15 months ago from Florida

      I grew up in Wilmington and love the North Carolina legends! My parents, too, had a book of NC legends and lore which I devoured, many times, lol.

      My favorite of these four is probably Brown Mountain. I wrote a short story based on it years ago. So many are great tales, though. I don't remember the one about Blowing Rock. I imagine that's how it got its name!

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