history and folklore is one of the most colorful on the
Outer Banks, and extends far beyond historic Howard Street.
There is a great deal of good historical information on
Preservation Society web site, including old maps,
old photos, and stories and tales of and by the residents
of Ocracoke. Another great source of old stories, folklore,
and even current community activities is the Village Craftsmen
web sight and newsletter by Philip Howard.
Point looking east.
Point looking west.
Oaks in the sunshine at Springer's Point.
Among these tales are some spooky
stories of strange occurrences, including one of how Blackbeard
still hunts for his head at Springer's Point, adjacent
to "Teach's Hole", where he was killed and beheaded in
1718. This story and more is revealed in an article titled
Ghost's of Springer's Point", by Philip Howard, in
one of his monthly Ocracoke Newsletters. Now you can visit
the site of this tale of a headless Blackbeard's ghost,
if you dare.
Historic Springer's Point is the
location of an old
maritime forest, and is being preserved by the N.C.
Coastal Land Trust. The NOAA aerial photo at right shows
Point and Teach's Hole in relation to the Ocracoke
Lighthouse and Silver Lake. It is just a short 10-minute
hike from the "Springer's Point Nature Preserve" sign
on Lighthouse Road. Be advised this is strictly a walking
and/or biking trip, as there is no parking for a car anywhere
near. Just leave your car at your motel. If you are a
day-tripper, use the parking lot between the ferry station
and the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum. If you need
directions to Springer's Point from there, the volunteers
at the Preservation Society will be glad to assist.
To reach the site from the main
road in the village, take Lighthouse Road toward Ocracoke
Lighthouse. Continue just past the lighthouse and the
road will make a sharp left curve. Continue on around
the curve for a few houses until you see the Springer's
Point sign on the right side of the road. From the
sign, walk southward between two houses until you reach
a roped off dirt road leading left (east). Cross the rope
and follow the dirt road. Though grown up in grass and
weeds, the road is rutted as if occasionally driven on
and is easy to follow. Mosquito protection is highly recommended
April through November.
Hole viewed from Springer's Point.
of Samuel Jones
Just before reaching the end of
the road, which opens up onto the water's edge with a
of Teach's Hole, there is a path
to the right leading into the shaded canopy of live
oaks. As soon as you enter this tunnel of tree bows you
sense there is something special about this place. In
this shaded quietude there is an unmistakable feeling
that the present is giving way to the past as you wind
along this path, surrounded by live oaks and ivy. Before
long you reach a small
graveyard, surrounded by a fence nearly hidden among
the deep green of ivy. A single headstone,
looking like it was set only recently, stands in one corner
of the fenced ground.
path leading to the cemetery and cistern.
cistern cover near the cemetery.
small ivy-covered graveyard and picket fence.
Across the path from the fence is
a large round wooden object on the ground. This is a cover
over an old
brick cistern base. It looks rather odd and mysterious
in this setting, not ten feet from a family graveyard.
It would take very little imagination to make it the centerpiece
of some ghost story, unintentionally fabricated on the
spot, while trying very hard to keep a clear and logical
state of mind. In fact, the atmosphere of this unusual
place could easily give a clear-headed, sober, and thoroughly
realistic person pause to doubt the logic of being here
alone. Even on a perfectly beautiful, sunny October afternoon
it could seem a little foolish to be here with only a
camera for company.
atmosphere of the live oaks.
steps in an old cedar tree.
Another oddity was discovered, just
a few short steps up the path on the
way out, that was not noticed on the way in. Someone
had nailed 2x4
steps up the trunk of a large old cedar tree next
to the path. What dubious purpose this would serve hovering
over the path near the graveyard was quickly left to ponder
for another time, even though there was more here to be
Perhaps you could see for yourself
this place where
ghosts supposedly hang about. Bring a camera, and
a friend, preferably someone you trust, and see what you
can find. If you are the outdoor type, and like to hike
and explore, there's no telling what you might find among
these ancient live oak trees. Of course, if you haven't
yet read "The
Ghost's of Springer's Point", you might want to do