The Grey Man Of Hatteras and Pawley’s Island

When this post goes live, I will (hopefully) be sitting on a plane heading to North Carolina. I managed to switch my flights from Friday afternoon to early this morning. Big shout out to American Airlines for changing my flight for free so I could get to my mom’s house before the storm!

With the storm about to hit the North Carolina/ South Carolina coastline, I figured it would be the appropriate time to share with you a ghost legend that has been a favorite of mine since childhood. I remember first hearing about it from my dad and then it would pop up in various ghost tale books or ghost programming. I love local legends and I consider this one local because I usually venture down to the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina a few times a year.

The legend is about The Grey Man of Hatteras. There is a very similar legend for Pawley’s Island. Legend states that in the days leading up to a huge storm or hurricane is suppose to hit that location, people may see a lone man walking along the beach. Most reports say that they see him in the early more or just before sunset walking along the surf. He is either a man dressed in a grey suit or a grey trench coat or he will appear as a grey mist in the shape of a man. Most people report that his legs look as though they are fading away. No one has reported hearing him speak or acknowledging them when they wave. He just quietly walks away or fades away if someone gets too close to him.

When local people see him, they have often reported that if they evacuate, when they come back to their home after the storm, their home has been spared. Typically their house will appear to have not even gone through the storm whereas their neighbors on either side will have some sort of damage to their homes. I remember watching an episode of Unsolved Mysteries that featured this legend. Genevieve “Sister” Peterkin said that one of her neighbors had witnessed the Grey Man before Hurricane Hazel hit. She said that after the storm, his neighbors’ homes with heavily damaged but he’s was absolutely fine. There were even beach towels hanging over the side of his deck where he had left them by accident before the storm.

No one knows who the Grey Man is, what his story is, or why he protects only certain people. People often think he was someone who was caught in a storm and didn’t make it out. Whatever his story is, people say that if you see him, your home will be blessed during the storm.

While I was working on this piece at my workspace in Lodgic, I happened to be talking to Marissa who works here at Lodgic. Her mom, Pamela Liccardo, happens to live in Pawley’s Island and had sent her a picture of the beach that she took on September 11th. While it doesn’t have the Grey Man in the picture, it’s a beautiful picture.


I’m praying that Hurricane Florence will not be as horrible as everyone is predicting.  Has anyone here seen the Grey Man yet?

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