Myrtle Beach welcomes millions of visitors annually to the sunny South Carolina coast. And, at least according to legend, the area also plays host to a few shady spirits.
With Halloween upon us, it’s a good time for guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort to check out some of the local legends that have been passed down over the centuries.
The Grand Strand’s rich history and storytelling tradition have all the ingredients for great ghost stories – pirates and shipwrecks, wealthy planters and exploited slaves, warfare and seafarer tales. The South Strand is home to the most famous legends, and true to its reputation for Southern hospitality, many of the ghosts are friendly ones.
There’s the Gray Man of Pawleys Island who only appears to warn locals of approaching hurricanes; Alice Flagg, the heartbroken daughter of an affluent family who playfully tugs on women’s wedding rings; and the legend of Drunken Jack, who was stranded on an island off the coast of Murrells Inlet with only 32 bottles of rum to keep him company.
Autumn visitors can learn more about the spooky side of Myrtle Beach by taking a ghost tour in one of the surrounding towns. Visitors also can find some other fun Halloween activities for the whole family, such as trick-or-treating, hayrides, haunted houses and other scary attractions. Here’s a list of Halloween-themed festivities this fall:
Head south for the richest ghost-hunting grounds, and have a costumed tour guide show you all the hot spots. Inlet Cottage and Walking Tours offer a Haunted Marsh Walk stroll on Sunday evenings or by appointment, as well as a trolley ride through the Murrells Inlet Historic District. Continue down to historic Georgetown for a tour of the Harborwalk and historic district with the Ghosts of Georgetown and Walking Shadows Ghost Tours. Historic Conway, located 15 miles inland of Myrtle Beach, offers the Conway Ghost Walk (Oct. 17-19) and the three-part South Carolina Ghosts & Legends series at the Horry County Museum (Oct. 16, 23 and 30).
With Halloween falling on a school night, many of the local festivities are set for Saturday, Oct. 26, like North Myrtle Beach’s annual Howl-o-Scream shindig, featuring hayrides, pumpkin decorating, costume contests and more family fun. That same night, Broadway at the Beach holds its famous Halloween Bash and costume pageant and Barefoot Landing hosts BooFest with traditional Halloween fun and games. Barefoot Landing also hosts a fireworks show on Oct. 31, and trick-or-treating takes place at various shopping centers and neighborhoods (we recommend the nearby Market Common).
What’s Halloween without a visit to one of the many haunted houses in the area, including year-round attractions like Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and Nightmare Haunted House near the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Outbreak: Dread the Undead at the Hollywood Wax Museum. There are also several pop-up haunted houses, such as Terror Under the Bridge at the X Gym Sports Complex.
Although most amusement parks are closed during the off-season, there are still lots of places to get your adrenaline pumping on thrill rides. The downtown district features three of the best – The Airstrike (a spinning propeller that gives passengers the rush of pulling 3.6 Gs), The Skyscraper (which takes riders more than 170 feet in the air at speeds in excess of 60 mph), and The Sling Shot (a bungee-ride free-fall that sends passengers 300 feet in the air at speeds of 100 mph). Pavilion Nostalgia Park at Broadway at the Beach also has some thrillers.
These fun Halloween-themed activities are sure to send a chill down your spine and show your family a good time this fall. Be sure to book your stay at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort, where the spirits are all about vacation fun.