Monday, January 4, 2016

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Horry County with Jay Wilburn

Paranormal Road Trip: Washington D.C. with R.S. Belcher

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is Horry County, South Carolina and our special guide is Jay Wilburn author of the short story DEAD SONG which appears in The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five.

Horry County's Top 5 Spooky Places

My name is Jay Wilburn and as a ghostwriter, I write in a wide range of genre. As an author in my own name, I tend toward the darker fiction. I’m a big fan of the subtleties of Southern Gothic styles and tones in literature. It has a long history tangled up with the complex history of the region starting as far back as the Colonial Era. The land is marked by ghosts of past settlers and those displaced. These people that succeeded or failed in holding the land paint an interesting picture of the land. This is especially prominent along the coast of the southern United States.

Horry County, South Carolina where I live is on the coast near the North Carolina border. It includes the resort areas of Myrtle Beach as well as the swamps of Conway. It has all the oddness and hidden dangers of a beach tourist town along with the remnants of Old South culture giving way to newcomers moving into and retiring into the area from around the world. This is an interesting melting pot of clashing cultures. It is ripe for stories about ghosts from the past behaving in unsettled ways. I like to include my County in stories due to this layered richness and complexity.

I spoke with paranormal investigators in the area that do a lot of work throughout South Carolina. Some of the best sites in the area are hidden, private hauntings that would not be places that could be visited easily or legally. We talked about discussing these spots without identifying them directly or giving information that would identify the owners of the property. In the end, I decided it would be better to include examples that could be identified and visited. I extended out a bit from Horry County to pick a few good ones.

The Hermitage –
Located in Murrells Inlet, Dr. Flagg moved into the place with his sister in 1849. She fell in love with lumberjack that the doctor didn’t approve of. She met her man in secret. Her brother sent her away to Charleston where she grew ill. He brought her back then. She died. Some stories say Flagg discovered a ring on her finger which he threw away into the marsh. She was buried on All Saints’ Day under a marble slab that bore her name ALICE. Her ghost shrouded in white is reported around the area.

Old Gunn: Prince Fredrick’s Episcopal Church –
The church began to be built in 1859 in Prince Fredrick Parish. Mr. Gunn was the architect and was on the roof and fell to his death. The church is in ruins today, but there have been reports of lights in and around the roof. There have also been sightings of Gunn’s ghost through the trees around the property,

All Saints Cemetery –
This is near the Hermitage and Alice Flagg is said to be one of the ghosts that haunts this spot although there are obviously no shortages of ghosts to draw from when one is talking about a haunted cemetery. South Carolina is full of small family cemeteries which are not marked on public routes. Paranormal investigators get some of their strangest recordings and images from some of these lesser known spots around the county and state.

Litchfield Plantation –
This is located in Pawley’s Island. This house was built in the 1700’s. This area has reports of everything from hoof sounds at night, sightings, and disappearances often attributed to the original owners. Coastal South Carolina has a long, dark plantation history stretching back into the colonization of the Spanish and the French before the English colonies which led into Revolutionary history. There are lots of old ghosts to draw from through those years.

Pelican Inn –
Also in Pawley’s Island, the Pelican Inn has the distinction of claiming two dogs among the spirits that haunt these grounds. One dog died shortly after saving a boy from the ocean and the other died from sorrow. The spirits of these animals have been reported by people over the years from sound, sightings, and even touch.

Sometimes the ghosts that interest me most in the place where I live are those of the history we try to hide or the conflicts we carry around with us from the past. There are enough clashes and contradictions within Horry County to keep the stories coming for a long time.

Thank you Jay for giving us such a haunting tour of Horry County! 

To learn more about Jay Wilburn and his books, please visit his website.  You can add The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five here on Goodreads.

Best Horror of the Year Dead Song Jay Wilburn

What did you think of Jay's picks for spooky places?

On our last Paranormal Road Trip we visited Soul's Harbor with Angela Dennis.  Next time we will be visiting Dark World with Toni Sweeney.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!

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