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The Demise and Ghost of Blackbeard

Blackbeard came in contact with another known pirate, Stede Bonnet sometime during late 1717 or early 1718 , a ‘gentleman pirate’ that amused Edward. He brought him aboard his ship (the ‘Revenge’) and enjoyed his company. At this time, he commanded four ships and was in charge of more than 300 men.

In May, Blackbeard was victorious in capturing the pilot boat and a few ships off the port of Charles Towne, South Carolina. He then established a blockade, where important citizens were held for ransom in exchange for medicine. This display of boldness was starting to upset the locals. In the end, the pirate walked away with a chest full of the medicine he wanted.

In attempt to enjoy a bigger chunk of his loot, Blackbeard wanted to sever ties with Stede Bonnet and the majority of his crew. After a staged plan separated the two men, Bonnet asked Governor Eden for a pardon with plans to privateer out of St. Thomas, while Blackbeard went to Bath Town in what historians believe was to receive a second pardon, sell his goods, and purchase a home. The summer of 1718 was spent experimenting with living the life of the average citizen. However, he wasn’t successful in pleasing his neighbors. They were tired of his antics and after he held a weeklong fiesta with other pirates at Ocracoke in October, they had officially had enough of the unwelcome pirate.

By November of 1718, the governor of Virginia (Spottswood) dispatched lieutenant Maynard with two sloops to attack Blackbeard, but both attempts ended in a temporary grounding while they were in pursuit of the pirate. Using grapeshot and grenades, Blackbeard took the lives of several of Maynard’s men. In the process, his sloop Adventure became grounded. Little did he know that Maynard’s remaining troops were hiding in the hold. Fighting broke out and during the battle, Maynard was triumphant in shooting Blackbeard in the shoulder. Another officer slit the infamous pirate’s throat. It is said that a second blow to Blackbeard almost separated his head from his body.

Upon inspecting the body of Blackbeard, his body displayed more than 25 wounds, including five bullet holes. Maynard attached the severed head of the pirate to his bowsprit and sailed back to Williamsburg with the rest of Blackbeard’s former crew. The rest of his body was supposedly tossed overboard.  In March of 1719, 13 of the men were hung.

The Supposed Ghost of Blackbeard

When it comes to a character like Blackbeard, it’s only natural that ghost stories surrounding his spirit exist. Legend has the headless corpse of the pirate swimming around Maynard’s ship three times while his suspended head shrieked. Ever since, people have believed that his ghost haunts the cove at Ocracoke Island (also known as Teach’s Hole). Reports of seeing his body rising up out of the water with a lantern in his hand have surfaced , probably in search for his head. When his ghosts walks, no footprints are left behind and a strange light , dubbed “Teach’s Light” , is said to appear when his headless ghost is in the vicinity.