The Origins of the Grey Man

When we look into the vast wealth of ghost stories that can be seen worldwide on any given subject we come across a great number of paranormal encounters that seem to earn themselves only terror and apprehension from the witnesses.  Unfortunately for the ghosts themselves this feeling of apprehension is often all we see or hear of the ghosts hiding at the periphery of our reality.  But there is t least one ghost that allegedly not only has the ability to predict the future, but uses this incredible talent to openly warn people.  This is the story of the Grey Man.

It’s probably the most popular story in South Carolina, and if it isn’t the most popular it’s certainly one of the strangest.  During tropical storms and hurricanes he has always appeared on the beach at Pawleys Island just before the event.  As the legend goes, if you happen to encounter the Grey Man and you heed his advice, your home will be spared.  The Grey man has appeared to witnesses both familiar with his story and complete strangers to it just before every recorded major system since 1910.

So who is he?  And why is he spending his time granting advice and his blessing to homeowners in South Carolina?  For the answer to this question we need to look back at his origins.  It begins on the island with a woman strolling along the beach in tears.  She had just lost her fiancee and was mourning his death in one of the spots they had last seen one another.  Her fiancee, who had been her one and only true love had been claimed by the sea never to walk again on the mainland where they had hoped to one day build a home.

But as she walked she spotted a strange grey figure in the distance.  It was a man wearing a long coat very similar to the seafarer’s raincoat her fiancee had once worn.  As he grew closer she could barely make out the outlines of his facial features.  After several seconds of silence as the two looked at one another she could have sworn it was him.  But it was impossible.  Her fiancee was now in the ground buried.  As she tried to get closer to get a better look at him, he held out his hand stopping her and said words that would eventually save her life.

He warned her that there was a great danger coming and that she needed to leave the island immediately.  Understanding of storms in those days were obviously less advanced than they are today.  Authorities would rarely be able to get news of a coming hurricane in time to warn the people more than a few hours before it hit – and even then it was difficult to get the information out to every home.  As a result many were caught out in the weather when it got worse.  Heeding her phantasmal lover’s warning she left the island and reached a safe area.  The storm that hit that year was one of the worst in decades – and she was counted among the survivors.  When they returned to the island she found her parents’ house completely intact despite the massive destruction all around.