Pawleys Island Ghost Legend

The Legend of the Gray Man, the ghost of Pawleys Island is one of mystery, romance and intrigue. His origin has been the subject of many discussions and much speculation. Stories of the Gray Man range from mysterious tales to “first hand” experiences. Those who have seen this mystifying apparition over the years give varying accounts of his appearances, but all agree that he appears shortly before a storm or tragedy befalls the Island in order to warn its inhabitants of impending disaster.

The Gray Man is reputed to be the spirit of someone who lived on the Island many years ago. Some say that he is the ghost of the original owners, Percival Pawley. Others claim that he is the spirit of a rejected lover involved in a romantic tragedy. Still others claim him to be the phantom of someone who met an untimely death during a violent tropical hurricane that hit the Island long years ago.

When the devastating “Storm of 1822” hit Pawleys Island, almost the entire summer population of the North Inlet perished. Legend has it that a young girl was warned by the ghost of her departed lover, and she and her family were the only ones to escape the disaster.

He was again sighted before the “Storm of 1893” which did much damage to Pawleys. Those who knew of his previous appearance in 1822 took heed to his warning and left the Island and the approaching storm in time. This mysterious ghost always disappears after delivering his warning … vanishing like a puff of smoke.

Just before Hurricane Hazel struck in 1954, a Georgetown businessman and his family were warned by a stranger to leave the Island. When they returned after the storm, the Island was in shambles but their house was virtually untouched…even the laundry still on the line. That’s part of the Gray Man legend – no harm comes to those who see him.

Whether one believes in ghosts or not, if you see a gray, misty figure on the beach take heed…remember, he brings a warning.


About hemphillbrett
Floorcovering specialist

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