Pawleys Island is a town located in South Carolina. It is known for the houses that still stand there which were from the 18th century. Many also visit the island for its beaches and sand dunes. It is also where the Brookgreen Gardens is located and it has gardens, sculptures, and a zoo.
A lot of tourists also visit Pawleys Island in an attempt to see with their own eyes the Gray Man. He is said to appear before a hurricane hits South Carolina and it is believed he is warning the citizens of such phenomenon.
One of the beaches at Pawleys Island. (Link: https://www.dietercompany.com/about-pawleys-island)
The History Of Pawleys Island
Historians say that the earliest inhabitants of Pawleys Island are the Waccamaw and Winyah Native Americans. The island was actually a safe place for them from the summer mosquitoes.
Later, the island was owned by George Pawley, hence the name. This was during the colonial era. He then sold some areas to planters wanting to escape malaria in other areas. In 1791, then-president George Washington toured the island to visit the planters.
By 1989, many island cottages were swept away due to Hurricane Hugo. These cottages were later replaced. There are no commercial or industrial buildings at Pawleys Island except for a condominium complex and some inns.
Per the last census, 108 people live in Pawleys Island. Some of them get their resources from the ocean as it is abundant with fish, crabs, shrimp, and many more. The water is great here from May thru October and people also visit it for birdwatching.
The Gray Man Of Pawleys Island
A gray man is said to be present on the coast of Pawleys Island in order to warn residents if the hurricanes and storms will be severe. According to reports, he was first seen in 1822 just before the town’s government was institutionalized. He was also spotted in 1989 before Hurricane Hugo. The last time the Gray Man was seen was in 2018 before Hurricane Florence hit the area.
An alleged photo of the Gray Man at Pawleys Island. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/183521753538621815/?nic_v1=1awGzzSS%2F46JLftsMkNbhafp06Noatk65pnUGB3yOlLGIqkb%2BlBXHhXSpXl6nSJeXk)
According to the legend, the Gray Man is the ghost of a young man. He was reportedly travelling to Charleston, South Carolina to meet up with his fiancée. He was supposed to ask his fiancée’s hand in marriage. He wanted to take a shortcut so he and his horse took another route. However, his horse got caught in a quicksand-like mud near Pawleys Island.
He and his horse were not able to get out and they died. Ever since that young man’s death, he reportedly started haunting the shore nearby. He is said to be looking for the woman he was supposed to see that time. Other stories claim that the woman was so devastated she walked through the beach. She reportedly always comes across a figure and when she decided to approach that figure, she saw her fiancé’s face. She had a lot of questions to her fiancé but all he did was warn her to leave the island due to a severe storm. She then went home to tell her family of what he told her so they took his advice and left. When the storm passed and she and her family went back to their home, only their house was spared from the hurricane.
The Gray Man wasn’t a popular entity before. However, the Gray Man was noticed nationally after Hurricane Hugo. Accordingly, residents Jim and Clara Moore saw this man on the beach. They were waving at him but he later disappeared. The home of the Moores was spared from the storm but their neighbors’ homes were severely damaged. Hence, it was believed that because the Moores saw the Gray Man, he helped keep their home safe from the hurricane just like what he did for his fiancée’s family.
Some of the homes that were destroyed during Hurricane Hugo at Pawleys Island. (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3YHCliJljs)
This was not the first time that a home or the people who saw the Gray Man were kept safe during a severe hurricane. After the Moores came forward with their story, more and more people over the years have shared that because they saw the Gray Man, they returned home after the hurricane unscathed.
The Gray Man has been described as someone wearing gray clothing and a long coat. He is also likened to a pirate. Others have claimed he had no legs.
The Gray Man Caught On Camera
Two ghost hunters with the YouTube account Ghost Guys Go uploaded a video of a figure walking along the pier. It is believed to be the Gray Man.
A screenshot from the YouTube video by Ghost Guys Go. (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl7oZEuYb8M)
Per the video, the shadowy figure was walking along the pier while it was raining very hard during Hurricane Florence. During that hurricane, 17 people died in the area.
How South Carolina looked like during Hurricane Florence. (Link: https://psmag.com/social-justice/florence-threatens-gullah-peoples-property)
A resident also shared in an interview before Hurricane Florence, “It’s a story I heard growing up. I think everyone in the low country has heard the story, especially when hurricanes or tropical storms begin to form around our area. It’s always something you hear people bring up. He’s a friendly entity… Not that it’s a good thing to see him, but when someone does claim to see him, it gives us locals an idea of what we’re dealing with.”
What would you do if you saw the Gray Man?
Pawleys Island’s beaches. (Link: http://coastalscience.com/news/pawleys-island-beach-renourishment-project-underway/)