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Boardwalk and Promenade

An overcast grey and black sky covering palm trees and a bike path.

The heart of Myrtle Beach’s tourism scene doubles as the site where disease, disasters, and death ravished those who came before us. By day, Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk and Promenade is host to great food and lively entertainment and sees hundreds of visitors from all over partake in all it has to offer. But as the day winds down, the dead rise up, restless from unfinished business and untimely demise and ready to reclaim their former lives.


Myrtle Beach’s Misfortune by The Ocean


Before the city blossomed into the beachside dream it is today, Myrtle Beach was an uninhabited stretch of coastline that would eventually become home to the Waccamaw Indians. The tribe would be the first group of unfortunate souls to experience the wrath of unforgiving times. European settlers would ultimately push the tribe out in an attempt to colonize the land. Their attempt was futile, however, as bad weather and disease prevented the settlers from prospering. 


Their wretched misfortune would carry on like a curse and spread to the coastline’s future inhabitants. Along with a few other families, the Withers Family settled in the area only to nearly be wiped out by a hurricane, with 18 of their family members tragically perishing and the remaining fleeing Myrtle Beach. The city would later come to fruition, but not without becoming a beacon for the supernatural. Whether it’s the location by the ocean or the trials and tribulations experienced, this one-mile stretch of coastline is notorious for unexplained activity and terrifying sightings.  


Gateway to The Mystic


The Boardwalk and Promenade in Myrtle Beach harbor a postcard-like landscape that delights vacationers year-round. Yet with all its charm, it can’t hide the horrors of its origins:


Death and Devastation

  • Lives Claimed by Contagions and Catastrophes like the Hurricane of 1822
  • Unfortunate Deaths from Railroad Construction


Restless Souls Left Behind

  • Victims of the Hurricane Whose Bodies Were Never Recovered
  • Deceased Railroad Workers Whose Spirits Were Trapped


Beyond the lives claimed by contagions and catastrophes, the coastline along the Boardwalk and Promenade has also become the scene for unearthly sightings that have been solidified as local legends. While Myrtle Beach’s tourist gem continues to grow and add to its entertainment value, it still can’t distract from the terrors lurking in the picturesque views’ dark corners.


Are the Dearly Departed Withers Still Stuck Seaside?


Following the hurricane of 1822 that consumed several members of the Withers clan, the Burroughs and Collins Company purchased what remained of the land and converted it into land for the railroad. The dangers of constructing the railroad were at their peak in those days, resulting in several unfortunate deaths. On any given night, the sounds of the ocean are mixed with the sound of a phantom train whistle and the blood-curdling wails of those that perished in unimaginable ways. 


Whether it’s the painful cries of deceased railroad workers or the agonizing screams of the Withers family being washed away is not completely known. However, sightings by tourists and locals may offer some insight as apparitions of men and women dressed in dated clothing can often be seen walking along the beach – and they’re not alone. Shocking sightings of Native Americans have also been spotted along the coastline, replaying a period of time when they were unable to die.


The Gray Man   


The Boardwalk and Promenade in Myrtle Beach are one of the most popular tourist spots in the country, yet its prevalence has a rival: the Gray Man. The Gray Man’s anguished ghostly existence is the result of a distressing end caused by an unfortunate twist of fate when he and his horse got caught in quicksand. 


It’s said that he can be spotted in pirate-style clothing, walking along the shores just before a hurricane is set to hit. Following his horrendous death, he appeared before his fiance to warn her of the hurricane of 1822, the same hurricane that claimed the lives of 18 Withers’.


While his sightings are few and far between, they are not without merit as they tend to signify a potential natural disaster. The last sighting of the Gray Man occurred right before Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas. Whether his presence serves as a warning for the people of Myrtle Beach or his profound distress is the cause of it, should you spot the Gray Man, you’re wise to take shelter and brace yourself.


Myrtle Beach’s Pirates of The South


Like any city by the water, Myrtle Beach is home to sordid tales of the sea, and the Boardwalk and Promenade were built in the very spot these tales originated. One of the most infamous pirates in history who was known for plundering the coast of South Carolina and was no stranger to the area. Blackbeard and his crew were feared as they were a ruthless bunch that terrorized anyone in their path.


Blackbeard would eventually be captured and killed for his crimes, and while his final resting place is a mystery, it’s believed that his grave lies along the shore. He may be long gone, but his wickedness lives on. His spirit is frequently seen walking the coast, possibly searching for ships to plunder. 


The Boardwalk and Promenade Today


Though it’s filled with modern events and attractions that lure visitors from all over the country, Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk and Promenade is a one-mile stretch of fascinating and sometimes terrifying history. A visit to this popular tourist spot is also a visit to a painful and otherworldly past that continues to haunt the area and spook anyone who encounters the ghostly residents that remain.


A Stretch of Beauty and Barbarity


Since its launch in 2010, Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk and Promenade has enhanced the vacation scene and boosted tourism. Visitors can expect a variety of family-friendly activities to participate in and plenty of entertainment for all ages, but they should also expect the unexpected. 


From the original inhabitants of Myrtle Beach to apparitions predicting a catastrophe, there’s nothing you won’t see at Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk and Promenade. Check out our blog to discover more entities that frequent the nation’s most popular vacation spots, and check back for future posts.




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