Blackbeard was a notorious pirate from England who terrorized the seas during the 1700s. He was killed at Teach’s Hole off Ocracoke Island and it is said that his his headless ghost haunts the spot to this day.
Blackbeard and his pirate crew attacked ships in the Caribbean and along the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas, demanding money and valuables from those on board. He was a tall, fierce-looking man with a long black beard that stretched down to his waist. His real name was Edward Teach.
When Blackbeard went into battle, he strapped multiple pistols and multiple cutlasses to his body. Sometimes he would hang cannon fuses from his hat and his long, black beard. He would set them on fire just before he stepped on to the captured ship, so he was nearly enveloped in a cloud of otherworldly smoke. Those who saw it said it was a fearsome sight and many who encountered him believed he was the devil incarnate. Often, captains would surrender their ships without a shot being fired.
For twenty-seven months, Blackbeard terrorized the sailors of the Atlantic and the Caribbean, ambushing ships and stealing their cargo. Blackbeard was courteous to those who surrendered willingly but cruel to those who resisted. When one man refused to give up a diamond ring he was wearing, Blackbeard drew his cutlass and cut off the man’s finger, ring and all.
Blackbeard’s favorite hideout was a place called Teach’s Hole, off Ocracoke Island. It was the site of a fierce battle between Blackbeard and Lieutenant Maynard of the Royal Navy, who had been sent to capture him.
During the bloody fight, Maynard came face to face with Blackbeard. They both shot at each other. Blackbeard’s shot missed Maynard, but Maynard’s bullet hit the pirate. Blackbeard swung his cutlass and managed to snap off Maynard’s sword blade near the hilt. As Blackbeard prepared to deliver the death-blow, one of Maynard’s men cut Blackbeard’s throat from behind. Infuriated, Blackbeard fought on even as the blood was spurting from his neck. Maynard and his men rushed the pirate, shooting, stabbing and slashing him until he crumbled to the blood-splattered deck. He had been stabbed 20 times, shot 5 times before he finally died. His band of pirates were all killed or captured.
To make sure his dreaded foe was dead, Maynard chopped off Blackbeard’s head and hung it from the bowsprit. Then, he threw the decapitated body overboard. As soon as the headless corpse hit the water, Blackbeard’s severed head came to life and began shrieking. The crew watched in horror as the headless body swam around the ship three times before sinking to the bottom. They say the water was blood-red all around the ship.
Ever since then, it is said that Blackbeard’s ghost haunts Teach’s Hole, forever searching for his missing head. Sometimes, the headless body has been spotted swimming around and around in circles, glowing just beneath the surface of the water. Many people have reported seeing the strange light moving beneath the water in the cove. It’s said that this is Blackbeard’s spirit, swimming through the waters, searching for his missing head. They call it “Teach’s light”. On stormy nights it’s said that you can hear Blackbeard’s voice calling out in the wind, roaring “Where’s my head?”