Most Haunted Places on the South Strand, SC

The Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk and South Strand are full of things that go bump in the night, and as Halloween approaches, folks gather to hear the stories that have been passed on for generations. Each year, the tales enthrall children and adults alike.

Alice Flagg

Forbidden by her brother to marry the man she loved, Alice Belin Flagg nevertheless secretly became engaged to him, or so the story goes. But she failed to hide her ring from her brother, the male head of household, who looked after Alice and their mother. Her brother took Alice's ring from her, as the story goes, and tossed it into the creek. Three days later, Alice died, but she is not happy. Today, she haunts the Hermitage house where she died, even though the house has been moved, has changed hands and is now a private residence.

Historians say that the house was unlikely to be where Alice died, because it was not constructed at the time, but records have been lost, so no one is really certain.

Alice, however, is certain. It is said that she also haunts All Saints Episcopal Church Cemetery at Pawleys Island, which legend says is her burial place, and where people leave her rings. Although there is a marble slab at the cemetery, officials say she is not buried there. Alice also has been spotted at Belin UMC cemetery, where she is buried, although her grave is unmarked.

Ruth Bingham and Sunnyside Plantation

The ghost of Ruth Bingham, who married into the powerful Bingham family of Conway, South Carolina, is said to wander the plantation home at Sunnyside, in Murrells Inlet. Ruth refused to provide an alibi for Smiley Bingham, her brother-in-law, in the killing of a boy. Her husband's family pressured her to conform, but Ruth resisted and, despite being married for less than a year and terribly in love with her husband, Cleveland, she left the family home and returned to her own home.

Friends and the Bingham family sent letters and made visits to her, urging her to return to Sunnyside, and finally, Ruth agreed.

But all was not well. William Avant, who was involved in the killing of the boy, worried that Cleveland Bingham could not guarantee that his young wife would fall into line, and when Ruth was out on the marsh, Avant picked up a gun and shot her. Cleveland raced to her side, carried her back to the house, where she died.

A.E. Crone is a freelance writer living near Myrtle Beach, S.C. She has written and edited for a number of newspapers and magazines.