Ghost Stories of New Bern, NC

New Bern, North Carolina and the surrounding areas are some of the oldest examples of British Colonialism in the Southern States. As one of the original 13 colonies it was incredibly important for the English Crown to show its strength with a governmental seat in North Carolina. Tryon Palace in New Bern became the representation of the English Crown in America. Later the Crown’s position would be moved to New York. With New Bern, NC being the first capital of North Carolina there is an intensely deep history in the region. With history comes Ghosts. . .

Getting to know the Ghosts

New Bern, NC is now considered the most haunted town in North Carolina and usually ranks rather high nation wide as well. There are a couple of companies making a living by giving Ghost tours in downtown New Bern. If you were to venture out on your own some spooky night these haunted homes should be on your list:

One of the most famous Ghosts of New Bern is Miss Fannie Taylor. Fannie Taylor’s family home is one of the oldest in town. Built in 1792 by her farther Isaac, it is home to the oldest alley garden in New Bern and today is a garden and event area.

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A week before Fannie’s wedding her fiancĂ© left this home for an evening stroll and collapsed on the street, dead. That day Fannie swore that she would never leave the home again. She locked herself inside the home and proceeded to live there until her death. Fannie kept her promise and now locals claim to see Fannie’s ghost in the front window of her home. She is such a common sight in Downtown New Bern, that superstitions have developed in regards to how to behave around Fannie. Apparently, if you do not tell Fannie “Goodnight” bad luck will find you.

A Family Affair

Your second stop on the tour is to the home of The Stanly Family. The Stanly House is one of the grandest homes in New Bern and considered to be the greatest example of Georgian architecture in the South today. Made for the incredibly prominent business man John Wright Stanly in the 1780s. This lovely house would become home to his wife and their NINE children. When the youngest child was just three months old, Mr. Stanly and his wife would both die of Yellow Fever on the same day. New Bern suffered greatly from a Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1789. The children would abandon the home for the following decade until the eldest son came of age.

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You may think that the obvious ghosts of the Stanly House would be John Stanly and his wife who succumbed to Yellow Fever, BUT that would be incorrect. The real ghost of the Stanly House is John Stanly’s son he had with an enslaved African women of the Ebo tribe. John Carruthers Stanly was generally acknowledged to be the son of John Wright Stanly and was born into slavery. He would later buy his way out of slavery and become a very successful business man in Craven County. He would haunt his father’s happy family hope that he could never be a part of. . .

Not Just Homes Are Haunted

The Athens Theatre is home to a mischievious ghost named Dorothy. Dorothy was once an actress at the theatre. She is said to have been spotted in the balcony, upset about the lack of the career she hoped for, she shuts the lights off on other actresses. Cheeky ghost.

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The Cemeteries of New Bern are notoriously haunted. During the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1799, the number of deaths was so abundant that the victims were buried in trench style ditches in the only public cemetery at the time, Christ Church. Believed to have thousands of graves in it’s small cemetery. Christ Church has seen many a ghost. From flashes of light to floating orbs. The cemetery is something straight out of a horror film.

The Scariest of Them All

Just outside of New Bern is Foscue Plantation house. Technically, located in Pollocksville, but more a part of New Bern than not. Foscue Plantation has stories that will give you nightmares. One of the largest slave owners in Craven county, Foscue would keep his slaves chained up in the attic. Some 90 slaves in a 30 year period were kept in his attic. It is said that visitors can hear cries and moaning every evening and the servant staircase is constantly stained in bright red blood. The blood has been painted over numerous times and it continues to come right through the paint. . .

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If you are feeling brave and don’t mind a few spooks, New Bern, North Carolina could be a ghastly adventure for you. From walking ghost tours, actors appearing in colonial costume and having to tell Miss Fannie “Good Night” it is sure to be something you’ll talk about for years to come.

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Author: thewildbradburys

A mother to three boys and military spouse. I LOVE all things outdoors, travel and natural living inspired. My background is in archaeology/museum curation, but I'm also a certified birth and postpartum doula as well as placenta encapsulationist. I am always trying to build the tribe and encourage people to live to their fullest potential. The blog is primarily dedicated to traveling and exploring with kids and living a life of adventure.

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