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The Gray Man of Pawleys Island



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Hundreds of people have reported seeing a ghostly figure during intense storms on Pawleys Island. Locals claim the appearance of the figure is a bad omen meaning the storm will be destructive but usually the people who witness the Gray Man are spared.

History Pawleys Island

Beach houses on Pawleys Island. Photo source: townofpawleysisland.

Pawleys Island is a small town located on an Atlantic Coast Barrier Island in South Carolina.

The earliest inhabitants of the area were the Native American Waccamaw and Winyah people who had inhabited the land for over 10,000 years. European colonizers moved in during the 1500s having a devastating effect on the native population causing many to die from introduced diseases or from starvation after their hunting grounds were seized.

It was established as a resort town in the early 1700’s when plantation farmers stayed there during the sweltering summer months to escape from mosquito borne malaria upstream.

Nowadays the town has a leisurely vibe and is booming with tourists during the warmer months.

The Legend of the Gray Man of Pawleys Island

There are a number of variations in the legend depending on who you ask but the common themes are as follows.

A young man and woman were in love and engaged to be married. The man had been working at sea for a long time and had finally come ashore in Charleston. He jumped on his horse and headed for Pawleys Island to be reunited with his love.

A big storm was approaching and the man decided to take a shortcut through the marsh just outside of Pawleys Island to try and get there faster.

Darkness began to set in and the man’s horse started becoming stuck in the mud and threw the man off. The poor lover became stuck in the mud and drowned as floodwaters rose.

The young woman was distraught over the death of her lover and would take regular walks on the beach of Pawleys Island to try and clear her mind and find some peace.

One day on one of her walks she came across a man dressed all in gray. As she got closer to him she recognized that he was her lost love.

Knowing her lover was dead and it couldn’t possible be him the woman questioned the man. He couldn’t answer her questions. He repeatedly told her to take her family and leave the island as a deadly storm was approaching.

Before she even had time to fully process what was happening the man vanished before her eyes. The woman rushed home and told her family what had happened.

In shock from the sighting they all gathered up their belongings and headed inland. A few days a later a powerful hurricane swept through the region leaving only one home on Pawleys Island untouched: the home of the young woman.

In other legends the Gray man is said to be the ghost of a local publican or even the founder of the community George Pawley himself.

According to local legend the Gray Man still appears on Pawleys Island in the days before a large storm. Some believe he is still searching for his love.

Legend has it the Gray Man will try to warn anyone he encounters to leave the island before a deadly storm hits and if the witness takes his advice their home will be miraculously spared from the storm.

Sightings of the Grey Man

Damage on Pawleys Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. Photo Credit: Coastal Observer.

For some residents of Pawleys Island the Gray Man is more than just a legend. They have witnessed him for themselves!

Hurricane Hazel hit Pawleys Island in 1954 causing dozens of deaths and widespread damage. Several residents reported seeing a man wearing all gray walking on the beach just as the storm was coming in.

In 1990 Hurricane Hugo struck Pawleys Island causing the island to look like a warzone. A 16 foot storm surge powered over the island causing it to be cut in half. More than a hundred homes were destroyed in the storm.

One of the homes that was saved belonged to the Love family. Arney Love recalled to that his parents had gone down to their holiday home at Pawleys Island to board it up before hurricane Hugo.

After his parents had left Pawleys Island one of their friends was driving by and thought they saw Arnie’s dad, wearing all grey, out on the lookout. Once they heard Arnie’s dad had already left they realised it might have been the grey man that they saw. In the end the Love’s house was one of the few that were spared.

Another Frequent Pawleys Island visitor Melanie Moore Tanner described a similar story in a weather channel documentary. Tanner’s parents saw a a shadowy male figure dressed in all gray on the beach near their home just before hurricane Hugo. Their beloved family survived the storm which was especially luck since their insurance had lapsed just weeks beforehand.

More recently in 2018 several people reported seeing the Gray Man walking along the coast of Pawleys Island before Hurricane Florence hit. The hurricane caused $24 million in damage and caused 54 deaths.

If you’re ever out walking the beaches of Pawleys Island be wary of the Gray Man. If you see him you know its time to get out of there!

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy the story of the ghostly handprint of Francis Leavy or the legend of the Elmore Rider.

Further Reading:

The Gray Man of Pawleys Island by Sasha Yeager.

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Fleshgait: Predatory Mimic in the Woods




A fleshgait is a creature that imitates the voices and appearances of people in the woods, with the intention of luring them away. People who have seen fleshgaits describe them as tall, thin, grey beings with long claws and no hair.

Description of a Fleshgait

Imagine a mysterious creature lurking in the depths of the woods, capable of mimicking human voices and appearances. Meet the fleshgait—a cunning trickster that entices unsuspecting wanderers. Witnesses who have encountered these eerie beings describe them as towering, slender figures, draped in a shroud of grey, with razor-sharp claws and an absence of hair.

Picture this: as you venture into the wilderness, unaware of the lurking danger, the fleshgait slinks in the shadows, perfecting its masquerade. With a supernatural ability to mimic the voices of both people and animals, it skillfully mimics the ones you hold dear, beckoning you deeper into its treacherous domain.

It is widely believed that fleshgaits are dangerous towards humans and often lure them deeper into the woods in order to harm or eat them. Some people also think that fleshgaits are connected to the Missing 411 disappearances, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

The powers of fleshgaits are not fully understood because nobody has witnessed their full capabilities. Based on reports, here are the commonly agreed-upon traits:

Voice Mimicking: Fleshgaits can imitate the voices of both humans and animals. They can only mimic voices and phrases they have heard before. Their calls can be captivating and difficult to resist, even when people know the voice is not from the person they are concerned about.

Super Speed: Fleshgaits are known for their unnaturally fast movement, often disappearing quickly into the woods.

Excessive Strength: Animals found torn apart in areas where fleshgaits are sighted suggest that these creatures possess tremendous strength.

While some reports suggest that fleshgaits can change their shape, not all reports mention this ability. Reports of shape-shifting fleshgaits occur frequently enough for many people to believe in their shape-shifting abilities.

Fleshgait Sightings

The Lore Lodge covers the the legend of the Fleshgait

Angeles National Forest, California – Alex Reynolds, Sarah Mitchell, and David Thompson, had a heart-stopping encounter with a fleshgait almost ten years ago. Despite the scary moment, these brave explorers managed to come out of it without any harm.

On a sunny afternoon, specifically on July 21st, 2013, the trio set off on an exciting adventure deep into the breathtaking Angeles National Forest. Towering trees and stunning views provided the backdrop for an experience they would never forget.

As they went further into the wilderness, a strange feeling of unease settled over them. It felt like the forest was holding its breath, and they sensed something they couldn’t see. Curiosity pushed them forward, unaware of the terrifying encounter they were about to face.

In the heart of the forest, they heard a voice calling their names from all directions. Confused, they looked at each other, trying to figure out where the calls were coming from.

With fear gripping them, the hikers cautiously followed the enchanting yet unsettling voices. Suddenly, in a sunny spot, they saw the fleshgait appear. It was tall and slender, with eerie eyes that seemed to shine from another world. Its appearance matched what others had described—a tall and thin creature with pale skin that stood out against the green forest.

Surprisingly, the fleshgait showed no signs of wanting to harm them. Instead, it seemed curious and watched them with an enigmatic gaze. The hikers watched in both awe and fear, their hearts racing with a mix of emotions.

After a few intense moments, the creature vanished into the forest, disappearing quickly as if it were never there. The hikers were left bewildered but relieved that nothing bad had happened. They hurried back to civilization, eager to share their extraordinary story.

How to Know A Fleshgait is Near

Here are some signs that suggest that a Fleshgait may be nearby:

You hear someone calling your name, but it’s not the person you know. For example, a woman heard her “mother” calling for help in the woods, even though she knew her real mother was far away. Despite the strange voice, she felt a strong urge to follow it. Later, she heard chattering noises and realized something was wrong. She barely escaped.

Your group feels like it has more people than before. People often sense an “extra person” around them before a fleshgait attack.

You see claws wrapped around a tree or a very thin figure that doesn’t look human. Many people witness them with their hands wrapped around trees or standing nearby. Some even describe them as resembling the character Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

There are reports of animals being killed in unusual ways or strange disappearances happening nearby. This makes sense because fleshgaits are predators.

The forest suddenly becomes quiet and eerily still. This often means there’s a predator nearby and creates a feeling of panic in the woods.

Your “friend” starts acting strangely and doesn’t sound like themselves.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to trust your instincts and make a quick exit from the area.

How to Avoid a Fleshgait Attack

Fleshgaits are believed to be attracted to bright colors so it may be wise to wear more dull colors when adventuring in the woods.

Have you ever seen a Fleshgait? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Fleshgait you might be interested in similar creatures such as El Silbon or La Siguanaba.

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Bélmez Faces




One of the Belmez Faces.

In 1971, strange stains in the shape of human faces started appearing on the kitchen floor of a house in Bélmez de La Moraleda, a little village in Andalusia, Spain.

The Story of the Bélmez Faces

Another Belmez Face

Back in August 1971, María Gómez Cámara noticed a weird stain forming on her kitchen floor. It soon transformed into a creepy face, and to her surprise, the stain seemed to move around.

María tried to remove it, but nothing worked. Her husband and son even tried destroying it with a pick-axe and re-cementing the floor, but it came back a week later, along with more faces.

News of the “house of faces” spread quickly, attracting many curious visitors who wanted to witness this mysterious phenomenon for themselves. Parapsychology experts arrived and considered it a great mystery. They even claimed to have recorded strange voices in the house.

A local urban legend began to spread claiming that skeletons were found buried under the floor during an investigation.

Eventually, a new floor was made, and people thought the faces were gone for good. However, just two weeks later, a different face started appearing, surprising everyone once again.

By Easter of 1972, a large number of people were visiting the house to witness the faces. The Pereira family continued to claim that new faces kept appearing for the next 30 years. These faces were of both men and women, and they varied in shapes, sizes, and expressions.

Investigations into the Belmez Faces

The main researchers involved in the Bélmez case were Hans Bender and Germán de Argumosa. They worked together in Bélmez and Freiburg in the early 1970s when the alleged phenomena began. Surprisingly, neither Bender nor de Argumosa published an official report on their findings.

Bender only mentioned the case briefly in his journal, Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie. He did make some references to the case in his lectures, particularly mentioning the sealing of certain areas of the floor where faces were forming, using transparent plastic material. He stated that slight changes in the faces’ appearance during this sealed period, as documented by a notary, supported their paranormal origin.

In 2014, a TV show called Cuarto Milenio, hosted by Iker Jiménez, conducted a technical analysis to investigate the possibility of a hoax related to the Bélmez faces. The research was carried out by José Javier Gracenea, a chemical engineering doctor and general manager of Medco, along with Luis Alamancos, a forensic criminalist who served as the chairman of Gabinete Pericial Inpeval and director of the Spanish Institute of Applied Criminalistics. Alamancos was later honored with the European Police Cross of Honor.

With the permission of the house owner, Gracenea collected samples from the faces and analyzed them. His conclusion was that the images “were not created with paint” and that there was no evidence of external manipulation or added elements based on scientific knowledge and analysis techniques.

Alamancos attempted to replicate similar images using various methods that had been considered valid in previous investigations, including concrete solvents, hydrochloric acid, and silver nitrate. However, he failed to reproduce the faces and concluded that he was utterly perplexed by the phenomenon.

Skepticism about the Belmez Faces

Super Horror Bro covers the Belmez Faces

According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, the Bélmez Faces were intentionally fabricated, and he believes that the faces had a very unprofessional and amateurish appearance in their design.

Similarly, Brian Dunning from Skeptoid has written that investigations revealed the faces were actually painted onto the concrete floor, initially using paint and later with acid. Dunning also suggests that the woman residing in the house was involved in perpetrating a hoax on the public, potentially for financial gain.

In a journal article published in July 1993, Luis Ruiz-Noguez discussed the presence of three pigments commonly used in paint manufacturing: zinc, lead, and chromium. Based on this, Ruiz-Noguez suggested that the use of paint should be considered when it comes to the Bélmez faces, particularly with the suspicion of lead being involved. Here are the reasons he provided:

Lead was commonly used as a pigment for primary colors for a long time.

The analysis showed that the amount of chromium present was too low to be a likely option.

Lead tends to create dark and hard-to-see colorations, unlike chromium.

The most common and inexpensive primary colors are enamels that contain lead, which are widely used in homes because they are easy to apply.

However, Ruiz-Noguez also mentioned some objections to the hypothesis of paint being used based on the ICV (inorganic chemical values) samples. These objections include the fact that alkydalic-type enamels are not resistant to abrasion, paint leaves a visible film that is easily distinguishable from the surface it is applied on, and alkydalic enamels have low chemical tolerance to acids, alkalis, and detergents.

What do you think caused the faces to appear in Belmez? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Belmez Faces you might also be interested in other ghostly faces such as the SS Watertown Ghost Faces or faces appearing in an airplane oven on Flight 401.

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