Also, as a boy in the early 70s I remember one could spend almost an entire day walking or fishing on the ocean side of the State park's beach without seeing another soul.. As an example, a seared-in-the-memory-event was one afternoon walking out on a fifty or sixty foot narrow sand spit at low tide. After catching a sand shark, this lad become so engrossed that time slowly slipped by, until, on turning to walk back, he discovered that the tide had risen enough to cover all but several feet of that spit! It was hairy wading back to shore, let me tell you, with the briny water at first being near waist level.
Now, to set the tone for the haunted road, lets quickly look at a few interesting factoids about St. Helena's Isle: the place was officially first explored by the Spanish in the early 15th century. As time went on from there it passed back and forth between the Spaniards, French, and eventually Britain. African-Americans have long had a major presence in the area, with the ethnic Gullah group being notable. Here's the wiki link for a condensed and interesting history read of the area, including the old towns of Beaufort and Port Royal:
It was late in the season so there weren't a lot of other travelers, which meant we were pretty much alone in a room at the back of the building. This situation was ideal for meeting and making friends with the three employees. Besides great service, they kept an eye out for our room(which was nice as the motel's keys were lost or stolen the first day we were there). But the best thing of all was getting to know and talk to them. Initially, all we'd planed on doing was hitting the beach and exploring historic Beaufort. But on the morning of day two something cool and totally unexpected was relayed to me by our new pals.
As we were chatting about the area they told me there was a ghost road almost directly across from the motel. Yes! although not intending to go paranormal hunting on this trip, this was a temptation not to be missed. The road was maybe 8 or 9 miles long and was called Land's End. The haunted spots our new friends mentioned were the Chapel of Ease and a ghostly light that was around a curve somewhere past the chapel. According to the fellow on the left, the light would come up on people as it got bigger and bigger. So, no beach sand for us that afternoon, but a ride down what turned out to be a most intriguing and exceedingly old road.
Note: the digital camera that took these pics had not been updated, they were taken in 2016
This was the first ghost spot told to me and it came up on the left of the road fairly quick. Walking around it wasn't particularly anything other than interesting and mundane. Maybe the darkness of night would have changed these descriptions? There is a strange smoke or misty looking image captured at night near the vault on another person's article about this historic site.
The really interesting thing to us, was indeed, that vault. It did give off a rather weird vibe, an uncomfortable feeling in other words. Especially when I thrust forward my upper body inside it to take a few pics. More on the creepy goings-on reported over time in relation to it are in the text above the vault photo below.
The employees told us the ghost light was around a bend in the road near an old tree. Driving on down after visiting the church we never really came to a bend with any unusual tree. After returning home and researching it, the reason why became apparent. The tree is nearer the bastion and not on a curve in the road, but its branches do overhang the road.
The history of St Helena's Island goes way back and this spot is part of its legend and lore. There had been hangings on it in the past: like escaped bondspeople, and some have thought this the answer to what the Land's End light is. Others have speculated it was a Civil War soldier who died on the limb for some reason and his fluidal energy is the source of the ball of light.
The phenomena seems to start as a small ball of white light that approaches the tree all the while gaining size. Apparently electro-magnetism is involved with it for when it passes an idle auto folks' head and arm hair stands up on end. In decades past, dozens of cars would sometimes park along the road on Saturday nights to experience this, pardon the pun, literally hair-raising event.
Also, the humidity in the rooms and walkway under the gun emplacements felt low. When this military fort was made almost a hundred and twenty years ago it was built very, very solidly. It had to have been to support the four massive swivel artillery guns atop it. The bastion was surely made to last, and it most certainly has at that.