With Halloween right around the corner I was thinking about all the customs we’ll see and the one that is used the most being the “Pirate Costume”. That brought to mind the history of pirates and Topsail Beach North Carolina. If you’ve ever visited Topsail Island you know it’s located off the coast of southeastern North Carolina and is host to the most pristine waters anywhere. The Island its self is 26 miles long and its widest point is 1500 feet. On one side of Topsail Island you have the Atlantic Ocean and on the other you have the Intracoastal Waterway. Topsail Island is rich in history and folklore from the 1700’s is where it’s said Topsail (pronounced Tops’l) originated its name. It was during that time that pirate ships roamed these coastal waters in search of ships to attack and steal from. Thus the sailors getting smart began scanning the dune lines of Topsail Island over their topsails to spot the pirate ships thus the name, Topsail.
The most notorious of these pirates is a man named ‘Blackbeard’ also known as Edward Drummond, Edward Teach and Edward Thatch. Blackbeard was said to be over six feet tall and a master of psychological warfare. He was a scary individual that had no fear said to be the devil incarnate. Not what we picture when we dress our ‘little man’ in his Halloween costume emulating this notorious pirate. An example of his wicked nature is that he would tie cannon fuses and sulfur matches in his long beard and light them! Picturing a man standing feet taller than most with fire in his beard, pistols in hand, smoke around his head would make the most skeptical person take note. This was not a pirate you’d want to meet in any waters much less right here in North Carolina.
The most interesting part of this story is that Blackbeard left his treasure at Topsail. Of course over the years many have searched extensively without luck. Many think that the treasure of Blackbeard was found already but without proof who knows. Legend has it that Topsail Island waters are still haunted by Blackbeard’s ship which is one of the many “Ghost Ships of Topsail”. Maybe he’s still waiting for some lucky treasure hunter to find the bounty? A great new addition to the island is a Pirate Ship that cruises the Island with visitors and give you a real sense of what it was like way back when Blackbeard and other pirates cruised our waters. If you’re interested in learning more visit this website and get your ticket today: http://www.belleoftopsail.com. So if you’re like me when I see the ‘little pirate at the door on Halloween my mind will automatically be transposed to a time and place called Topsail Beach North Carolina.
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