As with many states, North Carolina is rich with history, folklore, and urban legends. Since I am a longtime resident of Eastern North Carolina (all of my life), you would have thought I would have heard this story. However, it has been only recently that I discovered this eerie tale of a love that never would be and the senseless murder of a young man. The biggest surprise was yet to come. It seems this haunted location is less than ten miles from my home.
The story begins sometime in the early 1900’s. A young man rode his horse from Greenville to Pactolus. Pactolus is a small community east of Greenville. At this time, there was a train station in existence in the Pactolus community. The purpose of this trip was to surprise the young man’s fiancée by meeting her train. Unfortunately, the train was extremely late this particular evening and the young man was soon alone in the dark. Of course, he really was not alone. His horse was very impressive and caught the attention of three men who were walking along the train tracks. They decided that this was a perfect opportunity to catch a ride rather than walk to their destination. The three men hid in the brush surrounding the train station and as the young man rode by, he was ambushed and killed. The three men hid his body in the thickness of the woods. However, the horse was frightened away and returned to Greenville two days later. The family feared the worse after the horse returned without his rider. They searched the train station and the surrounding area only to find nothing.
The young man’s ghost is seen walking beside the train tracks. The form he takes is a single light floating beside the tracks. Sometimes the light floats at waist level (as if he is walking beside his horse) and other times the light floats above the head (as if he is riding his horse). The young man uses the light to let his fiancee know that he was there to meet her.
The tracks have long been removed and all that remains now is a path. The land is now privately owned. Those who go to the area are promptly chased away. This proves the point to always get permission first and limit your party time to private places.
There are still many unanswered questions surrounding this story. I would like to know the young man’s name and what happened to his body? Seven will be attempting to get permission from the current owners to conduct an official investigation. The investigation will be to determine if the light is still active and perform the research needed to answer the questions that have remained open for so long.