The Pactolus Light

I was discussing some stuff with some old East Carolina buds yesterday, and an old local legend came up, the Pactolus Light. I’d heard about it before, but had never been out that way. So, I went and tracked down some info on this myth (or is it?)

Image hosting by Photobucket Sometime in the early 1900’s a young man from Greenville rode his horse out past Pactolus to meet the train his fiancee’ had taken down from Richmond; they had met and fallen in love while she was a student at the teacher training school in Greenville (that is today, of course, East Carolina University).

Unfortunately, the train was much later than expected, and he found himself out at dusk in unfamiliar countryside. He realized that soon enough it would be dark, and the young woman in question wouldn’t even know he had ridden out to meet her train. But his horse had drawn the attention of some ne’er do wells who were walking down the tracks that night, and they saw an opportunity to get a quick ride.

Hiding near the side of the tracks, they ambushed the young man as he rode past, killed him and stuffed his body in the thick undergrowth. But they spooked the horse in the process, and the animal showed up back in Greenville a few days later, exhausted and riderless.

The family had already realized that something was amiss, and now the horse confirmed their worst fears, but a search of the terrain turned up nothing. Today, they say you’ll see a light out where the tracks used to run to Pactolus, the light of the murdered young man trying to show his true love that he had, indeed, been there to meet her train.

I’ve know some people who state that they have seen the Pactolus Light, but, I and my other mates usually just chalked it up to to much Mezcal. Got that little worm in there, ye know. But, who knows? There is more on Heaven and Earth then we can understand.

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4 Responses to “The Pactolus Light”

  1. Ron Hudson says:

    Hey William!

    I thought that I had learned of all of NC’s ghost stories as a kid, but this is a new one for me. When I was young, the Roberts book of Ghosts of North Carolina was always checked out from our school library.

    I have personally seen the Maco light on two different occasions, but it no longer appears and the tracks have been taken up. There is also the Mintz light in western Sampson County and the Brown Mountain Lights up near Boone. I have not witnessed either of them.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.


  2. Jay says:

    Great site, I added you to my blogroll!

  3. Ron: I have read that book alot, myself. I have seen some weird stuff, myself. There is a tiny legend of a creature living in the DOT lakes in Grimesland, like a miniature Loch Ness Monster. Without sounding crazy, I have seen it. Damn sure wasn’t a bird or snake. This pale yellow head and neck stickign about a foot and a half off the water, moving like a big S. Strange.

    Jay. Got ya on mine, too. Thanks for the kidn words.

  4. I have caught the pactolus light on video… no bs!

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