Friday, October 30, 2015


Halloween on Ocracoke kicks off with a parade of costumes around the school circle during the school's annual celebration. This photo was taken last week. Elementary students and teen-agers enjoyed dressing up for the day.

This year's celebration also included a hay ride and ghost stories (my daughter Amy, Heather Johnson, and I kept the children on the edge of their hay bales!), as well as games, horse rides, and a climbing wall. Trick or Treating will be Saturday, October 31.

To coincide with Halloween this year, today begins the annual Pirate Jamboree. This is always a rollicking good time for young and old. Hope to see you there. I am hoping to post photos of the 2015 Jamboree next week.

Update, 11/4/15: I am posting several more Ocracoke Halloween photos sent to me by Sally Beachy.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Wreck of the Banana Boat. You can read it here:


  1. Here's a ghost "pome" for you based on Scottish legend...

    Sawney Bean - by me, (Robert Foster)

    An evening ride down Glendoune street
    We came to Shallochpark
    "Let's run to Ballantrae, my dear"
    I proffered on a lark

    So on this Hallows Eve we left
    The comforts of our Girvan
    And rushed like thieves along the coast
    To ditch all that was urban

    Crossing over Myoch Burn
    The sun slipped from our sights
    Warning me, of tales of old
    I shivered from old fright

    I laughed it off, inside my head
    Despite my childhood beg
    And fading, now, to leaden mist
    The loss of Ailsa Craig

    As fate would have when shadows fall
    On such a minor trip
    My car it shuddered once, then stopped
    At that, I nearly flipped

    Where we were, along this route
    There lives an ancient curse
    One from which there's no last ride
    Inside a sullen hearse

    In day, they secreted away
    Inside a barren cave
    And when the veil of darkness fell
    They'd start their wicked rave

    These wretched fiends whose heinous acts
    Too numerous and mean
    And how he wandered on these shores
    This hellish Sawney Bean

    The tale as told, when I was young
    Of evil acts men do
    This husband, wife and family
    Would cook you into stew!

    Of all the nights I chose to drive
    I picked, this Halloween
    What should've been a lonesome night
    We searched for Sawney Bean

    Coasting left and looking right
    Along this empty path
    I wondered who might come along
    To save us from his wrath

    It's funny how the smallest sound
    Can make you jerk your head
    I swear I heard a voice, it spoke,
    "I'd like to see you dead"

    Heaven smiled a smile that night
    My car began to run
    So off we went along our way
    I shot off like a gun!

    The heavens opened up it seems
    To wash these urchins clean
    I'll swear upon my lonely grave
    I spotted Sawney Bean!

    So weary travelers on your way
    Please heed these words I send
    Take Mains Road, the longer way...
    There's evil 'round the bend!

  2. Anonymous9:46 AM

    In my town the thrift stores are very popular the days prior to Halloween. Are there church clothes closets/thrift stores on the OI? Where would a teen go seeking inexpensive items to pull together a Halloween look? I enjoy visiting the thrift stores of small communities. One sees a cross section of the town from the shoppers, the volunteers, to the selection of items on the shelves and racks. Plus if you purchase an item you are investing and rewarding the efforts of a faith based institution.

    1. We do have a thrift store on the island. It is located behind the Coffee Shop on the Back Road. They had special discounts for Halloween. It is a non-profit that has been a major funding source for the Ocracoke Youth Center. The OYC has provided activities and services for island youth and families since 1995.

  3. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Oh, wonderful poem! Thank you Robb Foster.

    1. Yes, Robb...thanks for the delightful poem. I, for one, had not heard of Sawney Bean. What a story!

    2. Thank you! I published a book of my "pomes" and it's now available on Amazon; Lyrics and Poems From the Shenandoah. It features quite a few about Ocracoke as well, but I chose that name since most all of them were written here in the Shenandoah

    3. There is questions about whether or not Sawney Bean existed, but it was an interesting story to hear when we were traveling from Girvan to Ballantrae when we were in Scotland...

  4. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Loved walking around the village this weekend. Just curious, what is the oldest home/building on Ocracoke?

    1. As far as I know, the oldest buildings are the lighthouse and keeper's quarters, built 1823. The Soundfront Inn (it is now a rental home) may be the next oldest. I think it was built around 1838.

  5. I think the best part of Halloween is the little ones who aren't quite sure about the whole "scene". This year, I didn't have a show, so I went over to my brother and sister-in-law's with the "grands" and watched them as well as hand out candy. Nothing cuter!