Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Hermitage’s Alice Flagg

The Hermitage
This ghost story like many is about a forbidden love.

A New Home

Dr. Allard Flagg in the late The 1840s moved into his new home--The Hermitage--located on Murrell’s Inlet in South Carolina.

Dr. Allard and his brother Dr. Arthur quickly became affluent members of the Lowcountry. Both men started to court two wealthy sisters.

Allard's mother and his 16-year old sister, Alice Flagg came to live with him.

Alice was a pretty girl with long thick auburn hair. Her dark brown eyes sparkled when she talked. She quickly fell in love with Murrell’s Inlet.

On a shopping trip to town Alice met a young lumberman. The two met several more times and fell in love.

But when this young man came to The Hermitage to court Alice Dr. Allard met him in the garden. Deeming him to be of low station the doctor immediately sent him away.

Her mother agreed that the young man was an inappropriate match for her daughter.

Alice hearing her young man was sent away was angered. Her brother and mother insisted she not see him again.

Alice Flagg 1834-1849
Alice defying their wishes began to meet her lover in secret. The two became engaged.

Alice fought with her family over what she perceived as their tyrannical stance but they would not budge.

Dr. Flagg seeing a plain gold ring on her finger now demanded that she return the ring and forget about this young man.

Alice instead tied the ring to a ribbon and wore it concealed around her neck.

A Change of Scenery

Dr. Allard sent Alice to live in Charleston in a boarding school. It was his wish his sister find a suitor with the proper social standing.

Alice hated Charleston with its pretentious society, she continued to wear her lovers’ ring around her neck.

Although she missed Murrell’s Inlet, she finally adjusted to her new circumstances. But she still grieved for her lost love.

Within months she fell ill with malaria. Her brother was sent for. He despite her delirious state placed her in a carriage and quickly took her home.

By the following morning Alice’s condition had worsened. She desperately clutched at the ring that hung around her neck.

Sadly, she did not survive the morning. Her family had her dressed in a favorite long white dress. When the ring was discovered it was thrown into a nearby marsh.

Alice was buried in All Saints Cemetery near Pawley’s Island. A plain marble slab marks her grave--one word is simply engraved on it--Alice.

Haunted Hermitage and Grave

Since her death, many have claimed to see Alice’s ghost. She is seen wearing the long white dress she was buried in.

She has been spotted walking through the entrance door to The Hermitage and she is also seen wondering around the All Saints Cemetery.

Witnesses state she clutches at something on her chest. Many believe she is looking for her lost ring.

One group of young people standing near Alice’s grave experienced this haunting first hand. One of the girls' ring suddenly flew off her hands--which shock everyone.

To add to this mystery, this ring had been stuck on her finger for some time because of a weight gain.

The group spent hours looking for it before they finally found it.

Every year many tourists visit her grave and The Hermitage. They follow a ritualistic tradition--they bring flowers and small tokens in hopes of helping Alice forget her broken heart.

There are several versions of this story told in other parts of the U.S. They all reflect the region they are told in.

The Hermitage today.

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