Myrtle Beach Myths
Pirates and ghosts, shipwrecks and spies
Visitors can learn a lot about the history of Myrtle Beach by simply learning about the vast array of Myrtle Beach Myths that are abundant along the Grand Strand.
Mark Twain called them stretchers. Will Rogers called them whoppers. In Myrtle Beach people simply accept as elements of everyday life that Elvis performs nightly, medieval knights joust in fearsome tournaments and enormous pirate ships clash over lost treasure.
In such a fabled land it’s easy to understand how local stories can grow to oversized proportions, and how oral histories that have been passed down through the generations can shed themselves of any factual content that may or may not have existed. These are tall tales that originated at dinner tables and on front porches – shaky beginnings at best, even before multiple re-tellings took their toll. Some of these stories date back to World War II, the Civil War, of the shipwrecks of centuries ago. And every region seems to have their own unique yarns to spin, from North Myrtle Beach to Georgetown County to the heart of Myrtle Beach.
Oral history is not written down for a very good reason, or maybe it’s at least two good reasons. For one, people hate to take responsibility for such stretcher-whoppers and, for another, everyone has heard at least two variations on the theme. Even the children can see the difference between recorded history and the kind of stories, real or imagined, that make for much more gripping tales.
There’s always a small grain of truth somewhere down at the base of any tall tale. As you go through these stories, maybe you can find it.