The Outer Banks is an area rich in historical significance, including the site of the first English settlement and Lost Colony on Roanoke Island and the Wright Brother’s first manned air flight in Kill Devil Hills. But, there is another part of Outer Banks history that is a bit darker and wilder. While staying at your Outer Banks rental, you will notice a prevalent pirate culture in our area. It’s a tradition celebrated by restaurants, shops, festivals and recreational events. How did this pirate obsession evolve? It all began with one of the most terrifying buccaneers of his time, the pirate Blackbeard.
With its shallow inlets, the Outer Banks became a popular place for pirates during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Blackbeard resided in Bath, North Carolina, and he spent much of his time plundering and pillaging ships off the coasts of the Outer Banks. Blackbeard, was considered highly immoral, yet proved to be an interesting character whose legacy has remained intact for centuries. He was born around 1680 in Bristol, and his real name is Edward Teach. All that is known about his early years is that he served as a privateer in Queen Anne’s Navy during the War of the Spanish Succession.
In 1716, Teach joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, who was one of the most notorious pirates of his day. When they captured a French slave ship the following year, he became the captain of the stolen vessel and renamed the ship “Queen Anne’s Revenge.” After fully arming his ship, Teach spent the following months raiding ships up and down the eastern coast of North America.
With several months spent at sea, he grew a long black beard that covered most of his face earned him his nickname. For a chilling effect, Blackbeard would tie hemp to the ends of his beard and under the edges of his captain’s hat so that smoke would theatrically billow out around his face. He was also known to wear a crimson blood colored coat and always carried two swords on his waist and several pistols and knives in his pockets. It was this image that struck terror into the hearts of those he encountered.
This vicious pirate was known to hide in the inlets of the Outer Banks to attack unsuspecting ships. Because of Blackbeard, the waters surrounding the Outer Banks have been nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
While enjoying your Carolina Designs Outer Banks rental, you can experience more pirate-themed adventures by dining at Pamlico Jack’s Pirate Hideaway Restaurant in Nags Head. If travelling with children, the entire family will enjoy the pirate adventure of a lifetime at Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks. And, pirate lore trinkets and paraphernalia, can be purchased at Teach’s Hole and will make the perfect unique gifts for family and friends.