Category Archives: Curses

Ghost Stories – Parris Island

Title: Ghost Stories – Parris Island

Informant info: Graham “Ossie” Osborn. Informant attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH as a United States Marine Corps Veteran. Informant was a member of the First Reconnaissance Battalion.

Type of lore: Customary/Verbal, Tradition, Ritual, Superstition, Myths

Language: English

Country of Origin: USA

Social / Cultural Context: Informant was interviewed at Dartmouth College. Informant was asked about his ghost stories during training and overseas. He discussed his time on Parris Island training to be a Marine and some of the ghost stories related to that.  Parris Island is located in Port Royal, South Carolina.

Associated file:

Transcript: Item: [I have recorded the item exactly how it was told to me in the interview]: Funny enough, there was a ghost story at Parris Island. I was a first recruit training battalion and right out the battalion, you’d look over and it was just a marsh that looked like a coastal undeveloped area, a swampy marsh. There was a story back in the day where when recruits were allowed to smoke during training, someone claimed to be on a smoke break and actually tried to run away through the marshes, but didn’t make it back, but the people that were on fire watch had to wakeup the whole platoon so everyone that was on fire watch and one of the drill instructors marched them out to the marsh just trying to haze them a bit. But apparently six or seven of them drowned and this is right outside where our barracks were for those 3 months and there was always stories over looking over the marsh at night, especially when on fire watch, that you would see moonbeams, what we called flashlights, the same way we call pens, ink sticks, turning on in the middle of the march. I never saw it, but people did claim they did when they were on fire watch. It was kind of an intimidating thing, so I am sure it was just them seeing things.


Informant’s comments: Parris Island has a lot of history and folklore associated with it over the decades of people that have trained to be Marines there.

Collector’s comments:  Ossie didn’t seem to appear that the ghost stories phased him in the slightest.