Most Haunted Beaches Part 1
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  • Press: Shark Magazine
  • Date: Friday, 30 September 2016

We all know there are plenty of things to be afraid of in the ocean: jellyfish, shark bites, barracuda attacks, and even drowning--but what about when the terror of the tides has a more paranormal leaning? What if it's not what's living in the depths you need to be afraid of, but what's lurking on the beach? With the haunting season upon us, the editors of Shark Magazine combed the Internet for some of the scariest legends from haunted beaches around the world. From ghost ships to phantom swimmers, these stories will make you glad it's too cold for a swim.

1. Dumas Beach, India

Located in the Surat city of Gujarat, this beach has been the object of speculation, urban legends, and rumors for decades. There are four different beaches, but locals don't distinguish which has the most activity. The legends tell that these beaches have been used as burial grounds for Hindus, making them rife with wandering spirits. Visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices, whispers on the wind, being touched by unseen hands, and feeling watched while walking on the sands. There have been disappearances, some with normal explanations, and others are still a mystery. Visitors who have spent the night on the beach have reported hearing footsteps surrounding their tent, but not finding any footprints. Additionally, some people have spotted a man dressed in red walking from the ocean and vanishing once he hits the sand. No matter if it's urban legend or actual lore, the stories are enough to make me pick another vacation destination!

2. Higbee Beach, Cape May

There have been reports of strange sightings, otherworldly phenomena, and ghostly apparitions in this picturesque New Jersey seaside for decades. Cape May is the oldest seaside town in North America, and although it's beautiful with it's Victorian houses and sparkling water, the town has a dark, violent history. Plagues by privateers and wreckers searching for land, many were slain at the hands of greedy interlopers. Natural disasters like fires and floods caused devastation, with the Civil War and Prohibition bringing even more strife. With the history of the land, it would be more surprising if the town DIDN'T have a few spirits. One of the most popular stories is of a long deceased sea captain, standing at the top of the tunes, keeping an eternal watch from the afterlife. Another legend places a black dog, perhaps a hound of hell, all over the sands, appearing long enough to frighten beach goers and vanishing into nothing. His growls carry on the chilled cove air, making visitors wonder if it was just their imagination after all. The hound is often seen accompanied by a cloaked figure, who some believe is a guard to the underworld. All we know is that he definitely isn't a swimmer!

3. Swan's Island, Maine

As well as being the home of horror legend Stephen King, this tiny island off the coast of Maine is said to be haunted by several spirits. The first is the ghost of a mother, mourning the death of her infant. People have seen her standing at the shore with her child in her arms, crying and looking for help. But when they approach her, she vanishes. There are reports of hearing a baby cry, particularly at sundown, when no children are present. Others report seeing fiery orbs lingering over the sands, sometimes with human-looking faces at their centers, but always vanishing before anyone can confirm. While orbs are usually an explainable occurrence, those who have seen them say they come with a feeling of dread, as though something terrible is about to happen.

4. Half Moon Bay, California

This idyllic beach town has more than it's fair share of ghostly legends. From a woman in white wandering up and down the highway, to a tall, shadowy man in black stalking up and down the main drag, Half Moon Bay is a beach that bites back. One of the most notable locations is the Zaballa House, a quaint inn in the center of town. Guests report hearing voices in unoccupied rooms, having their blankets snatched from their beds in the middle of the night, mysterious scents of a woman's perfume, and eerie footsteps outside doors. While reports on the Zaballa House's website claim thin walls are to blame, the number of reports are staggering. There's no agreed upon legend from which these mysterious happenings spring, but visitors of Half Moon Bay are definitely experiencing something unexplained.

5. Jacksonville Beach Life Guard Station, Florida

Like most of the Sunshine State's historic coast, this building dates back to the war. Before it was primarily a lifeguard station, this building was used to care for anyone injured in an ocean accident--but it's rumored to be haunted by a victim who didn't survive. Known as "Todd," it's believed that the male apparition drowned while saving a young woman who had been swept out to sea. Employees and visitors of the unassuming lifeguard station have reported seeing a young, athletic man in blue shorts, but none of the station workers fit his description. Maybe he's hanging around, waiting to help other swimmers...

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