The Land’s End Light of Beaufort County

spook light lands end

Frogmore, South Carolina is home to the Land’s End Light, a mysterious, glowing orb that has frightened residents for generations. Here’s the story behind this infamous illumination.

The Land’s End Light
The Land’s End Light, sometimes called the Frogmore Light, is a yellowish orb that appears on a 2.8-mile stretch of Land’s End Road (a few miles from the Chapel of Ease). According to reports, the light usually appears at a distance before zooming up to onlookers and abruptly winking out. In some accounts, the light hovers next to cars or chases vehicles down the road. The Beaufort County Library reports that at least two motorists have died while chasing (or fleeing?) the mysterious orb.

In an article on SCIWAY, Beaufort-area native Barry Gooch describes his encounter with the Land’s End Light:

“When we saw the car approaching from the distance we were certain it really was just another car, probably coming to join us. As we watched in amazement, it came toward us much too fast, and then seemed to slow to an almost imperceptible pace. Transfixed by what we were witnessing, the car headlights transformed into an ethereal ball of soft white light that slowly drifted in our direction until it hovered over the right front fender of my Chevy. ‘Scared’ was not the appropriate way to describe my mental state as I prayed my old Chevy would crank. When the starter caught, that ghostly ball of light disappeared into nothingness faster than the tires on my old Chevy would spin.”

Here’s a video of the infamous Land’s End Light

The Legends of Land’s End Light
As with many light anomalies, a.k.a. spook lights, the Land’s End Light is reportedly supernatural in origin. However, no one’s quite sure which ghost is responsible for the erratic orb. Here are a few theories:

  • In 1861, invading Union forces decapitated a Confederate soldier on patrol (though another tale claims a Union soldier died). The headless man now wanders Land’s End Road, an old iron lantern in his hand.
  • The light is the ghost of a slave hanged on the island or that of a heartbroken man who was sold away from his wife and now searches for her along the highway.
  • A school bus full of children (or a regular passenger bus) careened off the road and into an oak tree. Several people died in the collision, and the Land’s End Light is a headlight from the ghostly bus.
  • In 1910, a soldier stationed at Fort Fremont died after a fight with island residents. The man, Private Frank Quigley, now haunts the site of the deadly altercation.

Fort Fremont
Last week, I visited Fort Fremont with my husband and two kids. The abandoned fort is at the end of Land’s End Road, though I didn’t know about the light during our visit. Here are a few photos from our trip. See any headless soldiers lurking in the brush? 🙂

fort fremont beaufort county

2013-04-21 02.33.07


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10 thoughts on “The Land’s End Light of Beaufort County

  1. Pingback: Tonight on “Nova X”: Tales of Haunted Dolls, American Spooklights, UFOs, and More | Ghosts and Ghouls

  2. This is clearly Will-O’-the-Wisp activity so it may not be one, but many of them and those that actually led to people’s deaths may either have been Trickster spirits who took the joke too by accident or perhaps even evil spirits purposely getting people killed.
    Either way I’d be surprised if it was just one.

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  4. This light is absolutely real. It cannot be faked. I do not know what exactly it is; but it comes out from a distance. It is small at first, but as it gets closer to your car it slows down, and grows to about the size of a basketball. It hovers for a while, and then goes away.

  5. When I lived there we called it the Frogmore Light. My buddy and his wife lived on a houseboat at the end of Land’s End Road and I visited him often (Pete? You still alive, son?). Actually walked Lands End Road thru the graveyard at night once after my motorcycle got a flat tire. Never once saw the Light, altho everybody talked about it back then in the 1960s and ’70s and we parked for hours watching for it. (It was as good an excuse as any to park with your girlfriend, and they always came with you believing they were going to see something. They did, but not the light).
    There were also stories about the old nearby church which collapsed during a hurricane on 22Feb1848 (1748?), killing about 100 locals who had run there for shelter. The churchyard was full of graves with the same date of death on each headstone.

    • Where was this graveyard on Lands End Road? Not familiar with any other than the Chapel of Ease tomb…. I’d love to explore!

  6. During my high school days in Beaufort in the early 1960’s there were a number of stories floating around about various parking spots (One that I think was popular in many areas around the US was the old “hook in the car door handle” tale). Lands End Road was not a parking spot, however. It way way too far from town.
    Several friends and I decided we would give the story of the Lands End Light some new life. We circulated the tale that we had seen the light with coming home from Jones Brothers tomato packing house early one morning. Many of us worked there during the early summer each year to make a little money (75 cents to a dollar an hour, in case you are interested). Anyway, after telling a number of people who we thought were gullible enough to maybe believe it, we drove down Lands End Road with the car lights off on several dimly lit moonlight nights and they would let me out with a kerosene lantern and continue well down the road. When I saw another car approaching after an extended time (there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic on this road in those days), I lit the lantern in the woods off the edge of the road and walked slowly back and forth across the road, lifting and lowering the lantern and then put it out and hid in the woods before the approaching car got closer that a mile or so.
    There were no houses along this stretch of road so it was obvious that the light was unusual. After a couple of vehicles got this treatment each night my friends would return to pick me up using a predetermined series of headlight flashes, so I would know it was them so I could step in the road to be picked up.
    I believe this went on until the third night when I was crossing the road doing my act for a car that had stopped a couple of miles back toward Frogmore. They had turned their lights off to look, or so I thought. After a minute or less, I heard a bullet whistle past me and then the crack of a rifle shot. (Bullets generally travel faster than the speed of sound). Needless to say, the lantern was quickly extinguished and that party was over. A while later my friends my friends picked me up after the other car or truck left.
    I really had not thought of someone shooting at me, but this was just added to the long list of activities we were involved in that make me wonder in retrospect how I have lived as long as I have.

    As a comment on the post by Anonymous above, sorry, but no hurricanes in February. As for the probable year, a terrible flood occurred with a hurricane in Beaufort County in 1893. I knew several people who were alive when that storm occurred. Although the official records do not record it, old timers in my youth said that around 3,000 perished on the outlying islands, mainly freed slaves and their descendants, who were sadly not counted as being worth much as humans at the time. Although rare, it was not unusual to find skulls and skeletons in the woods on the islands that were likely victims of the ’93 storm.
    It is important to realize that there were no weather satellites or hurricane hunter planes or radio then. The only indication of an impending hurricane was an extreme drop in barometric pressure. By the time that occurred, there was not much time to respond or to warn others in outlying areas who could not afford the luxury of a barometer.

    • Interesting. Thanks for sharing! I have a feeling a lot of the ‘spook light’ stories are due to mischievous youths. 🙂

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