- USC Digital Folklore Archives - http://folklore.usc.edu -

Pirate Bay

Posted By William Hiller On May 16, 2012 @ 6:49 am In Folk Beliefs,Legends,Narrative,Proverbs | Comments Disabled

The informant for this piece of folklore was my friend’s grandfather.  As a boy, he would tell me stories and I would listen intently as they were like adventures I could later relive as I played with my friends in the backyard.  One story I remember in particular was how a North Carolina beach came to be called Nag’s Head.  My friend’s grandfather would go into great detail about how pirates would tie a lantern to a horse’s neck and walk it up and down the beach.  Boats and ships out at sea would think there was a harbor there because of the light.  Ships would then try to dock, only to find that it was a trick and the pirates would rob them clean.

When I asked my informant about the story, he said that the town was named Nag’s Head because “Nag” was a name for a horse.  It could also be that wild horses still roam the beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina so they were probably there when the town was founded as well.  My informant also said that the term “Nag” could have to do with how the pirates tricked the people at sea to come to them and then they snagged their goods and gold.  As I child, I appreciated the fun story and enjoyed hearing it over and over again.  As an adult, I’m intrigued in the piece of local history and folklore.


Article printed from USC Digital Folklore Archives: http://folklore.usc.edu

URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=10856