Alice Flagg's Grave – Pawleys Island, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Alice Flagg's Grave

All Saints Cemetery
Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Visitors come from all over to bring gifts and tokens to the grave of Alice, who is thought to have died of a broken heart. 


Alice Flagg was born into an upper class family along the coast of South Carolina in the early 19th century. Her story is an age-old tale of heartbreak—she was in love with a young man who was in a social class unsuitable for her to marry into.

Her disapproving brother, a doctor, demanded she end the romance at once, never to see the young man again. Alice defied her brother and she and the young man continued to see each other, eventually becoming betrothed.

Alice hid the engagement by wearing the ring on a ribbon around her neck, but her secret love was discovered and she was sent to a boarding school in Charleston to separate her from her intended. Alice became very ill, likely with malaria, and was rushed back home to her family who worriedly tended to her. As she lay in her sickbed her brother discovered the ring around her neck, ripped it off, and threw it away. A distraught Alice grew delirious with sickness, compounded by her sorrow that the ring and her beloved were taken from her. She spent her last days begging everyone she saw to find the ring for her, but her wish was never granted. Alice became hopelessly worn from her sickness, and soon died.

Alice was dressed in a favorite white dress and buried in the Flagg family plot at All Saints Cemetery near Pawleys Island. A plain marble slab bearing just her first name was placed over her grave.

Enthusiastic spirit spotters insist Alice’s specter can be seen in the front door of the Flagg home, the Hermitage, as she moves silently up the staircase to her bedroom. Others claim she can be seen in the graveyard at All Saints Church, but wherever she appears she always seems to be searching for something with her hand on her chest.

Whether they believe the ghost stories or simply feel sympathy for poor Alice, visitors often bring flowers and small tokens of remembrance to her grave. The believers bring gifts in the hopes of contacting Alice and calming her heartsick soul; others just come to see the painfully simple gravestone to make a wish. Superstition says if you start at the right bottom of her gravestone and walk around it six times counterclockwise and then six times clockwise stopping at the letter “A” on her marker, you can place a token of recognition upon the resting place, make a wish, and it will be granted. 

Know Before You Go

Located in the cemetery at All Saints Church.

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