Legends of the Outer Banks by Charles WhedbeeI'm a fan of local folklore and had read a previous volume by this author. This volume has more of the same. The stories range from pre-revolutionary era to mid-twentieth century. Some of the stories are about supernatural or seemingly supernatural events. One Outer Banker had a horse race with the Devil, leaving indelible hoofprints that have lasted two hundred years. A kooky old woman (everyone called her a witch) had power over the wind, causing trouble for the local fishermen. A pale dolphin used to lead ships safely through the narrow shoals of the inlets. Other stories are merely fantastic, like a new-built church that floated to a new piece of land or a batch of Prohibition-era whiskey that was tossed overboard when the smugglers thought the Feds were on the way (the beachcombers had a big party that day!). A few pirate stories are included too.
The author has a nice, informal style that makes each story come alive. He has also explored the Outer Banks, discovering some of the strange spots (like the hoofprints) for himself. The book is an enjoyable, quick read.
Sample quote, because I thought this was an awesome story...
One of the proudest traditions of the area is the reply that a grizzled Coast Guard captain gave to a young recruit who asked fearfully whether the boat crew could expect to return alive if they put out through the raging sea on the rescue mission to which they had been called. "Son," replied the Skipper, "there is nothing in the manual that says we have to return. It only says we have to go." [p. 159]