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Local News

Rum Keg Girl, The Story of One of the Most Popular Grave Sites in North Carolina

Credit: iStock

Staff Writer

Along the coast of North Carolina lies one of the most well-known cemeteries in the state, The Little Girl Buried in a Rum Keg. Although the cemetery is more than three centuries old and the true identity of the little girl remains a mystery, the grave site is still a place frequented by state residents, as shown by her old wooden marker decorated with toys brought by the visitors. 

Despite the unverifiable identity of the little girl, many people are familiar with her story. According to the legend, the Rum Keg Girl grew up listening to the exciting adventure stories told by her dad, who was a ship captain. Although her mom was reluctant to allow her to travel with her dad due to the innate danger of sailing across the ocean back in those days, the little girl finally grew old enough to travel with her dad to the land where she had only heard of in stories. Her dad promised his wife to bring their daughter safely home. Unfortunately, on the way back from a wonderful trip in England, the little girl got sick and passed away before she could reunite with her mom. The tradition was for her dad, the captain of the ship, to cast her body into the ocean. To fulfill his promise to his wife, however, the captain chose to put the body of the little girl in an entire keg of rum so that the alcohol could preserve the body. When they reached home, the parents buried the keg as a whole. Clearly, people today are still moved by the story of a girl who died tragically 300 years ago. Every year, hundreds of state residents visit the wooden marker under which the keg lay.