In This Section

CCU professor to give talk on Gullah ghosts

March 4, 2010

Veronica Gerald, assistant professor of English at Coastal Carolina University, will give a talk titled I See Dead People: Hags, Hants and Plat-eyes in the Waccamaw Neck at 7 p.m. on March 10 in the Waccamaw Higher Education Center in Litchfield. The event is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of the Culture and Crisis community dialogue series led by University faculty. The series is sponsored annually by the Board of Visitors of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

If asked about the ghosts along the Waccamaw Neck most people will tell of the Grey Man of Pawleys Island and Alice of Murrells Inlet, says Gerald, a scholar of Gullah history and culture. Little is usually said about the plat-eye, the malevolent who crossed the Atlantic with the Africans; hags, living women with the supernatural ability to shed their skins and travel to their victims; or hants, uneasy spirits who cannot cross over to the other side. Belief in these entities crosses economic and class lines. Gerald will discuss the origins, history, stories and presence of the plat-eye, hants and hags and their impact on those who believe.

Gerald is a Gullah Geechee Heritage Commissioner and author of The Ultimate Gullah Cookbook. She was born in Mullins, a descendant of African slaves brought to the Brookgreen and Longwood rice plantations in Georgetown County from the grain coast of West Africa in the 17th century.

Gerald was educated in the Horry County School system, at the University of Maryland, Atlanta and Emory Universities. She has received numerous awards including the S.C. Governors Award in Humanities, the Distinguished Teaching Award at CCU and the Jean Laney Folk Heritage Award.

For more information, contact Sherry Crawford at 843-349-2421.