Creepin’ out in McClellanville

Seen better times in McClellanville.

I’ve saved this story until Halloween, but I’ve thought of it several times since this past summer.  Each July, we leave our hometown of Knoxville to vacation at Pawleys Island, South Carolina, for a week.  On the way home, we take different routes home just to see more of those sweet coastal towns you read about in Southern Living.  This past summer, we passed through the charming Southern town of McClellanville, as we’ve done several times before, on our way home.

Sweet Southern home in McClellanville, SC complete with front porch, quiet grounds, and trees festooned with Spanish moss.

Sweet Southern home in McClellanville, SC complete with front porch, quiet grounds, and trees festooned with Spanish moss.

Visiting McClellanville is a trip back in time: Lovely homes with wide front porches sit underneath trees dripping with Spanish moss.  We generally park the car, walk the two or three blocks known as “downtown,” eat lunch, and then head home with our blood pressure lowered and our need for a small- town fix satisfied.

But not this time.  As we walked down the uneven sidewalk beneath draping trees, we suddenly — and I do mean suddenly — stopped dead in our tracks with this sight.  Yes, you’re seeing this correctly:  a head.  Tall as the bottom story of the house, tucked under a porch, unpainted, and apologizing to no one.

Somethin' creepy in McClellanville

Somethin’ creepy in McClellanville

I desperately wanted to go toward it to see what it was made of.  To see if it had a back.  To see if I could figure out what it was used for.  But going onto the grass might mean I was trespassing, and I was a little freaked out thinking what someone might do if that someone saw me patting down the forehead or looking behind the ears.

So, with my trusty iPhone, I moved as close as I thought the law would allow and snapped a picture as surreptitiously as possible.

A little bit closer, but only a little bit!

A little bit closer, but only a little bit!

And then both of us beat a hasty retreat to the car, only to pass this house in full decay mode.

Seen better times in McClellanville.

Seen better times in McClellanville.

I guess it’s true:  What’s real is sometimes pretty surreal.

Happy Halloween!  And beware:  a slow stroll through a cute town might actually creep you out.

— Bert and Rusha Sams

27 thoughts on “Creepin’ out in McClellanville


    Rusha, I’ve been to McClellanville and remember it well. As you may remember, we lived in Charleston, so we’ve toured the area pretty thoroughly. In fact, we camped very near here and would make our way into town each morning to sit in a delightful, southern-style swing and enjoy our coffee by the water. And BTW, I seem to remember they had a terrible hurricane there in the late 80s, and the local shelter was flooded and a number of people were killed.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. We really miss Charleston, and this reminds me of all the great little places we visited in SC. ~James

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      We, too, remember that terrible hurricane in the 80s. In fact, we drove through shortly thereafter to assess the damage, and there were still areas of flooding. It’s a quaint town, not much like its “big city” counterpart of Charleston. But trees dripping with moss are always welcome sights no matter which city/town you visit. Thanks for taking a look.

  2. Curt Mekemson

    Laughed a bit about you timidness, Rusha. I’ll bet the owners are used to people walking up to the statue to take close-ups of the head. 🙂 Glad you got as close as you did. It looks very Burning Man-ish. My son-in-law works at the Google data center in nearby Monks Corner and my son’s wife’s family lives in the town, so I have been to the area but not McClellanville. Tempting… –Curt

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      You’re right. I should have just gone up to the darned thing, put my fears aside and taken a close-up. But it did creep me out. We’ve been to Monks Corner, too, and all those small towns are worth seeing. It’s a part of Americana and Southern life you can’t get anywhere else. Traveling’s fun!

  3. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    Your post made me smile. I LOVE Pawley’s Island, and I LOVE McClellanville. I visit there a couple of times each winter, but I’ve never seen the head. But, I sure do enjoy lunch at T.W. Graham & Company Seafood Restaurant. You have wonderful taste in vacation spots. 🙂

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Anywhere near the coast is near and dear. We love small towns with personality, and McClellanville is one that we love to visit even for just a few hours. We’ve never stayed there, but I could get used the quiet!!!

  4. Lynne Liddington

    I love the picture of the house and agree with those who have commented. I could conger up a story to go with that house!

  5. Green Global Trek

    I have to say that I love that head!! Your words definitely scared me initially… as i was expecting a.. well real head and so was most relieved to see it was a beautiful sculpture. Would be very interesting to hear the back story on that one.

    Isn’t it fun finding places that have such quaint and charming homes? Except for that poor derelict and no longer loved one…


    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I guess that head really isn’t all that scary. It was just so unexpected. We’re walking down a sidewalk and all of a sudden, there it is! Could be a sculpture for something quite important. I guess I’ll never know! Thanks for taking a look.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I hadn’t even thought of that caution, but you’re so right. There are numerous books set in small towns with creepy plots and equally creepy characters. Stephen King books come to mind immediately! Wonder what he’d do with that head?

  6. dawnkinster

    I think that anyone that stored a giant head under their porch on a public street would likely not mind getting a little close up attention. Pretty cool. And I love the old falling down home too…I always wonder about the families that used to live in places like this. What they were like, what made them move away.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I agree, Sue. I’m like Dawn in the response above. I look at old houses (and barns, too) and wonder who worked and lived in those, why didn’t the relatives get it when the owner died, and why is it just left to the elements. Pretty interesting places we see as we ride through America!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Now, there’s an idea. That old head would have looked like an ornament next to the run-down house. And don’t get me wrong — McClellanville is a marvelous small town. So peaceful . . . except for the spooky stuff.

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