The first recorded sighting of the Gray Man is from the hurricane of 1822 that hit Charleston and caused over 300 deaths on the outlying islands.
October 1954 found Bill Collins and his new bride honeymooning on the island. Around 5 AM Bill heard a knock at their door. Too early to be anything unimportant, Bill answered the door. Before him stood a man in rumpled gray clothing and a gray hat which hid his features. He said that the Red Cross had sent him to tell them to leave because a big storm was coming. Bill could smell salty brine on the man’s clothing and heard the urgency in his voice. Suddenly the man in gray disappeared leaving Bill stunned and shaken. Bill and his new wife left the island and Hurricane Hazel struck soon after as a Category 4 storm. Hazel eventually killed 95 people and destroyed 15,000 homes.
September 19, 1989 residents of Pawleys Island, Clara and Jack Moore were walking along the beach. They saw a man dressed all in gray suddenly appear among the dunes. He approached them, then vanished. This was warning enough for Clara. She and Jack packed bags and fled inland. Two days later Hurricane Hugo struck the coast as a Category 4 storm killing 76 people along its path and causing $10 Billion in damage.
Often when the Gray Man is seen the homes of his audience will be left completely untouched by the storm while the neighboring homes are decimated. Is the Gray Man somehow protecting these homes? If his warnings were not heeded, would the homes and residents truly be destroyed? For people who have seen the Gray Man it is without question - he came to warn them and if they hadn’t listened their lives would’ve been taken by the storm.
Until we meet again,