Alice Flagg was the younger sister of Dr. Allard Flagg who built the Hermitage in 1848. Staying in one of the upstairs bedrooms, Alice was a typical southern belle of that era. As she grew older, however, it became apparent that Alice was her own person and more headstrong that most women of her time. At the age of sixteen Alice met a man whom her brother and mother considered beneath them. Some say he was a turpentine salesman, others claim he was a lumberman. Whatever the case, Alice fell in love with the man.
When the man came to visit Alice one Day at the Hermitage, her brother refused to allow the man to see her. Angered by this, Alice began to sneak about to meet her love. One day, the man proposed and Alice accepted. Knowing her family would never let her keep the ring, Alice wore it on a ribbon around her neck and concealed it beneath her blouse.
Eventually her family’s attitude towards her fiancée became to much and Alice agreed to move to Charleston to attend school. Although not being around her mother and brother made it easier for Alice to relax, she was also away from her true love which broke her heart. Alice was ecstatic to to find her fiancée had made the trip for the Spring Ball and, as her mother and brother were unable to attend, spent the entire night dancing with her betrothed. It was the happiest night of her life.
The next day Alice fell ill with the fever that was ravaging the area. Dr. Flagg was notified and within four days was in Charleston with a carriage full of medicine to take his sister back to the Hermitage. Back at home, Dr. Flagg carried Alice to her room and when he was examining her, he found her ring. Furious, he ripped the ribbon from around the sick girls neck and flung the ring into the nearby creek. For the next week, which was the rest of her life, Alice begged her visitors to find her ring. When she had enough strength, she staggered about her room looking for the lost symbol of her love.
When Alice died, she was placed in a temporary grave until her mother came back from a trip to the mountains after which she was moved to the cemetery at All Saints Waccamaw Church. Her story doesn’t stop there though. It is said that her ghost wanders the halls of the Hermitage. visitors have seen her spirit in the mirror of her room and she has been known to enter and exit the house through the front door always with a hand clutching her chest as if trying to find her ring.
She is also said to be found both at her final resting place and the temporary one she was placed in while waiting for her mother. Local teens have been known to try to raise Alice Flagg by walking around her grave thirteen times and they believe that if a young girl walks around the grave nine times the ring will disappear from her ring finger.
Does the ghost of Alice Flagg haunt the places that caused her so much grief? I can’t say for sure, but there are people who believe she will continue to look for her lost ring forever.