BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — There once was a family with the last name Sloo in the 18th century.
The family traveled by ship from England when their firstborn, a daughter, was only a baby. They settled in Beaufort and built a grand house, which still stands to this day. The father was a merchant captain, who sailed across the English colonies and traded wares.
One day, the daughter asked her parents if she could journey with her father to her homeland that she so often heard her parents speak of. The mother and father would tell her no for a few years until they finally agreed.
Both of her parents knew it would be a rough journey to England from the colonies. Her mother gave her permission on one condition, that her daughter would be returned to their home in Beaufort.
Father and daughter Sloo made it to London, where the daughter took in all the sights of old Europe.
Finally, it was time to leave and return home. To the father’s despair, his daughter fell sick and eventually passed. In this time period, when someone died during a voyage at sea, they would be tossed overboard and buried beneath the waves.
Father Sloo remembered his promise to his wife, to bring their daughter back. So, the father placed his daughter in the only thing that would preserve her body, a rum keg.
When he returned home, he told his wife the news, and she was distraught. To not further upset her with how their daughter looked, the father arranged for his daughter to be buried within the rum keg.
The Rum Girl’s keg is buried within The Old Burying Grounds, a cemetery on Ann Street in Beaufort. Her grave is titled, “Little Girl Buried in a Keg of Rum.” Visitors to this day will leave gifts at her gravesite.
There are many accounts of the little girl’s ghost running in between the graves at night, her gifts scattered.