Haunted Cotton Exchange

Haunted Cotton ExchangeTour

by Tour Old Wilmington

Visit the historic and haunted Cotton Exchange one of the most haunted locations in

Wilmington NC.

Hear one of the best story tellers in town.

Tours Daily, Call for tour times!

910 409 4300

Adults, (13 & up) $12

Kids (ages 5 to 12) $5

Single Travelers $25

Dogs free

Group rates available

Bus Step On Guide Service for Wilmington and surrounding beaches.

By Tour Old Wilmington


5 Star Story Teller!

Scary, creepy and mostly ghostly tales!

Chills and Thrills await you at the one of the most historic & haunted locations in Wilmington

Locally owned and operated since 2009

Group and Private Tours available, call for rates

Have your i phone ready!

Things are happening everyday!

Paddies Hollow Ghost

Paddies Hollow Ghost
Taken by Lori Erwin 2004

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Review Haunted Cotton Exchange Tours

Maco Light

On a night in 1867, at the small Brunswick County station of Maco fifteen miles west of Wilmington, a slow freight train was puffing down the track.  In the caboose was Joe Baldwin, the flagman.  A jerking noise startled him, and he was aware that his caboose had become uncoupled from the rest of the train, which went heedlessly on its way.  As the caboose slackened speed, Joe looked up and saw the beaming light of a fast passenger train bearing down upon him.  Grabbing his lantern, he waved it frantically to warn the oncoming engineer of the imminent danger.  It was too late.   At a trestle over the swamp, the passenger train plowed into the caboose.  Joe was decapitated:  his head flew into the swamp on one side of the track, his lantern on the other.  It was days before the destruction caused by the wreck was cleared away.  And when Joe's head could not be found, his body was buried without it.
Thereafter on misty nights, Joe's headless ghost appeared at Maco, a lantern in its hand.  Anyone standing at the trestle first saw an indistinct flicker moving up and down, back and forth.  Then the beam swiftly moved forward, growing brighter and brighter as it neared the trestle.  About fifty feet away it burst into a brilliant, burning radiance.  After that, it dimmed, backed away down the track, and disappeared.

It was Joe with his lantern, of course.  But what was he doing?   Was he looking for his head?  Or was he trying to signal an approaching train?

In 1889 President Grover Cleveland, on a political campaign, saw the mysterious light, as have hundreds of people throughout the years.  But in 1977 when the railroad tracks were removed and the swamp reclaimed his haunting grounds, Joe seems to have lost interest in Maco.  At least, he has not been seen there lately.

Stories all come from North Carolina Legends by Richard Walser.  This book is available from the Historical Publications Section, Division of Archives and History, 109 E. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2816 or 919-733-7442.
We greatly appreciate their generosity in allowing us to reprint these stories.