North Carolina Ghosts and Legends North Carolina Ghost StoriesNorth Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends
Brother's House - Image from NC State Archives

The Single Brother's House, or just Brother's House, is located in the historic Old Salem Village and Gardens in Winston-Salem. This reconstructed old Moravian village was once home to one of North Carolina's most beloved ghosts.

The Little Red Man




The Single Brother's House, or just Brother's House, is located in the historic Old Salem Village and Gardens in Winston-Salem. This reconstructed old Moravian village was once home to one of North Carolina's most beloved ghosts.

The building was originally used as a communal home for unmarried men in the Moravian settlement. Moravians have a strong tradition of keeping excellent records, so we have an unusually detailed account of how this ghost came in to being. I'm grateful to the late, great North Carolina folklorist Richard Walser for quoting the record at length in his invaluable and highly recommended book North Carolina Legends.

On March 25, 1786 a shoemaker named Andreas Kresmer was killed while excavating a new foundation for an addition to The Brother's House. Working late, around midnight Brother Kresmer was caught beneath a falling bank of earth and passed away a few hours later. This kind man and was much mourned by his fellow Brethren.

For years afterwards, strange sounds that resembled the tap of a shoemakers hammer were heard throughout the house. A small man wearing a red cap like the one Brother Kresmer had been wearing when he died was also seen scurrying through the halls.

One of the most famous encounters with the Little Red Man is the story of Little Betsy — The granddaughter of a resident of the house who lived there after it had been converted into a home for Moravian widows &msadh; Little Betsy had been left deaf from an early childhood illness, but could still speak. She knew nothing of the ghost or the accident, but one day while visiting her grandmother rushed excitedly in from the garden and told of a small man wearing a red cap who had beckoned her to come and play.

According to legend, the Little Red Man's appearances were brought to rest when he made an ill-advised appearance before an important member of the community showing an important visitor around the cellar. It's never good to show up the boss, and a minister was called in to lay the ghost to rest, which apparently worked. The Little Red Man has not been seen since.