The Croatoan Mystery

17 Oct

In 1587, the English, led by John White and financed by Sir Walter Raleigh, made their second attempt at setting up a colony on Roanoke Island, which now lies just off the coast of North Carolina in the USA. The colonists disappeared, however, during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. The settlement is known as “The Lost Colony,” and the fate of the colonists is still unknown.

It all looked so promising in the beginning. The settlers landed on 22 July 1587 and soon established themselves. John White’s daughter Eleanor Dare was pregnant and on 18th August she gave birth to a daughter, Virginia, the first English child born in the Americas. The colonists established friendly relations with one of the local native tribes, the Croatans, who were able to describe to them the politics and geography of the area, but the other indigenous peoples, the Secotans, who had fought against the settlers of the first Roanoake Colony, remained hostile and refused to meet with them. Shortly thereafter, colonist George Howe was killed by natives while searching alone for crabs in Albemarle Sound. Fearing for their lives, the colonists persuaded Governor White to return to England to explain the colony’s desperate situation and ask for help. White duly sailed for England in late 1587, leaving behind about 115 colonists. Unfortunately, the war with Spain and a lack of funds meant that White was only able to return to Roanoke Island three years later. White landed on 18 August 1590, his grand-daughter’s third birthday, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children he had left behind, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle. The cabins had been taken down, the livestock had vanished and of the people the only traces were two graves and a message: the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and three letters “Cro” carved into a nearby tree.

White took this to mean that the colonists had gone to live on nearby Croatoan (now called Hatteras) Island with the friendly Croatans but circumstances prevented him from ever investigating this theory. No one ever found out what happened to the settlers and the end of the 1587 colony is unrecorded, leading to it being referred to as the “Lost Colony”. There are multiple hypotheses as to the fate of the colonists, the principal one being that they dispersed and were absorbed by either the local Croatans on Hatteras Island or another native tribe. An investigation of this hypothesis is ongoing in the form of the Lost Colony DNA Project in Houston, Texas, but its findings remain inconclusive. Another theory is that the Croatans turned on the settlers and wiped them out but no bodies were found at the time and no archaeological evidence has been found since then to support this claim. Other possibilities that have been put forward are that the colonists simply gave up waiting, tried to return to England on their own, and perished in the attempt and even that the colony might have been attacked and its members eaten by cannibals (which might explain the lack of bodies but seems somewhat implausible given the complete lack of any evidence of cannibalism being prevalent in the area). Most intriguingly, from 1937 to 1941 a series of stones telling of the travels of the colonists and their ultimate deaths were discovered that claimed to have been written by Eleanor Dare. Most historians believe that the so-called Dare Stones are a fraud, but there are some today that still believe the stones are genuine.

But none of this really explains the significance of the carving of the word “Croatoan” on that post or the fact that the same word has accompanied inexplicable disappearances in North America in the last few centuries, often in places far away from Roanoke Island. A few days before his death, and following a disappearance that remains unexplained to this day, Edgar Allan Poe was brought to his death bed in a state of delirium whispering the word “Croatoan”. The same word was found in other places at other times: scribbled in the journal of Amelia Earhart after her disappearance in 1937, carved into the post of the last bed that the celebrated horror author Ambrose Bierce slept in before he vanished in Mexico in 1913, scratched on the wall of the cell that the notorious stagecoach robber Black Bart inhabited before he was released from prison in 1888 never to be seen again, and, most disturbingly of all, written on the last page of the logbook of the ship Carroll A. Deering when it ran aground with no one aboard on Cape Hatteras in 1921 (not that far from what was once known as Croatoan Island).

What the secret of Croatoan is and in particular what its connection is to those born in the Americas that causes their disappearance even far from home remains a mystery to this day. It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention one more theory, that of the natives who once lived on Roanoke Island all those years ago. The Croatans themselves believed that the island had a spirit and, if angered, this spirit had the power to change those who offended it into the form of animals, trees and rocks. So perhaps this is the explanation – that none of the people affected really disappeared but were simply transformed. If so it is no less bizarre or credible than any of the other theories that have been put forward over the years!


160 Responses to “The Croatoan Mystery”

  1. The Paranormalist October 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I was unaware that ” the same word has accompanied inexplicable disappearances in North America in the last few centuries”. How very interesting. This was one of those stories that I didn’t find very mysterious … the original carvings and the situation indicated pretty clearly what had happened to the settlers. This new (to me) twist, though, is intriguing. Thank you.

    • Lars December 13, 2015 at 7:11 am #

      I know it’s been a while, but I just watched a show and the word came up. I knew I knew it, but couldn’t place it, Googled it and this came up. Very interesting information, but I would like to question, if you’re still out there and read this, “This was one of those stories that I didn’t find very mysterious … the original carvings and the situation indicated pretty clearly what had happened to the settlers. – What was pretty clear?

      • Renae Rude - The Paranormalist December 18, 2015 at 7:10 am #

        Wow. This is from a while a ago. 🙂

        When I first learned about the disappearance of the Roanoke settlers, I got the impression that they vanished without a trace and that no one knew what happened to them. The tale was told with that sort of breathless tone. As if it was one of those “their half-eaten meals were still on the table” stories.

        Then I looked into it just a little more deeply and discovered that the settlers had left evidence as to where they went, including carvings and a partially dismantled, stripped settlement.

        I think there was also some evidence of blue eyed native children later discovered in the tribe, which would indicate absorption rather than a massacre, but I’m not sure that part was true.

        I felt that it was pretty clear they were absorbed into a local native tribe when the settlement failed.

      • KAZ2Y5 April 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

        The show was Supernatural wasn’t it?

      • Katherine Carr August 5, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

        The mysterious thing you are both missing is that it has appered at numerous disappearances, so you can’t put it down to the native tribes. The natives where not with Black Bart or Amelia Earhart when they wrote CROATOAN. You need to look a little farther afield. You need to look at all the disappearances together not one at a time in order to find out what really happened.

      • Lars Bergmark August 6, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

        Those are urban legends. Nothing with “croatoan” has been found anywhere else but here, so, no, it’s not that mysterious lol. 🙂

      • Cody September 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

        The one thing that is very clear is neither of you read the article. The DNA has been addressed. With a real project and real DNA testing, the results remain inconclusive. This is clearly addressed in the article. Also, another point made very clear is all the other places CROATOAN has popped up. It is many more than ” Nothing with “croatoan” has been found anywhere else but here, so, no, it’s not that mysterious lol. 🙂” Reading the article would grant exactly where it has been found. It’s one of the main points of the mystery.

    • MadelineHere August 18, 2016 at 2:24 am #

      I am always amazed that the fact this guy didn’t come back for 3 years and the settlers may have gone to live amongst natives is so often given as not a terrible and horrific ending for the settlers.
      I mean they came to start a new colony which immulated their own culture with a direct connection to England.
      Not to fade away into the Spanish moss covered oaks…
      They had beg him to get help.
      Help they never experience as they were trapped in a real version of “The Twilight Zone.”
      500 years later and I am sad for them.

      • Monique November 22, 2017 at 5:10 am #

        This is Amazing and I Really want to research More Is This REALLY True??

    • sky perry September 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      The show american horror story also helps with these theories.

    • Luke September 5, 2017 at 1:32 am #

      Cody, what’s really mysterious is that I read this article and exact year after you did…

  2. anilbalan October 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Yes, it’s fascinating stuff!

    • Lars Bergmark September 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

      1. Um, yeah, I did read the article. 2. Who are you? I don’t care what you think, you’re wrong. Croatoan has not shown up anywhere but near Roanoke. The FACT (seeing as how we are capitalizing wordr for some reason, you mad?) remains, no one else has used the word “croatoan” ever, anywhere. I don’t know what you’re on about, that is all I was saying in the post you quoted. If you can prove otherwise, please share.

      • ♮♫ᏇℰℕⅅᎽ ☾ (@whispernghope) September 29, 2016 at 4:54 am #

        Where, exactly, did you obtain proof of the FACT that the word Croatoan has never appeared anywhere else?

      • Jennifer October 3, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

        Thanks for your comment – I’d been driving my self crazy looking for references to actual usage of the word Croatoan & came up with nothing except word for word passages, such as the one in this article, listing out the same mysterious disappearances. NO images or factual references could be found.

      • Luke September 5, 2017 at 1:36 am #

        it says it in the article? is that enough proof? do you need to speak with historians so you can see your blind vision of proof right in front of your eyes?

  3. grannyscolorful February 21, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    When my mother was living, she became very fascinated with the Lost Colony. So, are my husband and I. Granny Gee (

  4. johnlmalone February 25, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    thank you for subscribing to my blog. I aim to make it worthwhile. Check out the new blog I’m putting up over the next few hours: it’s a little ripper but sdon’t mind thye swearing; if you were the being concerned you would swear too 🙂

    • Cat July 9, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

      Good post . Got anymore like this ??

      • kitten November 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

        no one realy knows what happend……

  5. ihaveishoes February 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I love reading about paranormal mysteries! We have no idea what is “out there,” what is possible. Wonderful post! And thank you for liking mine!

    • Mayra December 19, 2013 at 5:31 am #

      I like paranormal stuff to

      • Cherokee Lady July 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

        Like what kind of stuff do you like in this subject matter ?

  6. Softly Sarah April 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Wow- I had long ago forgotten about this history. Pretty interesting stuff! Thank you for updating us all on it. I am interested that the DNA evidence hasn’t turned anything at all up on this. It would be helpful to know the names of those lost, and if anyone today has the same last names, to trace their genealogy back to see where their families entered the US. Then I would solicit those who run into a dead end somewhere to volunteer to give DNA samples. I imagine in the case of some of the disappearances that the subsequent scribblings of Croatoan could have been done by someone pulling a prank. Maybe not. The empty ship story is compelling. xo

  7. phreedomphan May 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I find this fascinating, but I’m too occupied with fighting what I can see to start taking on battles with what I can’t see. I will say that I find concepts of spirits, ghosts, life after death and the like no less unbelievable than life before death. The idea that some essentially inert chemicals floating around in a swamp could coalesce and one day crawl out of that swamp and that eventually two of the ancestors of those floating chemicals would call themselves Anil and Rick is totally absurd. If a god created them, what created the god. I can’t understand the finite world in which I live, much less the infinite. BTW, I have first hand experience with spirits of those that passed. My dog Curly, when he died in a freak accident, refused to leave until he saw I was OK.

    You might find some of the things listed under “magic,” “mysticism,” “occult,” or “spiritualist” at this site of interest to you.

    • Maylee is awesome August 24, 2015 at 1:17 am #

      Supernatural brought me here…

      • kelley September 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

        Me too! I like how some of their stuff is based on factual information

      • Charlie Bradbury March 5, 2016 at 4:41 am #

        Same…i watched this episode (when sam was immune) very very long ago, but i watched it for the 3ed time today and i just needed to look it up😂

      • Kay August 15, 2016 at 11:22 am #

        Me too!
        ( Also I hear rumors American Horror Story 6th season- will be somewhat based on this colony…)

    • PTK May 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm #

      Who said you had to fight anything?

  8. aromancer July 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Interesting and thought provoking stuff!

  9. pinoyathletics September 2, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Is this the background history they use in Stephen King’s ‘Storm of the Century’?.
    I saw you bookmarked one of my articles. I really like this site as my other interest is History and Geneology. I used to read alot of mystery and ghost books when I was in school. I have added it to my RSS Feed.

  10. mrgoshtythingguy September 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    This ways pretty scary and i will enjoy looking at your site! once i’m done with my homework….

  11. Martell September 6, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    I was always told by my Gma that after those three years, the tribe welcomed the colony, and became part of the tribe.. To this day there are people who have croatan blood in them.. When you have no other way of living, you adapt to survive.. Those women in the lost colony were having indian babies.. Those baby grew to have more babies.. But I wouldnt know anything about that, Im just african american puerto rican american secotan & cherokee

    • Ron October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Sounds good , I believe its possible that they mostly were integrated into the Lumbee Indian tribe and this mutual respect did allow a town of Indians to survive in the original 13 colonies. Lumberton , its a miracle , the only one town of indians that did not have to run.

  12. killerbob September 14, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    i know it had something to do with native americans but no proof

  13. witchborn September 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    WOW! I remeber hearing something about this and never really knowing what happened. This was awesome!

  14. Kerry October 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    This is very interesting and very sad too…am really touched by the story…

  15. Daniel November 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I’m calling you out. I want your sources for these other instances of the word “Croatoan,” because I’m researching and finding nothing on the matter. In fact, Poe was muttering the word “Reynolds” the night he died, not “Croatoan.”

    • anilbalan November 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi, a lot of people have asked me this as this seems to be the most popular post I have ever written! My information, alas, comes from old books that I no longer have in my possession (whose names I can’t remember unfortunately), people I’ve met with whom I’m no longer in touch and e-mails I’ve received from accounts which are now defunct and untraceable. I’m not sure that this helps very much but if it inspires you to do some research that means that you uncover these ‘lost sources’ I’d be very interested in your findings…

      • Helen November 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

        This link is to a movie you can look up on IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) titled “Vanishing on 7th Street) made in 2010 and it was watching this movie that I took particular notice of the word “Croatoan” as it was written on walls in Detroit, where this movie was based. It was a horror movie starring Hayden Christensen and Thandie Newton and the premise was that it was the darkness that was coming for people and only took the bodies of the people, integrating them into the darkness so that they would call for their relatives to join them thus adding to this “sentient” darkness. Everywhere in the city were full sets of clothes just laying on the street, where people had been standing. There was talk (by the characters) of some sort of superstition involving the word “croatoan” which made me wonder if there was anything to it or was it just made up for the movie. So I went looking and found your blog. Living in Australia, I’m a little too far away to visit Roanoke but I’m fascinated by the events and thanks to your blog I’m now a little more informed. I’ve bookmarked your blog so will keep coming back to see if anyone has managed to dig up anything and if I find anything as well, I will post again. Love this sort of thing. Thank you :o)

    • Joshua Marshall (@joshua_marshall) April 1, 2013 at 5:12 am #

      Yeah, all those other references to Croatoan are apocryphal.

      I figured, given this site is that of a writer, he was taking some license to create a mystery. I dig the premise of ‘Crotoan’ being found in those mysterious circumstances throughout history, and might make a fun book if it were to capture the OP’s fancy. Still, all the other instances are untrue.

    • George March 21, 2019 at 10:30 pm #

      It appears in many places, to name one, Harlan Ellisons story “Croatoan” written in 1976. Ironically enough, Harlan Ellison once said “No, you are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion.” Anyone see the irony here?

  16. johnny January 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    i personally believe—-and i kno im gonna be called crazy for this, but idc persaonally—-that the word croatoan has so me sort of message to it.. perhaps Croatoan is a mystical being, or perhaps the description of what happens to you when you are given immortality, as the fictions i have read seem to indicate.. perhaps even, trhe word is of an ancient origin, so ancient that we cannot even begin to imagine what it means……..if anyone wishes to reply to me personally or to email me directly, then my emails are and yes, the three Hs in the gmail is intended. apparently sumbody already has…lol…so if interested hmu anfd reply. i wish to hear what you have to say. thanks.
    Live Long and Prosper! [[V]]

  17. James G February 1, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    From what I understand about the lost colony, is that the members of the colony befriended the Croatoan natives. Now, when they discovered that the entire city was dismanteled, all they found was the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. I know there is a kind of legend of a native demonic entity by the name of Croatoan. I could be totally wrong etc. but it could be that these natives managed to hand over the colony as a kind of sacrafice to Croatoan. The story is indeed interesting, but an entire village just doesn’t vanish, and not only that, they wouldn’t dismantle their village, they would just leave it abandoned.

  18. Lady T February 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    The Croatian mystery is also mentioned in the movie “Mindhunter”.

    • Ana February 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      There isn’t any mystery about Croatia hehe , I’m from it 😀 but you probably meant croatoan mystery. Maybe we, as Croat have some connection to it, Cheers all!

  19. Kat March 25, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    There are many sites covering Poe’s last words, one of them here:

    His last words were “Lord, help my poor soul.”

  20. Hayley Thorpe April 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    I swear, a chill ran down my spine when it mentioned Amelia Earhart. I have read different books about her, but I’ve never heard of that.

  21. Roff April 11, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    They never found a logbook on Carroll A. Deering

    • Joe March 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

      Yeah, this has been repeated on a number of sites talking about the mysterious Croatoan word. It might have been written on the last page of the logbook, but it was lost so we wouldn’t know if it was.

      Also, there is no evidence of the word associated with Ambrose.

  22. Josh Johns May 4, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    I believe Croatian was a demon

  23. Helgy May 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    It looks like they may have been massacred by aboriginal Indian tribes, and after they all being deliberately killed, the Indians afraiding damnation masterously hiddden the sight of massacre by burrying the deads somewhere in jungles or exposing them to wild animals, so that no remains were left. In order to put investigators to wrong road, and disguise the crime they commited they carved on the tree’s trunk the word “Croatoan”.

    • MadelineHere August 18, 2016 at 2:16 am #

      So the Native Indians knew how to spell their tribes names in English, using our form of written alphabet is your theory?

      • Lars Bergmark August 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

        Um, LOL no. The thoery is the Colonists did that, not the native Indians…where would you get that idea…? o.O

  24. Maggie June 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    It’s like the people knew they were going to there death so they left a message.

  25. Klarion Bleak August 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    So this is the history of “the Lost colony”. Funny, last time I checked, we were not lost…..

    • Lily December 19, 2013 at 2:56 am #

      Um, your comment makes no sense…we’re talking about Croatoan mystery, not CROATIA, if you’re talking about that. It is, indeed, lost.

    • Teekl August 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm #


  26. Chad September 17, 2013 at 5:32 am #

    The colonist could have taken down the cabins to use the wood to make a ship just large enough to carry them back to England. The ship could have had an issue with sales or just the hull, either way they could have gotten off course and lost or the ship could have sank. With that conclusion the Croatians could have been cannibals that had planned a way to lead the colonist away in small groups or all at once and attacked them, the Croatians could have eaten the bodies of the colonist explaining why there were no bodies or signs of struggle.

    • Gregory White October 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

      lol…NOT Croatians! Jeeeez! READ the Blog people.

  27. Beatles In My Life Lyrics March 4, 2014 at 3:20 am #

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  28. tellie689 March 6, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    Reblogged this on tellieVision.

    • stjepan cvitkovic March 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      croatoan su stari hrvatski pomorci, koji su otkriki ameriku

  29. Soda March 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm #


    • Soda March 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm # Amazing

  30. googleman March 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Well-known is the story of a missing two Croatian ship in the area of the lost colony.
    Croatoan are old Croatian sailors from Republic of Ragusa who sailed to America in 1540 and has since considered missing. They made friends with the local natives which resulted in an Indian tribe Crotoan.

  31. Gaetana April 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Very interesting read. I love history. I had no idea that word was connected to so many mysterious deaths and disappearances over the years

  32. Paul Tindell April 12, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    i think it is amazing!!!!!!

  33. Nicholas April 15, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    I think croatoan means ro a toan if you look at it the c mite be slient

  34. search May 14, 2014 at 2:50 am #

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  35. yisrael May 29, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    The Croatoan are from the seed of Japhet (Asia) and Ham (Canaan-black), what the Hebrews called Kasar.
    These Kasars came through the ice bridge to the Americas, also winding up on islands, Canada and other areas, becoming so called also Indians, Mexicans, and other.
    The kasar in Europe was mostly a combination of the four major races. What happened to the pilgrims there was also happening in Europe centuries earlier, when we fled Babylone.
    Remember Babylone, of the children of Ham(Canaan) and then Constantine(asia, ham and edom combined) did evil sacrifices to their gods. They would rape the Hebrew(white) women, cut them open dip eggs in the blood as rituals to their gods.
    I could go on and on. My greatbubby came from Israel -went to Europe where they know Black Rus and White Rus and Kasar.
    The stories of the Hebrews, the most prosecuted race has always been told to us, so we know about the Croatoan. These Kasars are here today dwelling among us.

    • Gina December 27, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Very interesting information to look into further. Thanks!

    • Lars Bergmark August 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

      This has nothing to do with what happened. Your “Croatoan” could be these native Indians, but there is nothing stating this but your Jewish mysticism, myths and folk lore.

      What is important to note is the people of the colony did not just disappear into thin air. The fact is the people got hungry, alone and their leader was not coming back. They needed to survive and the Croatoan INDIANS took them in and they assimilated. In case someone came back, the settlers left signs of leaving, like the word Croatoan. I would, as any rational thinking person would, assume they went with the tribe.

  36. Eli May 29, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    Yisrael is correct they are also known as the Croatians, or Creteians or Cretans (from around Crete), They are really from Asia , around the Mediterranean, from Africa to Asia.
    They would move along around the Greek islands.
    They were like the mud people of Ishmael. So before mixing with the Edomites, they were blackanease , Constanstine was one of them. The wall paintings at Knossos and Phaistos show how they looked liked–just like the native americans. This is the line leading to Gog and Magog in the final end days.

    • Gina December 27, 2015 at 8:40 am #

      This is interesting info in your comment, thanks!

  37. Lacey June 14, 2014 at 2:55 am #

    Is there any resources or articles I could read that included Croatoan related to several disappearances across North America? I can’t find any and think it’d be interesting to read.

  38. Nicole OBX August 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this information! The Lost Colony is a very interesting subject.

    • Sky April 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

      That’s true,
      Also thats why I liked this episode of American Horror Story

  39. thomas August 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    I’ve got a theory. maybe the colonist ran off with the Indians eventually made it and went into hiding so the others wouldn’t get them. if anyone could find the crotoans they could ask

    • Penny August 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      I’m from NC, the Croatoan were a local band of Indians, they shared resources with the “white face people” when whites return didn’t come soon enough, they had to rely on locals, the Croatoans to survive, remember, Aug., Sept, Oct is hurricane season, moving inland up the Albermarle Sound would be safest strategy, the Indians knew this, they likely saved the ppl of England, but having moved inland, they began a society of their own, melded with local Indians and thrived, child bearing, life, death. Looking to deep into what happened to them, look to the obvious..the word Croatoan was carved. If I left a note on my refrigerator for my husband and it said Walmart, he might think I went to Walmart…duh.

      • Rachel April 16, 2017 at 11:34 pm #

        But we don’t know if that’s actually saying that they went to the Croatoan island. Resources and evidence are limited.

      • Sky April 19, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

        I like what you are thinking,
        This whole Roanoke things got me crazy, especially from american horror story.

  40. Carlos October 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I was thinking that maybe Croatoan is a virus that eats you from the inside out. It would explain why there were no bones left behind.

    • Charlie Bradbury March 5, 2016 at 4:50 am #

      Do you watch Supernatural?

      • Lars Bergmark March 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

        LOL, yeah, they brought it up in their lore too…I instantly thought back to this posting. 🙂

  41. Taylor October 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    What is the real qustion no one knows until the real mystery has been answered my claim is the what If he took his people to the wrong place and waited three years and went to a differ colony that’s what I think but u know that not claims are right we will just have to figure it out our selfs

  42. idkparanormal October 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    There’s a movie called vanishing on 7th street that talks about the last theorie he said……

  43. November 7, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering troubles with your
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  44. takeflighteagles November 18, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    I love the mysterious stories like this as much as the next person, but I think it’s pretty obvious what happened to them. The Croatoan’s were a known tribe in that area. So why would their name be in carved into various objects in an abandoned village? A) they killed all the settlers and tore down the village. B) the settlers joined the Croatoan’s and went inland, and the village was destroyed by rough weather or to salvage supplies. In my opinion, I think A is the most likely.

  45. Tracy December 6, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    after googling Croatan and reading Wikipedia, this is a snipet from it’s article about how and why the word was carved…….

    The Lost Colony[edit]

    Governor John White returned to Roanoke in 1590 to find the words “croatoan” carved on a tree.
    It is possible that some of the survivors of the Lost Colony of Roanoke may have joined the Croatan. Governor White finally reached Roanoke Island on August 18, 1590, three years after he had last seen them in Virginia, but he found his colony had been long deserted. The buildings had collapsed and “the houses [were] taken down”.[4] The few clues about the colonists’ whereabouts included the letters “CRO” carved into a tree, and the word “CROATOAN” carved on a post of the fort.[4] Croatoan was the name of a nearby island (likely modern-day Hatteras Island) and a local tribe of Native Americans. Roanoke Island was not originally the planned location for the colony and the idea of moving elsewhere had been discussed. Before the Governor’s departure, he and the colonists had agreed that a message would be carved into a tree if they had moved and would include an image of a Maltese Cross if the decision was made by force.[4] White found no such cross and was hopeful that his family was still alive.[4]

    The Croatan, like other Carolina Algonquians, suffered from epidemics of infectious disease, such as smallpox in 1598. These greatly reduced the tribe’s numbers and left them subject to colonial pressure. They are believed to have become extinct as a tribe by the early seventeenth century.

    I have been watching “Haven” on the Syfy channel and I feel it is based a lot on Croatoan as well as other movies and shows….

  46. Arnoldo April 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing
    a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because
    I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx
    for spending time to discuss this subject here on your website.

  47. Geoyce May 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    I am intrigued by the story told by the Croatans about the spirit on the Island. Reminds me of those places built on Indian burial grounds that have been the sites of paranormal activity.

  48. via CORE June 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    supernatural brought me here.

  49. theeinvisiblecircus June 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Reblogged this on Invisible Circus and commented:
    and in case the bees didn’t get you, there’s this gem

  50. Richard Langley July 25, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    I have read history interesting about survival that turned horrible. But the story definitely has a supernatural under tone of something terrible.

  51. Jo Smith August 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    Wow! Some pretty scary stuff!

  52. Barbara August 16, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    Magnificent site. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to
    some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your effort!

  53. didine596472 September 22, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    Reblogged this on didine596472's Blog.

  54. Lisa October 1, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    Very interesting! I happen to have a few theories as well.. I truly believe that the word Croatoan was, indeed, meant to be a message in regards to where they went. 3 years is a long time to stay in one place and survive back then. They undoubtedly had to hunt and forage for food, in an environment known to be occasionally occupied by an unfriendly tribe. This suggests to me that this territorial conflict and the probability of a lack of food sources forced the colonists to leave with the friendly tribe.. The Croatoans. It never says WHEN the colonists left.. It very well could have been within a year’s time, which would allow up to 2 years time to travel and search for a desirable environment. That could have taken them extremely far away from the original location, hence why they were never located. I recall watching a history documentary on a certain tribe that was encountered (the name of said tribe escapes me at the moment), and light or white skinned women were seen with the tribe. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to know that cultures have merged throughout history. The colonists were desperate to survive and find a land fit for survival, and it wouldn’t surprise me if neighboring conflict and territorial tribes forced them as well from their homes, causing them to uproot with the colonists in search of new land. As far as the other instances of the word croatoan being used in references to mysterious disappearances, I believe it is simply a coincidence or a word with a different meaning, or it was good storytelling passed around to make for a good mystery or mysteries. I don’t think they are related to the lost colony whatsoever… Just my humble opinions on the matters. 👍😎😀 Very interesting subject though!

  55. Anonymously DisInfo November 27, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    For those interested in Croatan Tribe and the blood line check this site out.

    States they are mixed between native and white settlers who married into the tribe.

  56. aaron December 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    They were next to an island named croatoan. They carved Croatoan in a plank. Where is the mystery?

    • Rachel April 16, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

      There are many factors too consider based on evidence that was presented.

  57. Alvin February 11, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    Very interesting indeed, but to take 3 years in consideration, that is more than enough time to, if there was any, cover up any evidence. Maybe they tried to flee on rafts or something and got lost at see. But it clearly seems like there could be numerous causes to this finding nevertheless its still damn interesting!

    • Wendy April 6, 2016 at 11:34 am #

      Yeah, I know. But see, I googled Amelia Earheart and there are no credible sources (or no sources at all, for that matter) that confirm that the word “Croatoan” was scribbled on Amelia’s diary and personally, I’m not sure about the others too. I mean, John White came back after what, three years? A lot can happen over a period of three years! Most probably the colonists shifted to the Croatoan Island with the natives….but that’s just a hypothesis. But I wish this were true, though. It is damn interesting, isn’t it?

  58. Muffin February 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    I’m done with my homework. Thanks from Germany

  59. Antonia March 6, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I live in Croatia.

    • zrinkajelicromanceauthor February 15, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

      Me too, no, actually I’m from Croatia, living in Canada now, but this is something different.

  60. Jack the ripper March 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Isn’t it obvious… aliens dude. Aliens.

  61. Wolfy banking March 12, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

    Anyone else here because of vanishing on 7th streeet

  62. shingekinokyojin March 25, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    This has been clearly aimed at – pardon the pun – diehard action film fans. Anyone else, who might expect a vague sense of irony, will be sorely disappointed.

  63. Lars Bergmark March 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    I just watched “Phantoms”, movie based on the Dean Koontz book. This one implied (it never used the word Croatoan, but they did refer back to the Roanoke disappearance) there was a sentient “immortal” being in the earth which caused these disappearances. It’s fiction…yet the listed many same case scenarios where people just up and vanished. There are other major unexplained disappearing groups of people; The Eskimo Village on the rocky shores of Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada, The Roman Ninth Legion to name a few…and even whole civilizations, i.e. the Maya, Easter Island, Catalhöyük, etc. Most if not all have been explained though, as “Croatoan” has been, people just like the “scary/horror” aspect of a good “story”. 🙂

  64. Wendy April 6, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    I’m going to be honest and say that I’m intrigued. But then I googled Amelia Earheart and Croatoan and I haven’t found any credible source (or any, for that matter) confirming that the word “Croatoan” was scribbled in her diary. I don’t want to take the excitement away from the people who read this article, but as much as I want this to be true, I doubt it. Besides, it was what, three years after which John White came back? A freaking lot could happen over a period of three years. And something tells me the Colonists weren’t really patient. The best theory is that it was a message for John White where he could probably find his family- at the Crotoan Island….but that’s just a hypothesis. I really do wish it were true, though.

    • Donna Hannon July 4, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

      I have always been told that my mother’s mother( my maternal grandmother) was half Croatan. She had five siblings that were all Caucasian. She had all the physical resemblance of Native American as does my mother. They are from Elizabeth town, NC and Southport which is a coastal town. They were never allowed to talk about my grandmother’s father who was by all appearances Native American. He would come and see my grandmother by horse and carriage once a month as she grew up. To this day my mother is always seen as Native American. I would really like to know if I am also Coatan and how to go about finding out. She never knew her father’s name to compare with the list of surnames ghost they have associated with this tribe. My mom is dark skink with jet black straight hair, blue eyes and no body hair. Can any one guide me and please, I don’t want to hear about aliens.

      • Christina Hubbard September 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

        I would try the thing… you can send in a sample of your DNA and they analyze it.

      • ,mel September 18, 2016 at 6:32 am #

        If your mother is part Native-American, then yes, you are as well. Getting DNA tested to find out the exact tribe would be a neat thing you could do. Hope you post back with results.

      • Tom Kaigler February 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

        The Native Americans who were called Croatan until 1913 (And “Cherokee of Robeson County” for the next 40 years, although they were not actually Cherokee at all) changed their name to Lumbee in the 1950’s. They have a website.

  65. Lars Bergmark April 12, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    KAZ2Y5 – Yes, yes it was 🙂

  66. thefirstdark September 30, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    Reblogged this on ReBirth: The Pursuit of Porsha.

  67. Malika October 1, 2016 at 1:56 am #

    My grandpa lived on that island and my family would visit the outer banks every summer for our family reunion. What I do know is that island is haunted. I experienced events that scared the crap out of me and my daughter. This was the summer of 1998 the first weekend of August. I was staying at the Elizabethan inn ( I may have the spelling wrong) with my family and one night everyone was sleeping at the hotel room and I was woken up in the middle of the night by the very loud sound of pots and pans and plates just crashing on the floor. I was very scared, especially since when I jumped awake out of my sleep there was nothing unusual in the room. Everyone was sleeping I could not believe it only I was awake. I was very scared and confused, where what and how was racing thru my mind. I didn’t say anything to anyone about it. But I didn’t need too because two morning later at breakfast my daughter said she heard a loud crashing noise coming from the kitchenette are of our hotel room when she was sleeping. Her story was identical to my experience and only she was awakened by the noise and everyone else was sleeping including me. Wow I was almost amazed I told her I heard it too just not the same night she did. That island always made me feel uncomfortable. My grandpa lived in the woods not far from the hotel where I was staying and something about those woods always spooked me like I was being watched. I’m my opinion any island with a town called Kills devil hills should be considered suspect. Roanoke island is haunted I believe this.

  68. Irene baker November 24, 2016 at 2:48 am #

    This word Croatian was a disease that was well know to the people from their time. Yes it can wipe out a whole village. I believe they left signs letting people know what they died from.

    • zrinkajelicromanceauthor February 15, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

      There’s no such disease named Croatian. LOL Yep, Croatia may be falling apart at the seams, but we Croatians are not diseased. Politicians and clerics are a different story, I can’t vouch for them.

  69. Enrique January 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    Has anybody, who have commented on this site, ever been to the location…Roanoke, or where the carving Croatoan has been left behind??
    Honestly you’ll find answers if you actually visit the place and do research. Croatoan. Wow I mean com’on , disappearance that big had to be recorded and explained exactly what had happened. There is no true answer to this, amazing, urban legend/case/story. It’s out there though. Someone just has to search deep into that black hole.

    • Danyelle Robinson May 27, 2017 at 4:53 am #

      My Ancestors were amongst those of both the Roanake and Jamestowne colonies. However, In 1572 when Sir Thomas Smith was trying to establish a colony he noted that there were Blonde haired Blue-eyed Lumbee Indians. In fact, latter, my ancestors are in court proving they are not mullato chattel (to be taxed) but were indeed a mix of Lumbee and Spainards (a term coined during this court case to be known thereafter as Portuguese). In fact, my Great Grandfather looks like an African man.
      Just FYI, the Europeans did get along with the Cheraw and even intermarried with them and African in Barbados. These were a group of second a subsequent sons, daughters and illegitimate offspring from royal families throughout Europe. A group who had always been taught to create peace through marriage alliances. Treaties can be broken, but blood lasts forever. I only wish that my ancestors had done a better job of explaining this our Lumbee descendants.

      • Danyelle Robinson May 27, 2017 at 4:55 am #

        At the time, Smith said that there had been Europeans with the lumbee for at least 100 years (three generations of light-skinned blue-eyed Indians). So Just as likely that they had intermarried with the Vikings who had been here earlier, as well as the lost colonies.

  70. Gordon Toronto July 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Mystery solved:

    Artifacts show Lost Colony settlers moved to Hatteras Island, lived with natives, historian says | History

  71. rebecca September 14, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

    well this aint legit, there has never been a tribe called croatoan. like ever even before europeans came in contact. in matter of fact we never had any diseases till europeans and spaniards showed up.

  72. Michael October 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm #


  73. Monique November 22, 2017 at 5:01 am #

    This is Amazing and I Really want to research More

  74. Bonnie November 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    This story was aired last night on the travel channel by Host Josh (expeditions.) He went into the island where a major study is being done right now. They believe the colonists were absorbed by the Croatoans tribe who were known as very friendly and became an alliance for them. Two things found of extreme importance that was found in the ground- several feet down was a glass bead dated older then the date they originally arrived to the new world. It’s origin is European and was made only during that era. The other is a weapon known only to be traded by the man who it belongs to in tradition. A man was assigned this weapon and up to him to guard it and ONLY HE can sell it or trade it being ultimately responsibility for it to leave his hands. This was found on the island of the Croatoan tribe as well. No evidence of foul play but bountiful life style of food and stability. ( I’m thinking this was the true thanksgiving story of a staving colony that was kindly accepted/ absorbed into their culture clearly not the case of other situations where respect for diversity should have had a better outcome.) I️ hope this colony did well here – they apparently had amazing hosts who probably accepted them with kindness.

  75. laura gallaher November 26, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    I’m going to stage a drastic disappearance in which no one will ever find me, and before I do, purposely write “Croatoan” everywhere

  76. Paul Williams July 21, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

    Although common belief is that the settlement vanished…..would be described as weird, or indescribable? Could it be said that the colony, quite simply be a victim of a sunsmi?
    All life extinguished without explanation?
    No means of escaping apart from limited resources to build a raft…..let alone build a craft to support the inhabitants of a thriving island? Are we led believe that a settlement of people who were to a point, self sustained until relief came in the form of a return voyage from the British, just vanished?.

    Currently studying towards a masters in history

    Please any comments appreciated

    • Madeline Gutierrez July 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm #


      If there had been a tsunsmi historians and others would know it.
      Natural disasters leave a mark on the land, trees get wiped out or their growth is effected..

      The only mystery here is why the word Croatoan was there. What did that mean?

      I’ve already commented here months ago – that no one talks about the sadness of these people failing to create the “little piece of England” they hoped to live in.


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