‘Ghost boat’ rides the waters of a troubled former lake

RALEIGH, N.C. — Drivers on the Beltline in West Raleigh may catch a glimpse of two people fishing from a boat, mouths agape, seemingly celebrating the catch one of them is pulling in.

It’s a peaceful scene, except that the two people, and the fish, are skeletons, and the boat has a pirate flag on the back and is resting on the bed of a former lake.

Some nearby residents call it the ghost boat, a symbolic lament for White Oak Lake, a body of water they enjoyed for decades but that is now likely gone forever. The N.C. Department of Transportation had it drained last year as part of the effort to widen the Beltline between Wade Avenue and Interstate 40.