The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – North Carolina’s The Devil’s Tramping Ground

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

Legends often love to incorporate the big guy when churning out stories of dark, mysterious places. The devil is frequently associated with ominous settings that carry a stigma within a community. The Devil’s Tramping Ground is yet another example of a place that is feared by many because of an alleged association with Satan.

Haunted North Carolina: The Devil’s Tramping Ground

The Devil’s Tramping Ground in can be found close to Harper’s Crossroads in North Carolina. The site looks like a circle of barren land. Verdant growth surrounds it, but very little dares take root within its borders.

Devil's Tramping Ground, NC
The Devil’s Tramping Ground
c. 2007

Local stories have been passed around for years. Many claim that nothing has grown there for over a century. The stories also tell of the devil himself going to the spot to pace and plot. This is supposed to be where the Prince of Darkness can rise from the bowls of his native inferno. He is believed to show up on certain nights to retrace his round path again and spread his evil machinations on the Earth.

The site has a history that goes back at least many decades. Author and journalist John William Harden eloquently described the location in 1949:

Chatham natives say… that the Devil goes there to walk in circles as he thinks up new means of causing trouble for humanity. There, sometimes during the dark of night, the Majesty of the Underworld of Evil silently tramps around that bare circle– thinking, plotting, and planning against good, and in behalf of wrong. So far as is known, no person has ever spent the night there to disprove this is what happens…

Paranormal Activity at the Devil’s Tramping Ground

It’s likely that much of what is said about the Devil’s Tramping Ground comes from rumors and local legend. It’s obvious that some people are not so afraid that they won’t frequent the area for an impromptu after dark party. There are often signs of wickedly themed graffiti and beer cans scattered around.

The group NC HAGS (North Carolina Haints, Apparitions, Ghosts and Spirits) explored the Devil’s Tramping Ground and described some interesting personal experiences.

There are claims of a strange whirlwind effect right at the center. The group noticed that while there was a gentle breeze outside of the circle, they felt a distinct wind that was stronger and seemed to whirl around when they stood at the center. The group contacted paranormal author Nancy Roberts who confirmed a similar experience.

NC HAGS also took a few interesting photographs which they included in a short video they put together discussing a Devil’s Tramping Ground investigation. See the video below for the full presentation.

NC HAGS Devil’s Tramping Ground investigation video

There have also been claims of strange voices in the night as well as the sound of footsteps when no one is seen. Many also state that if an object is placed in the middle of the circle, it will be missing by morning. Of course that could be attributed to many things that are not necessarily paranormal.

Another group investigated the Devil’s Tramping Ground and spoke to the property’s owner, Bob Dowd, in 2005. Their video can be viewed below. The interview segment includes a discussion about how compasses show different readings as they are moved through the circle.

Devil’s Tramping Ground video (includes an interview with the property owner)

Th Devil’s Tramping Ground Today

Many of the stories surrounding the Devil’s Tramping Ground are likely fabricated or misinterpretations. There may be a kernel of truth somewhere in there, however it may not be as big as Old Scratch himself. And who’s not to say that a lesser being, say a reclusive spirit or other entity, is actually to blame rather than the world’s most well-known cloven-hoofed figure.

Have you been to the Devil’s Tramping Ground (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

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