The Devil's Tramping Ground
May 29, 2008 4:28 PM   Subscribe

The Devil's Tramping Ground is a barren circle in the forest in North Carolina. As a result of nothing having grown within the circle for at least the last hundred years, it has become the subject of some of that state's oldest legends. John Harden, a journalist, newspaper editor and author said of that place "... the story is 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.". No person until you came along and played this neat interactive flash movie, that is.
posted by Effigy2000 (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Shoot these places are all over Jersey, but here we call them illegal dumping grounds. Devil's Tramping Ground has a nice ring to it though.
posted by smackwich at 4:32 PM on May 29, 2008


Related?
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on May 29, 2008


FTFA the Coords +35° 35' 3.54", -79° 29' 13.26" Don't show much in da Google though...
posted by Elim at 4:56 PM on May 29, 2008


Ooo neat almost-adventure story.
posted by gomichild at 5:03 PM on May 29, 2008


Sorry folks, I have to poo poo this post. As a native of Chatham County North Carolina and an avid seeker of all things spooky I have been to "The Devil's Tramping Grounds" and found it to be a ridiculous waste of time.

The entire site is was covered in garbage. Absurd garbage. From the usual teenage refuse -- beer cans and condom wrappers -- to just plain bizarre things like shoe horns, copper pipes and a refrigerator. Rednecks and teenagers from all around came to "The Devil's Tramping Grounds" trying to prove the legend -- nothing placed in the circle stays there overnight -- wrong. Let me tell you, it does and it stinks.

Again, sorry for pissing all over your legend.

Out of curiosity Effigy2000, how did you, an Australian, come across a blog dedicated to how crappy life in Greensboro, NC is?
posted by willie11 at 5:07 PM on May 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I lived for 25 years within shouting distance ( well 10 or 12 miles ) of “The Devils Tramping Ground” and I guess I went to look at it, but I'm not sure. I had good friends who were born and raised within 5 miles of it who weren’t much interested, except to go out there at midnight and smoke some pot and drink a few beers and turn the music up. The old folks I knew in Chatham County felt pretty much the same way about it. But, every now and then on a slow news day, the media would hype it up.

For spooky NC folklore, I always liked the Brown Mountain Lights .
posted by Huplescat at 5:08 PM on May 29, 2008


"Out of curiosity Effigy2000, how did you, an Australian, come across a blog dedicated to how crappy life in Greensboro, NC is?"
posted by willie11 at 11:07 AM on May 30

Someone sent me the link to the interactive flash movie, which I played through and thought was post-worthy. One quick google search later (to look for more info to pad out the post with) and I found a wikipedia entry and a link to a blog explaining about how the flash movie was based on a real urban legend. And so was post 72094 born.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:13 PM on May 29, 2008


Here's an aerial view which helps with the otherwise unhelpful Google Maps results.
posted by mwhybark at 5:27 PM on May 29, 2008


The coords are off, probably because of a lack of precision in consumer GPS. Anyway, the textual directions (and the aerial view mwhybark posted) point to the clearing perfectly (see the gravel pull off, which is pretty much 1.7 miles from the intersection of the road from 902, as described). The Yahoo imagery is better than the Google imagery.
posted by thebabelfish at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2008


Indeed.

I fled G-boring to lovely Portland, Oregon in 2002.

[insert blind man learning to see metaphor here]
posted by device55 at 6:51 PM on May 29, 2008


Another...this time true, Chatham county legend...” Frances Bavier (Aunt Bea) of Andy Griffith Show fame lived in Siler City and is buried there.” She was a NY, NY actress and came to legendarily despise and fuck with the naive locals for thinking that she was Aunt Bea, really. I gave her gardener a ride one time and he said : “That woman don’t do nothing but cuss and smoke cigarette alll day long.”
posted by Huplescat at 7:07 PM on May 29, 2008


The Brown Mountain Lights, now there's some spooky! NC is home to all kinds of weird ghost and spooky tales. Hell, The Orange/Alamance/Chatham/Person county areas are known to locals as one of the best places in the state for Unidentified Flying Objects. I've seen a few myself.

The older mountain towns out west have wonderful ghost stories as well. If anyone's interested, here are just a few of the creepy haunted sites western North Carolina has to offer.

Happy ghost hunting!
posted by willie11 at 7:35 PM on May 29, 2008


here we call them illegal dumping grounds.

heh.

Here's a bunch of old pictures. I kinda suspect the black spot is where people have fires. Maybe they chop down surrounding trees, sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe not. Anyway, the character of the spot changes a lot over time. The one common feature is no trees or even bushes, just low grass. Could be some local geological feature with soil or water.
posted by stbalbach at 9:47 PM on May 29, 2008


The flash video was sort of cute, but it sure wasn't Creepy Pasta.
posted by Caduceus at 11:53 PM on May 29, 2008


"As a result of nothing having grown within the circle for at least the last hundred years, it has become the subject of some of that state's oldest legends."

A hundred year old legend? Old? Only in America...

It's a clearing. Nothing grows there because it sees frequent use. They didn't even use it to hang people. I love America very much, but sometimes it's hard not to want to pat it on the head in a disgustingly patronising way.
posted by nthdegx at 2:08 AM on May 30, 2008


Hah, looks like I was right.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:07 AM on May 30, 2008


Good lord did I love John Harden's books when I was an even *littler* robothead. I read somewhere years later that maybe the tramping ground had been a man-made salt lick created by early natives to lure in deer and other animals for the kill.
posted by littlerobothead at 10:55 AM on May 30, 2008


I love America very much, but sometimes it's hard not to want to pat it on the head in a disgustingly patronising way.

What's that?! Who's touching my head? Oh hello, England. We forget you exist sometimes. Most of the time, actually. Still got that monarchy? How's that working out?
posted by electroboy at 1:23 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I can find it, I'll post the link to an article I read once about one theory how the Devil's Tramping Ground got started. (It was due to salt deposits in the soil, according to the article.)
posted by crataegus at 10:25 PM on May 30, 2008


I never thought I'd see a Chatham County on the blue . . . who's for milkshakes at the soda shop in Pittsboro?
posted by thivaia at 6:28 PM on May 31, 2008


What's that about milkshakes? I'm in...

Also, I'd like to second the salt deposits theory. I've heard it from several credible sources.
posted by willie11 at 7:53 AM on June 2, 2008


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