Urban Legends, Monsters, and Haunted Places in North Carolina
North Carolina is a southeastern state known for its military bases, spectacular beaches, NASCAR, and Southern hospitality. It seems to have it all in terms of scenery, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, and I highly recommend that you visit—there's something there for everyone. However, as awesome as this place is, here's a fair warning: Watch out while playing around the lakes and woodlands of North Carolina—it has more than it's share of monstrous sightings and ghoulish legends. So keep your kids close and your guns closer, because you never know just what might be lurking around at night.
Locals Know to Stay Away From the Devil's Tramping Ground
The Devil's Tramping Ground is located in a forest near Bennett, North Carolina. According to the legend, this area consists of a 40-foot circle of bare ground where nothing ever seems to grow quite right—not a tree, bush, or even a blade of grass protrudes from the burnt and lifeless ground here. This is hardly the stuff that legends are made of, but there's more to the story than this.
The legends surrounding this circle have been passed down by local residents for at least two hundred years and involve animal sacrifices, demons, and even the Devil himself. In 1949, a local newspaper journalist and editor by the name of John William Harden said, "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."
Locals say that it's foolish to attempt to spend an entire night within the Devil's thinking circle. It has been done on several occasions with little to no repercussions towards the campers at all. However, it is much more common for the trespasser to witness events that have been known to drive the human mind to the point of insanity.
They say that anything left within the circle overnight will mysteriously move outside of it by morning and that dogs refuse to enter these unholy grounds unless dragged there by force. Carcasses of dead animals can be found scattered throughout the woods near the circle as if they were the long-forgotten sacrifices left for the unholy one in an attempt to have him release his demons upon the Earth or to grant the worshiper some type of power.
The unlucky campers who have claimed to witness the strange events that occur at the Devil's Tramping Ground say they have seen the devil walk this Earth. Many of those men never recovered, and still to this day they spend their remaining years locked away in mental facilities in an attempt to hide from what they now know is real. The Devil walks among us, waiting for the next lonesome visitor to the Tramping Grounds.
The Haunted Old State Capitol Building Has Some Spooky Folklore
In 1961, the seat of the North Carolina State Government was moved from its old location in the North Carolina State Capitol Building to a new state government building in Raleigh, two blocks away. The old State Capitol Building was originally built in 1840 and to this day continues to be one of the best-preserved state capitol buildings in the entire nation, even going as far as keeping all the original furnishings.
Aside from its antique décor, the building seems to have a bit more of its original features lingering around the place. Some of its past politicians and possibly one murder victim dwell there to this very day, eternally haunting the corridors of this old building. The sounds of sad and mostly forgotten misery can still be heard throughout the building in the dead of night, along with the continuous shuffling and rambling of a few former state leaders compelled to carry on working long after their death.
Many of the strange reported occurrences come from the night watchmen of the old capitol building, who have claimed to hear the sounds of doors slamming shut, books being thrown to the floor, and violent screams echoing throughout the night. For one watchman by the name of Mr. Jackson, the strangest disturbance was witnessing the manual elevator go up and down from the first to the third floor on its own accord, all the while several disembodied voices carried on a conversation while entering and exiting the elevator.
Other strange events have taken place here as well: mysteriously broken glass that has been repaired on its own by the morning, the voices of politicians arguing over issues that have long been passed or dismissed, and quite often, reports of the feeling of another presence in an otherwise empty room usually combined with some sort of physical touch, like an invisible hand on your shoulder or a ghostly pat on the back.
For the most part, the occurrences seem docile, friendly, or even comforting, but on a few occasions, the events have been downright terrifying. In the late 1860s, a woman was murdered right outside of the building's main doors. Many feel that this is the cause of the ghastly screams that are often heard, usually accompanied by thunderous winds that rumble through the hallways as if they were an embodiment of the victim's suffering. It's on these nights that the caretakers and watchmen feel no comfort.
On rare occasions, ghostly apparitions have been seen within the building, though they remain hidden from sight for the most part. As of now, no paranormal research has been conducted on these premises, but several research groups are attempting to get permission from state officials.
The Lake Norman Monster Is a Mysterious Water-Dwelling Creature
The Lake Norman Monster, often referred to as Normie, is North Carolina's very own version of the loch ness monster. Norman Lake is man-made and was created in 1963, so it is doubtful that any type of prehistoric creature has been hiding away there. However, the claimed sightings of this beast have been so numerous that it's hard to rule out the possibility of something equally as strange living there.
This particular lake was created by damming the Catawba River at Cowan's Ford. Norman Lake is approximately 50 square miles in area and is well over 100 feet deep, so it is quite possible that something from that river had become trapped within the lake, only to continue growing throughout the years. Many repair divers working on the dam have claimed to see things swimming around that could easily swallow a full-grown human, and some have vowed to never dive there again.
Normie is usually described as being about 20 feet long, with a serpent-like body. More than a few claim to have figured out the true origin of Normie, stating that it must certainly be an overgrown garfish or freshwater eel mutated by sewage runoff coming from a nearby nuclear power plant. Whatever Normie is, it's had nearly as many sightings as Bigfoot and has caught the interest of many cryptozoologists and underwater investigators from around the world.
The Beast of Bladenboro Is Still Out There
Reports of animal mutilations first started to pile up in Bladenboro in 1954. The dead animals were usually dogs or livestock, and they were commonly found with their jaw either broken or completely removed, their bodies drained of blood much like the victims of the chupacabra.
There had been several witnesses to these vicious attacks and the creature was often described as an overgrown panther or some other large cat. However, other witnesses thought they had seen a large black wolf stalking their cattle. The town of Bladenboro offered a large reward to any man that could find and kill the beast, but after just a few days the hunt was shut down—the large number of hunters in the woods at the time led to many accident reports.
The attacks died down and eventually stopped altogether after the start of the big hunt, giving the impression that perhaps the beast had been scared off or forced into hiding. For 50 years, there wasn't a single report of the beast's appearance and no strange animal attacks were reported in the Bladenboro area.
Unfortunately, peace and quiet never lasts long—around 2006, it all started back up again. Once more, people were seeing the beast roaming the fields and woods at night. Mutilated animals were also being found again, with the same broken jaw and drained blood. No one has been able to capture or kill this mysterious beast as of yet, and many wonder if it's even possible. If this is the same creature, then where has it been for the past 50 years? Why has it only come back now? Until it's captured, we'll never really know.
Even though North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in our region—with its lush forestry, clear lakes, and gorgeous mountain trails—it's apparently also inhabited by some gruesome beasts that I would rather not run into alone or unarmed. If you're ever in North Carolina, make sure to check out the scenery, enjoy the beautiful weather, and have a great time, but remember to watch your back at all times—you never know, you could be the next victim of a horrid monster legend.