Like most people who live in and around Chatham County (Or for that matter, North Carolina), I know the legend of the Devils Tramping Ground very well. Hell, I've even been to the site more than once; but never by myself and never at night. I will say without hesitating that it is one of the creepiest places haunted in North Carolina. Well, maybe haunted isn't the right word. Possessed is more like it. If you don't know what the Devils Tramping Ground is, allow me to explain.
About 10 miles east of the town of Siler City, on a country road near Harpers Cross Roads is a wooded area. In those woods is a circle, perfectly round, 40 feet in diameter where nothing except a type of grass known as 'wire grass' grows. A path around the circle has no growth at all. It was given the name "Devil's Tramping Ground" because locals believe that the devil himself walks the path going around and around all the while thinking of ways to destroy mankind. In the morning, He turns himself into a crow or other animal and sets out on a mission to carry out whatever devious plan came to him in the night.
Throughout the years scientists have tried to explain away the circle. One theory is that the circle is the result of using horses in a mill many years ago. Another is that the spot was once a sacred place for native americans who used it to perform war dances and such which would explain why the circle is barren. The problem with both of these theories is that similar spots elsewhere are now overgrown with plant life. The NC State Department of Agriculture once took a sample of soil and determined that the area was completely sterile.
Going a step further on the creepy scale is the fact/belief that any object placed on the path surrounding the circle will be moved by morning. I never tried it myself but the residents of Chatham County swear that it's true. I've personally spoken to several people people, both old and young, who claim to have left items on the path only to come back the next day and see the item laying in the brush beside the path.
Whether you believe the area is a fluke of nature, or that the Devil comes every night to plot our destruction one thing you can not argue with is the mystique the place has. Throughout the years tales have been told of people attempting to stay the night at the circle, trying to catch a glimpse of who or what is moving the stuff off of the path. And although many have tried, As far as I know, no one has stayed the entire night. As of this writing we still don't know why the grass doesn't grow, why stuff is moved off of the circle, and why no one can stay an entire night at the grounds.
Below you'll find a few pictures taken of the tramping ground on Oct. 11, 2009. Judging from the smoke coming from the campfire maybe someone was able to stay the entire night. Although we saw no one so maybe the Devil got them? :) I must admit I was disappointed with the logs that filled the circle as well as the trash littering the place. Check out the picture of the tree as well. It looks like a cross to me, maybe someone was trying to rid the area of the devil once and for all?
The area didn't give off a creepy vibe at the time although that could be the fact we were there on a Sunday afternoon at 1pm. But it is still the tramping ground, if you get a chance, you've gotta see for yourself.