North Carolina urban legends are spooky, fun, and sometimes downright disturbing. From the angry ghost of one of the world's most famous pirates to haunted mountains in the countryside, North Carolina is host to a number of fantastically morbid and creepy stories.
There is so much creepy tales from North Carolina that there's an entire X-Files episode dedicated to the strange lights near Brown Mountain. Considering the state is full of mysterious mountains and a rugged coastline, creepy stories from North Carolina involve murders, mayhem, and tragic specters on land and sea. North Carolina urban legends are sure to excite, to scare and to be really, really creepy.
The Murderous Cabin in the Woods
On Christmas Day in 1929, well-respected farmer Charlie Lawson inexplicably shot and beat his wife to death, before killing six of his seven children. He then killed himself. People say he killed his family for a variety of reasons: a personality change after a head injury, going mad with guilt after impregnating his own daughter, to name a few. Because of the heinous nature of their deaths, the family was buried outside of hallowed church ground. It's rumored that, because of their improper burial, their spirits will never rest.
After their deaths, the house became a tourist attraction for years before being closed and torn down. The floor boards of the home were allegedly used to help build a wood bridge across the creek that ran through the land and down through the county. Cars that cross the bridge have reported strange mists, hand prints appearing, and an early 1930's model car chasing them off the bridge.
The Bloodsucking Vampire Beast of Bladenboro
In Bladen County, there's a supposed vampire beast who's done some serious damage throughout the decades. The first sighting of the beast was in 1953, when a local woman heard her neighbor's dogs barking and whining. When she went out to investigate, she saw a huge feline-like monster flee into the dark. Two days later, a local farmer called the police after two of his dogs were found dead, entirely drained of blood. Dogs were found exsanguinated all across the county, and sightings of the creature skyrocketed.
Hysteria took over, and people flooded in from all around to hunt the creature. After it attacked a human, the mayor and police chief hoped to end the hysteria by killing a random bobcat, hanging its body in the square and declaring they had killed the beast. Strangely, after they did this, the killings and attacks stopped.
The Devil's Tramping Ground
This old legend involves a weird, empty circular patch in the North Carolina woods where nothing will grow. In this patch of dead earth, it's said the devil comes to dance. If you leave something there overnight it will disappear entirely or be thrown outside of the circle so the devil has room to dance. Animals refuse to enter the circle. Some have even said they have seen glowing red eyes in its center.
The Prophetic Dream That Led to a Hanging
In the 1870s, farmer George Feller lived with his wife and infant child in McDowell County. Farming was a hard life, but it was even harder for Feller because his wife was bedridden with a debilitating illness. He was forced to do all the work himself. One morning, he came sobbing to the neighbors for help, claiming a violent bout of asthma had left his wife near death. When the neighbors came to Feller's home, they found his wife dead. The town gathered to help the grieving Feller with funeral preparations.
During the funeral procession, a stranger on horseback crossed paths with the townspeople and stopped them. He claimed he had a dream he met the funeral procession of a woman who had been murdered by her husband the night before, and if the townspeople did not detain Feller, he would go to the police. The townspeople had Feller's wife examined by a doctor, who saw clear signs she had been strangled to death. Feller confessed to killing her during an argument, and was hanged for his crime.
The Mysterious Brown Mountain Lights
For more than two centuries, a series of strange lights flickered on Brown Mountain. They were written off as reflections of auto and locomotive headlights. That explanation was largely accepted when the U.S. Geological Survey reported it in 1913. Then, three years later, two Category 4 hurricanes devastated the area, but the lights remained unaffected. In 2016, news reports said the lights were starting to dim but could not say the cause.
Cherokee Indians believe the lights were torches held by the ghosts of grieving maidens. In 1771, a surveyor wrote that believed they were nitrous vapors carried by the wind. Some claim it's related to aliens. That theory was the topic of an X-Files episode featuring Brown Mountain. To this day, no one is quite sure exactly why the lights shine.
The Legend of Blackbeard's Ghost
On Ocracoke Island there is a small channel of water known as Teach's Hole. It's named after Edward Teach, who is more commonly known as the infamous pirate Blackbeard. It's said that Teach's Hole was Blackbeard's favorite place to anchor his ship, and that his ghost haunts the area to this day. The terrifying pirate captain, known for weaving fuses into his beard, had a long reign of terror which came to an end in that very channel.
In 1712, the governor of Virginia sent men led by John Maynard to find and kill Blackbeard. They surprised him in Teach's Hole, shooting and stabbing the captain to death and capturing or killing all of the members of his crew. Maynard then decapitated him, hung his head from his ship, and threw his body into the water. It's said that to this day, the strange lights many have seen beneath the water in Teach's Hole are the ghost of Blackbeard searching for his missing head. Horrifying noises thought to be him roaring have also been heard from the cove.
Gravity Hill and Strange Fingerprints
On a section of Richfield Road in the city of Richfield, a tragedy took place. Long ago, a young mother and her child were driving on the road when their car stalled just as they reached the hill. As the woman got out to push the car to safety, a truck crashed into the vehicle, instantly killing both the woman and her child.
It's said if you stall on the road and put baby powder on the top of your car, you will see tiny hand prints in the powder. If you put your car in neutral at the bottom of the hill, it will suddenly be pushed up it.
Normie: The Friendly Lake Monster
Sightings of Normie, the Lake Norman monster, go back generations. It's been described as a mixture of an alligator, eel, catfish, and snakehead fish. It's thought to be at least 10 feet long, and while no one knows exactly what it is or how it got there, there are several theories. The most recent sighting was in 2015 when a park ranger came across a bizarre animal tearing apart the carcass of a duck. He described the creature as a pint-sized Loch Ness monster, and was not the only one in the area to see Normie in action.