• Graveyard Shift

Whether Or Not Satan Hangs There, The Devil's Tramping Ground Has A Truly Spooky History

Located near Siler City in the forest of Chatham County, NC, the notorious Devil's Tramping Ground is a circle of barren earth that has inspired fearful myths and frightening legends spanning generations. Believed to be the preferred place for the Lord of Darkness to walk alone and contemplate humanity's demise, stories of the evil energies surrounding the lifeless clearing reach back hundreds of years.

While rumors of the Devil's role in the location's origin have persisted for generations, modern times have brought more modern theories to the table. Some believe the ground was cursed by the bloodshed of a Native American conflict, while others think the patch is the result of extraterrestrial UFO radiation. More grounded theories propose the earth remains barren as the result of unusually high levels of salt in the soil. Whatever the theory, plenty of people have added to the area's mythology in recent years. Here's a look at some creepy stories and legends about the Devil's Tramping Ground that might have you rethinking your camping plans.

  • Some Claim The Tramping Ground Was The Site Of A Native American Battle

    Many supernatural explanations for the Tramping Ground have been suggested, and many of them involve the land's rumored importance to Native American tribes in the area. In Kala Ambrose's book Ghosthunting North Carolina, she recounts local legends claiming that early settlers believed the barren circle was "a sacred area" belonging to the local tribes. These tribes allegedly used the site for ceremonies and rituals.

    Local lore collected by the website North Carolina Ghosts presents a similar yet more unfortunate tale, claiming that "the place was the site of a battle between two rival tribes... [and] the blood of [the victims] soaked the ground so thoroughly that nothing would ever grow there again."

  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    One Theory Links The Circle To The Lost Colony Of Roanoke

    The Lost Colony of Roanoke has sparked some of the most famous, outlandish, and frightening supernatural theories in the history of the US, and some believe that all of these can be tied to the Devil's Tramping Ground.

    The entire colony of Roanoke Island seemingly disappeared from what is now North Carolina when the colony's leader, John White, returned to England for supplies. The only remaining clue was the word "Croa" (or possibly "Croatoan") carved into a tree.

    Some local legends suggest that a battle fought by two Native American tribes at the site of the Devil's Tramping Ground scarred the land, and the losing tribe eventually fled to the Outer Banks. There, they formed the Croatan tribe and befriended the Roanoke Island colonists, who intermarried into the Croatan tribe to avoid total starvation.

    In essence, the legend claims the Tramping Ground is cursed by the blood of the tribe's fallen warriors.

  • Photo: Unknown / PxHere / Public Domain

    Some Theorize The Circle Could Be A UFO Landing Site

    Given the perfectly circlular and lifeless patch of earth that makes up the Devil's Tramping Ground - and the clearing's supposed similarity to crop circles - modern local legends have begun suggesting the site could be the result of visitors from another world.

    One of the most prominent theories linking the locale to extraterrestrials addresses the unusual circular pattern of the barren patch. According to more recent lore, the location was possibly the site of a super-advanced UFO, which radiated the land and exterminated the grass.



  • The Clearing Is A Nearly Perfect 40-Foot Circle

    Video: YouTube

    One of the most remarkable and unusual aspects of the Devil's Tramping Ground is its unusual geometric shape. The area isn't just a broad patch of barren earth - it's a nearly perfect circle, measuring between 30 and 40 feet in diameter.

    Perfect circles, rarely seen in natural formations, are often folklorically connected to supernatural occurrences. For example, circles of mushrooms are widely known as fairy rings.

    Perhaps stranger than the desolate circle itself is the utterly barren "foot path" - the one supposedly paced by the Devil - that surrounds a slightly less scorched central circle. One geometrically perfect circle in the middle of the forest is uncommon, but two occuring naturally is extremely rare.