Graveyard Shift
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North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp Seems To Swallow People Alive

Updated June 14, 2019 2.2k votes 249 voters 14.2k views10 items

List RulesVote up the eeriest legends of the Great Dismal Swamp.

On the border of North Carolina and Virginia, there is a swamp. To call this swamp "unholy" might be a stretch, but the stories that bubble up from this region are far from sanctimonious. Even the settlers who named the swamp seemed aware of some malignant evil festering in this boggy wilderness. They named it the Great Dismal Swamp, and the name has stuck.

There are all sorts of horror stories about these eerie wetlands. Those brave enough to enter the mire risk being lost, vanishing without a trace. You might be accosted by ghostly lights in the dark, or stumble onto a graveyard that isn't on any map. The fen is said to be the home of half-living witches and Native American curses, and darker entities may roam the reeds. Are you brave enough to tread the miry ground of the Great Dismal Swamp? You better be, because the swamp is ready for you.

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    Numerous People Have Entered The Swamp And Never Returned

    Creepy stories may be true or false, but you can't argue with the facts. According to the park manager, the swamp has a long history of swallowing up explorers. People enter and just seem to vanish, and it's not entirely clear why. It might be part of the nature of the swamp, as there are those who say the swamp has a habit of making one confused and frightened. It's easy to get lost and near impossible to find your way again.

    One story about William Drummond, a colonial pioneer after whom the swamp's Lake Drummond is named, entered the swamp with a large hunting party. History tells us the group got lost, and after several days in the wilderness, the only person to emerge alive was Drummond himself.

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    The Swamp Is Completely Dark At Night

    If you think the swamp is creepy during the day, just wait until night falls. The Great Dismal Swamp is known to get extremely dark at night, so much so that park officials have gone on record to caution people about it. A park manager described nighttime in unequivocal terms: "It's pitch-black dark. It's scary dark."

    The park is closed at night for obvious reasons, but it's open during the day to anyone brave enough to explore it.

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    Hunters Have Watched As Their Prey Vanishes Before Their Eyes

    The Great Dismal Swamp is purportedly so haunted that even the animals are spooky. There are plenty of ominous rumors about the swamp, but that hasn't stopped hunters from taking their chances anyway. There are stories that say even the most successful hunters can go home empty-handed when preying upon the animals of the swamp. Wounded and deceased animals are said to vanish without a trace, leaving hunters confused and perturbed.

    Stories of bears and deer being shot only for the hunters to find no hint of the animal - not even blood - are common. This could be related to the story of the cypress trees in the swamp, as legends tell that some animals can transform into these trees when pursued by hunters.

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    The Waters Of The Swamp Can Be Deceptively Deep

    You don't have to be captured by a ghost to disappear in the Great Dismal Swamp. It's a treacherous place, even for those survivalists who know what they're doing. Snakes, bears, and other wild animals call the swamp their home. Even the water itself is lethal, as parts of the swamp are much deeper than they seem.

    It's possible to get stuck in a boggy mire and find yourself unable to crawl out of the water. Many people have drowned over the years, adding fuel to the fire that this swamp is haunted.

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