The Devil’s Tramping Ground
North Carolina USA
The Devil’s Tramping Ground
Ian, a Greensboro North Carolina journalist, was determined to refute local folklore, setting up his tent directly in the centre of the circle called The Devil’s Tramping Ground for an overnight stay. Once he (and his two dogs) had set up camp, Ian sat on a nearby log and tore into a pre-packed meal which consisted of a few sandwiches, cheese, fruit and a cola. After he satisfied his hunger and that of his dogs, Ian began surveying his surroundings. Just as he expected, what he saw was a large circular area of lifeless dirt walled in by lush forest greenery. The line between the two areas was very distinct.
The sun was just beginning to set but the campsite already looked quite dark from where Ian was sitting. “It’s kind of peaceful, he lamented, yes quite peaceful!” After listening for a time to the overwhelming stillness around him he uncontrollably shudders, realizing that maybe it’s a little too peaceful. Ian had camped alone before and was very familiar with the sounds that nocturnal forest animals make, but tonight he could hear absolutely nothing and the absence of sound was quite unsettling.
Deciding to turn in early, Ian pulled back the flap of his tent. He slipped off his dirty shoes; and leaving them outside the tent he and the dogs crawled in to settle down for the night.
An hour passed and then two, Ian knew it must be close to midnight and both dogs were busily snoring, but unfortunately sleep had eluded him. Quietly searching in his backpack for a penlight, pencil and notebook he decides to do a little writing. Holding the light with his mouth, which was extremely awkward and after dropping it a few times, he attempts to write.
The older dog, which could sleep through a bomb blast, suddenly awakens and is immediately on alert. The second dog too is listening intently, and then Ian now hears it, footsteps circling around the tent! Dropping the penlight again, he struggles and unsuccessfully grapples for its whereabouts while the sound of footfalls are now dancing around them. Both dogs are now barking and frantically scratching at the tent door. Slowly Ian unzips the tent window to look out but sees nothing. No intruders, no large animals, nothing! Eventually after some time he is able to calm down the dogs and it’s then that he realizes the sound of footsteps have now stopped.
Morning comes after a long night of fitful sleep. Ian unzips the tent to allow the anxious dogs to attend to their morning duties. He reaches outside to grab his shoes but they are not there. He was quite sure he left them just outside the tent last night, they were too dirty to bring inside. Poking his head out the door he could see they were not there. After his eyes adjusted to the bright morning light he scanned around the campsite. There about 20 feet away, just outside the devils circle and set neatly side-by-each, were Ian’s shoes.
The Devil’s Tramping Ground is located on private land in a forest near Harper’s Crossroads area in Bear Creek, North Carolina. It has been the subject of local folklore for over a hundred years or more and is an inexplicably barren piece of land within an approximately 30 to 40 foot circle. Legend has it that those who go there have a strange “edgy” feeling. Those who have overcome this feeling and stayed the night often find that anything lying around outside their tent is found outside the circle in the morning. It’s believed Satan wants plenty of room to dance and kicks out anything that’s in his way!
Other theories abound: the Devil’s playground, a UFO landing site, an ancient Native American ceremonial meeting place or battle site or some kind of mystical vortex.
No matter what the cause of this strange anomaly The Devil’s Tramping Ground is deeply entrenched in the local folklore and at some point in time was identified as something paranormal or supernatural and it’s mystery remains strong even today.
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I absolutely admire the illustrations for these stories. I also write paranormal, horror short stories, but to have the ability to add the fine art that this author does, such talent.
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