- Grant Recipient
Legends & Lore®
- 3229-4026 State Rd 1100, Bennett, NC 27208, USA
- 35.585088, -79.486164
North Carolina Folklife Institute
Deep in the woods of North Carolina lies a barren patch of land infamously known as the Devil’s Tramping Ground. For generations, local lore asserts that the Prince of Darkness himself tromps about at the site, while conjuring evils into the world.
Located in Bear Creek, NC, the Devil’s Tramping Ground is a secluded area within a pine forest that’s marked by a circular clearing and the convergence of two paths. Over the years, countless curiosity seekers have been drawn to the location in Chatham County. Stories about the Devil’s Tramping Ground allege that objects placed within its bounds at night will be moved or disappear by the next morning. Often the lore includes a warning message to stay away from the site altogether.
Everyone from ghost-hunters to scientists have examined the location. Various additional explanations for the barren land persist, including stories of Native American ceremonies. Some point out that the open space is naturally occurring, likely the result of a mineral lick deposit. Even so, the most famous explanation remains that the strange phenomenon is the work of the devil.
The story of the Devil’s Tramping Ground lives on in oral tradition as well as books and even television. In 2015, UNC-TV created a segment for PBS NC about the mysterious location.