We didn’t plan to go to Devil’s Tramping Ground that day. I wasn’t even aware of such a supernatural place nearby. A mysterious ring where the objects disappear and animals act strangely? Are you kidding me? Sounds great!
Craziness always starts with “Why don’t we…”
Noon Saturday, I am in my bedroom trying to work, but my kids have a visitor. Their friend Dalton brings two German Shepherds with him. Therefore, we have three German Shepherds total, and now it’s impossible to work. In addition to this whole chaos with the dogs, my kids are bored – a dangerous combination.
12:10 pm Dalton comes up with a story of a supernatural, even magical place named Devil’s Tramping Ground, North Carolina. The story goes that there is a circle somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and nothing can grow there, and no one can stay there for more than just a couple of hours. Our plan is clear. We need to go out and check out the place ourselves. Also, the dogs have to unwind. Otherwise, they would destroy our house.
Hit the road
12:37 pm Three dogs and five people start driving toward a place that is called one of the most mysterious areas of North Carolina. Devil’s Tramping Ground is just a bit more than an hour’s drive from our home. The sky is grey, and we are worried about the possibility of rain. So far, so good.
12:50 pm We are losing a signal; it’s on and off. Nothing unusual yet. T-Mobile is mostly good around the cities, but nothing is good enough for the rural areas of NC. GPS is still working, though. We keep driving towards Bear Creek.
12:51 pm We hit the bird, or rather the bird hit us by attacking our windshield. It all happened so fast that we couldn’t see what happened to the bird. All I know that it was small and brown.
12:55 pm We keep driving, but I like it less and less after the accident with the bird. I don’t usually believe in the supernatural, but you never know. It doesn’t happen every day, you know.
1:12 pm The landscape is rather lovely, the villages and farms around are so quiet and, to put in right, give you this peace we all are looking for. The only strange thing so far is that all the cows in the fields are pure black. The only creature I’ve seen that wasn’t black was a donkey. But that’s ok. It doesn’t have to mean anything – just some black cows, and a bird that probably isn’t dead.
In the middle of nowhere
1:25 pm We are here, at least according to our GPS. We are here, and here is truly nowhere. It’s just a place, a spot on the map, a muddy path into the forest. At first, we cannot even believe that this is it. The most mysterious place in North Carolina. Devil’s Tramping Ground. Even our dogs, all three German Shepherds, seems ok. They play around; they don’t make any unusual sounds or anything unusual at all for that matter.
1:27 pm We see the circle with almost no grass, we see some burned logs and a bit of trash here and there. Boys decide to look around, hoping to find something more mysterious than some empty beer cans. We are going with them.
We don’t know yet that these forests are no good.
1:40 pm We are a bit disappointed as we didn’t find anything unusual. The path doesn’t go deep, and there is nothing in the forest except for a privacy sign. We’re going back to take a closer look at Devil’s Tramping Ground. The legend says that nothing can grow in the circle, yet there is another, utterly rational explanation to this fact. Part of this area is covered with stones, and another part is trashed and burned.
1:50 pm Out of pure boredom, Dalton starts painting a star on the ground. As we gather, it was supposed to be a pentagram, but he miscalculated and drew a Star of David. It takes some time to fix this, but in the end, he has a decent pentagram next to the ashes. We look around just in case something unusual would happen. Not too many hopes anyway.
And this is when another stranger things started happening.
“Hey guys, take a look at this!” I hear and turn to the voice. My daughter shows me a tree right next to the circle. “Do you see this?” she asks. “What do you think it is?”
It is strange. I am looking at the tree riddled with nails. What is it? Who did this, and why?
“I don’t know, baby” I say to my daughter.
“Do you think it may have been some rituals?” she asks.
I frown. To be honest, up until this very moment, I didn’t even consider this place to be something out of the ordinary, let alone dangerous. After what I see, I start thinking differently. It is not a stretch to believe that some people do rituals here, and I don’t want to know more either about those rituals or those people.
1:50 pm We see another car parking next to ours at the edge of the road. Are other visitors curious about Devil’s Tramping Ground? Could they be some regulars who I don’t want to know anything about? After exchanging a look with my daughter, a look that would mean that by this point, we were ready to expect anything, we are heading towards the parking area. To our surprise, we see not just people but a family. A lovely couple with two kids is coming to us with this same look at their faces. They are full of suspicions too.
I can understand them. To come to a supposedly evil place just to find five people, one of which is a Russian, plus three German Shepherds running around? That can make anyone suspicious. Also, one of our dogs finally starts barking as crazy and chasing hell knows what.
May is be that the dog finally starts feeling something unusual?
Nevertheless, we start talking to Brett and Sebastian, a local family who came here to Devil’s Tramping Ground for the same reason – to check out this place and its excellent features. We are showing them our discoveries, and they are telling us their story.
By that point, I am ready for anything and everything, but not to find out that my new friends Brett Alexis and her husband Sebastian are, in fact, ex-ghost hunters. That does sound unreal to me. Yet it is true. For several years Brett and Sebastian had been working for a Facebook blog Rowan Investigators of the Paranormal (R.I.P.) devoted to researching supernatural powers. Isn’t it something?!
2:15 pm All of us keep talking for another half an hour. We are exploring the area together. After some time, our dog calms down, and everything gets back to almost normal. Exchanging stories with these lovely people is probably the coolest part of the entire trip. At some point, we all get hungry (unfortunately, I don’t have with me any of the amazing cookies that my fantastic friend Mica makes 😉 as they are genuinely supernatural )and decide to finish our paranormal weekend.
What happens next
Only the next morning, we figured out that those forests around Devil’s Tramping Ground have poison ivy in them. My daughter is hurt. Nothing serious, just some small area of her skin is affected. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those forests are supernatural. Poison ivy is quite common in North Carolina, but it’s the first time my daughter gets hurt by it. Coincidence?
I don’t think so. The fact that my daughter got poisoned at Devil’s Tramping Ground doesn’t seem random to me. She was especially keeping in mind that I got sick as well. Right after our trip, I got a cold and stayed in bed for several days.
I don’t believe in the supernatural, but to be honest, if someone suggested me to check out such a place again, I would probably pass. As for the ones who still don’t believe in ghosts and supernatural powers – come and check it for yourselves. If you happen to be here in North Carolina, and you feel bored, then, by all means, do come to visit Devil’s Tramping Ground. Here’s the address.
4005 Devils Tramping Ground Rd, Bear Creek, NC 27207