Appalachia is full of scary stories about ghosts, witches, painters, hainted houses, etc. Religion is woven so tightly through Appalachia-that the Devil also plays a significant role as a fear factor. When I was growing up-I was much more afraid of the Devil getting me than a ghost.
One time-a childhood friend of mine decided she’d heard enough about the Devil and wanted to see if he was as mean as everybody at church said he was. Her and a cousin decided they’d just dig him up and find out for themselves.
After digging for quite a while, they unearthed something they took for his hair. Once they hit the black strands their bravery left them pretty quick. As kids will do-they decided to fix the mess they’d made.
They frantically tried to figure out how to hide their misdeed-I mean how could she explain to her Southern Baptist Deacon Daddy that she had brought the Devil out into broad daylight? In his own backyard?
They found some old concrete mixed it with water and poured it in the hole, all the while hoping it would hold old Lucifer tight.
(Photo provided by Old Rebel you can see some of his other photos here)
Near Siler City, NC is a large circle that measures 40 feet across. No vegetation of any kind grows within the circle. Early white settlers who came to the area thought the circle was used for Indian Ceremonies. Somewhere along the way the story of the Devil’s Tramping Ground was born.
Legend tells the circle was made by none other than Satan himself. Each night the Devil paces the circle while he plots evil deeds to spread across the land. If an object is placed within the circle it is mysteriously moved by morning. Local hunters say their hounds refuse to go near the circle-as do horse owners. The area seems to be void of any animal life-even birds refuse to fly above the circle.
So now I’ve told you-my biggest fear as a child was the Devil-what was yours?
Portions of this post were originally published here on the Blind Pig in October 2011