This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Haunted NC

Tuesday, for our Spring Break adventure, I decided to go on a haunted journey. That mainly meant: see things that are supposedly haunted, or haunted-like. This required a lot of driving and looking but not actually seeing hauntings. But that would scare the crap out of me and while I like spooky things, I don't actually want to investigate them. I'll leave that to the experts.

First stop was Gimghoul Castle. Is that the most fantastic name??? It's on Gimghoul Road in Chapel Hill. And it's a beautiful neighborhood, right by the campus of UNC. The end of the road ends in a gravel loop, where the only "house" is within the loop, which is this castle:

There were "Private Property" and "No Trespassing" signs so we dare not go anywhere. I had read somewhere that this was the case (no trespassing).

As we left, I noticed what looked like a tombstone. But it can't be, because it was inscribed "St. Thomas More" and that dude was pretty famous back in the day. But it must have something to do with the school... But for a second, I was pretty excited about seeing this:

Next stop was the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery. I think we started on the wrong end as I didn't see many old tombstones.
Stonewall Jackson Fore and his woman Ethel:

And the McKies:

This one is a world war II veteran lost:

We then headed to the Horace Williams House, which was nearby. The hostess seemed surprised to see us but gave us a loose tour, nonetheless.

I mentioned that we were interested in any of the hauntings that were mentioned about the house and she confirmed that there were reports that Horace Williams himself has not left his home. In fact, his portrait in one of the rooms had eyes that followed "you" wherever you were in the room...but it did not do this for her mother. Everyone but her.
He followed me and I don't think he appreciated me taking his picture:

I mentioned that we had passed by Gimghoul Castle and the hostess mentioned that "they" had relaxed on the "No Trespassing" that walking around the castle was OK. So we headed back because we wanted to see the "red" rock, where it is purported to have bloodstains from a duel over a lover.

This is the trail, which is spooky enough:

It leads to this sitting area:

The plaque has:
Erected by the Order of Gimghouls In Memory of KEMP PLUMMER BATTLE 1831-1919 Who Knew and Loved these Woods As No One Else
We didn't see anything blood-spattered-like, so we thought we needed to follow a trail that came from this seating area:

The top of this trail is where we descended from. The girls freaked when they saw these rocks:

We stopped to refuel at a mediocre restaurant. Wished we had crossed the street and ate at Top of the Hill. But we got fed and the last stop was The Devil's Tramping Ground, near Siler City.

The lore on this little place is that there was an area that was circular and flattened, where nothing grew. It was said to be the devil, pacing in circles, that caused this. Later, a UFO landing area, much like crop circles are rumored to be.

But I read that this wasn't all that anymore, mainly a place for kids to party. But I knew it wasn't far and I just had to see it for myself. The drive definitely feels longer than an hour, but it's a pretty drive, if you like seeing the rural side of NC.

It wasn't hard to find. Even my GPS listed the road as "Devil's Tramping Ground Road". There is absolutely nothing out here and the ground itself? Well, things do grow on it. Like trash. And remnants of bonfires.

The girls, who are normally germ-o-phobic, felt the need to touch the crap that was around this place. Like hair in the bonfire. Well, the adults in the group figured it was a wig, but it made for a freaky observation.
This is the 'tramping ground', bonfire in the middle:

BTW, things do grow on it.  Methinks it's "tramped" down by the hoodlums that visit and have bonfires here.  The object in the background, leaning up by a tree is a big bag of trash (at least someone cleaned up their mess) and the green thing to the left is a broken barbecue grill.
This was an odd thing on the tree. Not odd in BOO! but more like, 'is this moss or did someone put this on here? odd':

The devil's tramping ground from the start of the 'trail'. It's not really a trail as it is a short path from where you park (on the side of the road) to get to the "ground".

So while no ghosts or goblins greeted us that day (thank-goodness!), it was still a fun exploration into other local flavors of NC that most folks don't know about.

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