�No collection for North Carolina legends is complete without the contemplation of the Devil�s Tramping Ground. A legend that has stood for hundreds of years.� Okay, growing up I always heard of this place and it�s listed in many N.C. folklore/mystery/haunting books. I always knew it was in the general area around Siler City (in Chatham County adjacent to our County) but never knew exactly where. By the time I was old enough to drive and get there myself, I had lost interest. But before I took my visit back to my hometown, I did a quick internet search and found it was only about 20 miles northeast of my hometown of Robbins, NC, off NC 902 near Harpers Crossroads. For those of you don�t know, this is really in the middle of no where, as Harpers Crossroads is not a town, just a couple of old stores at an intersection. So� I figured I would drive the extra distance from Charlotte and finally play this place for a visit myself. Now I am more of the scientist type, so I went there more to gather scientific reasons for its existence. However, the following are some exerts I summarized from the Internet: The Tramping Ground is not a recent addition to North Carolina lore. The area has apparently existed for at least 300 years. Residents and storytellers tell that this huge bare circle is a result of the Devil, pacing around and around all night while plotting and planning more evil. The stories approach true legend status as year after people travel out there to test the stories that nothing placed in the Devil�s path would remain there. For that is one of the more interesting turns of the tale�it seems the Devil would quickly throw out any objects left in his circular walkway. Stories abound of people who attempted to spend the night and failed, or awoke to find themselves and their camping gear outside the circle. It is true that for many many years nothing grew in the circle, and it remained clean and clear. Evidence of parties and visits remain despite the prominent �no dumping� signs surrounding the area. So if it isn�t the Devil and his insidious path then what could cause such a natural anomaly? The possible explanations are numerous. Theories ventured forth have included the possibility that it was a natural salt lick for deer and wildlife, perhaps it was a site of an old mill that utilized the power of mules or oxen turning a wheel for hours on end. Early settlers thought that perhaps it was a place that Indians had used for secret and powerful tribal ceremonies � perhaps even a burial place. Some even claim that UFO�s have caused the circle. However none really fit what scientists do know. Reported testing in years past showed that the soil was sterile around the circle, as well as high salt and acidity content of the soil. It seems odd that it exists in a perfect circle. It seems odd that for generations it did appear to remain clear of any growth or bits and pieces, at least around the perimeter, if not in the center.
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