A guide to some of Chatham’s haunts


When October rolls around and Halloween rolls around, stories of ghosts and ghouls abound.

Most cities have at least one scary rumor of the unexplained. From a house where drinking glasses suddenly and mysteriously appear to a wooded patch where the devil himself is believed to reside, a few of these murderous tales originate from Chatham. Among the ghostly tales of the paranormal and places of the unexplained, here are some of the most haunting:

The Devil’s Playground

BEAR CREEK – It’s more officially known as State Road 1100, but road signs on the rural, winding stretch of the two-lane road indicate it’s nearby. Devil’s Tramping Ground Road, in fact, runs close enough to the actual location – one of NC’s spookiest destinations – that from the road you can almost reach the area known as Devil’s Tramping Ground itself with a rock.

Behind red iron gates covered with a large “No Trespassing” sign, the Devil’s Tramping Ground is known statewide and mentioned in countless books and publications, for its supernatural ties to the mysterious and devious.

The News + Record visited its owner, Tamara Owens, last Halloween about the Devil’s Tramping Ground – and what may or may not lie in the leafless circle that has been part of North Carolina lore ever since. generations.

It has been in the Owens family for over 100 years, and its legend is simple and chilling: two adjoining paths in the nearby woods and a circle of dirt about 40 feet in diameter, where nothing grows and nothing grows. any object placed at night is removed in the morning.

“The real folklore is that the devil goes up one path, goes around the circle and comes down the other path,” Owens told News+Record this past Halloween.

Even as the owner, Owens refuses to go up to the Tramping Ground alone at night.

“When night falls, it’s really strange,” she said.

Those who dare to visit after sunset report unexplained activity. Some people hear voices saying, “Follow me into the woods. Others will see shadow figures among the trees. Some say they heard footsteps behind them in the dark. Others see what they describe as “ghost animals”, while still others see ghostly girls appear in the photos they take.

Soil studies were done to determine why nothing is growing in the circle, and they indicated a high salt level. But that doesn’t explain the supernatural experiences people like Dan Porter have had in those mysterious woods.

Porter works with a phone app called Necrophonic, which is used for Spiritual Communication and Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, research.

On one occasion there, Porter told News+Record last year that a young woman visiting the location approached him and his team as they attempted to establish communication with a potential spirit. .

“The Necrophonic app was pretty quiet until it arrived, and when it arrived it asked ‘What’s my name?'” he said. “And he said his name (the girls) clearly.”

After the app said the girl’s name, Porter asked if the spirit could identify what the young woman was drinking.

“I asked what kind of beer she drank, to be specific, and it told me Modelo,” he said. “There were six or seven of us there and everyone heard it. It was pretty cool.

The Devil’s Tramping Ground is NOT open to the public. The wooded area is privately owned by Owens, and if you would like to visit the ground, you can contact her through the Devil’s Tramping Ground Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Devils-Tramping-Ground/ 138111772882955.

‘Mother’ on Roberson Creek Road

PITTSBORO — Just off US 64 is a house on Roberson Creek Road where, allegedly, the soul of a mother who killed her children continues to reside — haunting residents to this day.

Pittsboro-based realtor Eric Andrews of Realty World detailed a time when he was asked to help his landlords, a couple who had two children, sell the home. He said the situation seemed peculiar and the owners were keeping quiet about the reasons for their move.

It wasn’t until his employees took pictures inside the house that he realized something supernatural might be at play.

“They started taking pictures in this room and we captured these circles,” Andrews explains in a video posted to his YouTube channel. “If you looked in the circles you could see a smiling face, but there were these weird orbs in all the pictures.”

Andrews asked the sellers if there was an explanation for the mysterious orbs captured by the realtor’s photographer. The couple were unable to explain why the orbs were there, but they were able to share their own supernatural experiences.

Andrews said the couple’s children had an imaginary friend they called “Mother,” and they claimed she would watch the children play in the room where the photos of the orbs were taken.

Turns out that was the main motivation for selling the house. “When the kids went to sleep at night, they woke up and there was an empty glass on their nightstand,” Andrews recounted. “The kids thought it was the parents, and the parents thought it was the kids.”

In addition to the mysterious moving drinking glasses, Andrews said vendors also noticed a wooden chair in the game room moved on its own until it reached the center of the room.

“They never saw him move,” he said, “but he was moving inch by inch until by the time they were done playing the wooden chair was in the middle of the room. room.”

According to Andrews, the owners then spoke to some of the neighbors about what had happened in their home. That’s when they were told something terrifying.

“The woman who owned the house before (allegedly) poisoned her children with a glass of milk every night,” Andrews said. “And after the children died, she (the woman) took the wooden chair, moved it to the middle of the room and hung herself.”

While the story may answer who “Mother” is, it doesn’t explain why the owners still feel her presence all these years later.

Two scary farms

As a real estate agent, Andrews said he didn’t sell many houses that were said to be haunted. But near the Chatham and Alamance county line are two farms, each over 200 years old – both featuring equally chilling events.

The seller of a house, located on TC Justice Rd., told Andrews that he sometimes sees an apparition staring down at him from the top of a flight of stairs.

“He would occasionally see a man at the top of the stairs, clear as day, like he didn’t even look like a ghost,” Andrews said. “It was just a man standing at the top of the stairs.”

The second farm, on Pete Thomas Rd., was sold to a man who had moved from Ireland; his house across the ocean was even older.

“We were getting a lot of attention on the house…it’s a 200-year-old farmhouse…everyone really loves old, historic properties,” Andrews said. “The buyer said he grew up in a house that was 550 years old…he’s from Ireland, and it was very different, but we just have a different perspective.”

The Irishman ended up hearing disembodied voices, as well as crashing and clinking in the house all night.

“He said they would hear things from time to time,” Andrews said. “He said they would hear little things in the night.”

The mystery of the hands

GULF – Andrews also has a ghost story based on the unincorporated community of Gulf, just outside of Bear Creek and Goldston, where he sold a New York man a house on 17 acres of land.

In the middle of the grounds is a family cemetery, with 4 foot high headstones and an iron fence. The property, house and land, was estimated at $200,000, but sold for $125,000 more than 15 years ago because of the cemetery on the land.

After the house sold, Andrews and his team reached out to the buyer to see how he liked his new home. According to Andrews, the buyer said he was starting to have unexplained experiences.

“He said he would wake up the next morning and there were things moved around his house that he doesn’t remember moving,” Andrews said.

Activity, however, intensified a year later. The buyer called Andrews to ask if there was any “history on the house.” When Andrews said he wasn’t sure, the buyer said he began waking up to see his hands covered in cuts and lacerations of unknown origin.

Some time later, Andrews said he saw a news report implicating the buyer – but not what he expected.

The buyer fell into a deep sleep, during which he began to sleepwalk. He approached his neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. When his neighbor opened the door, he began to strangle him.

“When she started screaming he woke up and he can’t believe he was sleepwalking or anything,” Andrews said on YouTube.

According to Andrews, law enforcement and the neighbor dropped charges due to sleepwalking. Shortly after the attack, Andrews was told by neighbors that the buyer had fallen into a “strange headspace” and started doing out-of-the-ordinary things to him.

A few days passed and the owner was found dead in his carpentry shop – and with a gruesome twist.

“He turned on the table saw, cut his hands and was bleeding to death on the spot,” Andrews said. “There was a note that said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t feel like I have control of my hands, and it just keeps getting worse. “”

According to Andrews, the buyer’s hands were never found after his body was located.

This is because there was no body at the start.

“I made it up,” laughed Andrews. “These are ghost stories, they’re supposed to be kinda funny.”

Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @HeedenTaylor.

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