Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Devil's Tramping Ground and Other North Carolina Mystery Stories

Are you curious about the unknown or unexplained in North Carolina? The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a good introduction to the bizarre and inexplicable in the State since its first colonization. 

First settled by Europeans in 1585 on Roanoke Island, the first colonists in North Carolina disappeared without a trace by the time that the explorers reached the colony again in 1591. The buildings had been razed, a large palisade built around the colony and on a single tree, the word Croatoan had been inscribed – but not a single soul in the area and the forest had begun to cover everything, signaling that the colony had been abandoned for sometime. None of the original colonists were ever found and no one really knows what happened to the original Roanoke Colony. 

So stories of the strange and inexplicable go back quite far in North Carolina, right back to the first attempts at colonizing the new world. 

What’s the Devil tramp around? 

The author, John Harden takes the reader on a journey through North Carolina’s mysteries in twenty different stories of the strange, the unexplained and the mysterious. From strange hoof marks attributed to the Devil in Bath and lights on Brown Mountain to the ghost ship of Diamond Shoals and the story of Vera Cruz, The Devil’s Tramping Ground gives the reader an overview of North Carolina’s supernatural mysteries. 

Coming in at almost 200 pages, detail on the various stories is well developed and each story runs about 10 pages. The Devil’s Tramping Ground provides an overview of these various mysteries and unexplained occurrences. It gives readers enough to wet their appetite for more of North Carolina’s mysteries. 

The book is filled with many interesting stories that go to show that not everything can easily and neatly fit into the realm of the ordinary. Why is it at the Devil’s Tramping Ground, no grass grows in the ground? Whatever happened to the Roanoke Colony? The Devil’s Tramping Ground might not provide answers to these questions, but does an excellent job describing what has happened and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions. 

An easy read for anyone interested in the supernatural and strange, The Devil’s Tramping Ground’schapters read more like an individual stories than a coherent book. Chapters themselves are disjointed from one another and it is easy to pick up the book and read one at a time. 

The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a reprint of a book originally published back in the 1940s. Readers might notice that some of the text is a bit dated, but it is not bothersome and is definitely not a problem. One of the few real faults of this book though is the fact that no bibliography or list of books for additional information is given. Should you want to read more, you will have to find the literature on your own. For those interested in more (and who don’t want to dig too hard), John Harden also published Tar Heel Ghosts, which is a collection of North Carolina Ghost stories. 

Final Thoughts 

Anywhere in the world has strange and unexplained mysteries and North Carolina is no exception. The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a good introduction to the strange and mysterious in North Carolina. We may never know what happened to the Roanoke Colonists or if the Devil really did walk over someone’s roof in Bath, but whatever you end up believing in, you should enjoy reading The Devil’s Tramping Ground

Draw your own conclusions on the inexplicable and unknown, but enjoy learning more about the supernatural inThe Devil’s Tramping Ground

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