North Carolina Folklore
North Carolina often earns its spot of the map for its basketball rivalries and famous barbeque. However, one of the lesser known aspects of North Carolina history is its folklore. Below are some of the spookiest places in the state.
Gimghoul Castle’s Bloody Rock
Gimghoul Castle, located on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, has an alleged deep and dark history. A young man by the name of Peter Dromgoole was a student attending the university from 1831-1833. He had his heart set on a young woman named Miss Fanny, who also caught the eye of another man. In an attempt to win her affection, the two fought in a pistol duel that ended in Peter being killed upon a castle rock. Peter’s companions covered up the murder by dragging the rock on top of Peter’s body. Legend has it that the rock is stained with Peter Dromgoole’s blood to this very day.
The Ghost of Mordecai House
Most of the hauntings that are said to occur at the Mordecai House in Raleigh revolve around Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, who died in 1937. Many visitors have heard the sound of the piano playing only to discover a female apparition, made of a gray mist-like substance, sitting at the musical instrument. These same individuals have clearly described the spirit’s clothing as what appears to be dress that was considered to be standard in the 19th century. It is also believed that during the Civil War, many fights and deaths occurred near the house, leaving many spirits lingering in the afterlife.
The Devil’s Tramping Ground
The Devil’s Tramping Ground is located near the Harper’s Crossroads area in Bear Creek, North Carolina. A source of local legends, the site holds a 40-foot ring in which nothing has grown for 100 years. Items have been said to disappear from the ring, dogs have been reported yipping and howling at the grounds and strange happenings have been reported by those who have spent the night in its boundaries. The ground on which the devil “tramps” has also supposedly been a site for various satanic rituals.
Deep in Moncure lies the intersection between the Haw and Deep Rivers, also known as the Cape Fear River. It is rightly named Cape “Fear,” for there have been numerous alleged mermaid and supernatural sightings. In the 1700s, tavern goers by the Deep River supposedly would see mermaids on a sandbar combing their long hair under the night sky and laughing and splashing around. However, whenever they would try to approach the mermaids, they would dive back into the water to be unseen. Though the sandbar is no longer accessible, the mystery around Mermaid Point and the Cape Fear River still lingers.
The Ghost in the Governor’s Mansion
The North Carolina Executive Mansion sits on Blount Street in Downtown Raleigh. Built in 1891, the building housed the family of Daniel G. Fowle. After Fowle and his four children died, a later inhabitant named Governor Scott claimed to have experienced paranormal occurrences throughout the house and in the bedroom of Governor Fowle. Scott moved Fowle’s bed out of his bedroom after it caused him discomfort while he slept. Afterward, Scott claimed to hear a strange knocking sound at precisely 10 p.m. every night—knocking he believed came from the ghost of Governor Fowle.
– By Cameron Bernstein & Sara Heilman