North Carolina is full of history and haunts, between the Lost Colony of Roanoke to the Pink Lady of the Grove Park Inn, there’s all sorts of mystery, mayhem, and things that go bump in the night across the state. With Halloween fast approaching, what a better way to scare yourself silly than to visit some of the most notoriously haunted places in North Carolina? Why pay for a haunted house when you can have a truly frightening paranormal one?
Follow this road trip for the scariest ride of your life!
The trip starts you off at the Great Dismal Swamp, you'll travel south to witness the Maco Lights. Your next stop is Crybaby Ln. in Raleigh, next the Devil's Tramping Ground, followed by an extra scary experience at Gravity Hill. Then, you'll drive down the extremely haunted Edward's Road (Payne Road) head west for the mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights, and finally have a place to rest and maybe see the Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn.
1. Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp is beautiful during the day, but becomes extremely haunting and spooky come nightfall. Spanning 112,000 acres along the state's northern border, The Great Dismal Swamp inspired novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe's novel revolves around runaway slaves, known as 'maroons,' who lived in complete isolation in various parts of the swamp.
A place of sadness, hostility, and also beauty, the energy here is palpable. It's best to go around sunset, but I wouldn't recommend staying too late after dark. Visitors have reported hearing strange sounds, seeing lights, and encountering ghosts.
2. Maco Lights
Many in the eastern region of the state have heard poor Joe Baldwin's tale. Many traveled 12 miles northeast of Wilmington on US 74, where the railroad tracks once stood off the highway. While some say Baldwin's spirit left with the tracks were removed, several others claim you still have a pretty good chance of encountering Joe Baldwin, or something else, on a dark night. I even have personal, paranormal ties to this story, and I can tell you the paranormal energy is very active here.
If you aren't familiar with the legend, Joe Baldwin was sleeping soundly one night in the caboose of a train, when suddenly, it became detached. Knowing another train would soon arrive, Joe stood on the back of the caboose waving his light back and forth for the conductor to see. The engineer of the approaching train saw the frantic man waving a light, braked the train, but not soon enough. Joe was instantly decapitated, his head tumbling down into the swamps. Joe's light, and even his ghost asking the whereabouts of his head were seen for over 100 years. Some people will tell you that there's no chance you'll see him, but many will also tell you otherwise.
3. Cry Baby Lane
After a fire destroyed an orphanage outside of Raleigh, and sadly, killed several children who called this place home, locals began to notice something strange. Weeks after, in the field where the fire took place, the smell of smoke was so strong it would fill up their lungs and they would violently cough. After the coughing subsided, a quiet cry floated through the air. The cries began to multiply and all at once there were deafening screams and cries throughout the field. Crybaby Lane is a truly tragic ghost story, and not many people are able to stay in the field for long.
4. Devil's Tramping Ground
The Devil's Tramping Ground is a 40-foot diameter circle completely devoid of life. Nothing will grow here. Leave something in the circle, and legend says it will be thrown out the next day. Read our whole article on the Devil's Tramping Ground
5. Gravity Hill
Optical illusion, or a ghost pushing your car up a hill? Many are left undecided on what exactly is occurring at Gravity Hill in Richfield. Legend says a young mother and her child were left stranded on the road, when a transfer truck plowed into their car, instantly killing both. Today, if you park at the bottom of Richfield Road your car will be pushed up the hill. Put baby powder on the hood and you'll be able to see handprints. Read all about it
6. Payne Road
Payne Road (now Edward's Road) is rooted in urban legend and folklore. The long country road located in Rural Hall is a prime spot for paranormal sightings and really a general uneasiness. The stories revolve around a murder-suicide, the murder of multiple slaves and then a family, and even a young man burning alive while other people watched. Read all about Payne Road, and the three legends surrounding it,
7. Brown Mountain
As night falls over Brown Mountain, different color orbs of shapes and sizes rise through the trees and bob through the mountain terrain. Is it marsh gas, aliens, energy, spirits? Many legends circulate around this strange phenomenon that has been captured on video, photographs, and you can see with your own two eyes. Read all about Brown Mountain, and watch a video of it,
8. Grove Park Inn
Perhaps a debutante, perhaps a scorned secret lover, the Pink Lady fell to her death from a 5th floor overlook. Seen in a pink ball gown, or just with a pink 'aura' around her figure, she is said to be good-natured and takes kindly to children. One guest even left a note at the front desk, thanking the 'lady in pink' for playing with his children during his stay. Employees treat the pink lady like she is one of them. Her 'laid back' fun spirit is known to play pranks and take a particular fascination with room 545. Even if you don't stay in the room, you might witness something extra spooky, and if not, at least you'll have a great weekend away in one of North Carolina's best hotels.
It’s the perfect time of year to get extra spooky! There are several points of interest and other haunted places to add to your list along the ride.