North Carolina April 07, 2017
The Strange Legend In North Carolina That Will Never Be Solved
Throughout the southern Appalachian mountains, from Georgia to North Carolina, strange stone structures have been unearthed and discovered. Some are built on top of pre-standing rocks, while others are completely manmade structures. The origin of these statues and structures is still a mystery that perplexes many to this day, yet some believe they know exactly who they belong to and where they came from.
In Cherokee, North Carolina, many know the legend of the mysterious Moon-Eyed People, a group of small humans said to live underground and only come out at night. Their eyes and skin are too sensitive for the sun, thus giving them the name, the 'moon-eyed' people. In many Cherokee folk tales they're depicted as bearded and even blinded by a full moon. Nocturnal and extremely sensitive to any light, these cave-dwelling mysteries are just as interesting as the legend and the findings that accompany their odd story.
While many legends simply exist in story, the legend of the Moon-Eyed People is one that exists with strange archaeological findings. For one, the above statue was discovered in Murphy in 1840 but wasn't available for public display until 2015.
Wanda Stalcup, director of the Cherokee County Historical Museum, now possesses the statue and finds herself disagreeing with many that the Moon-Eyed People are actually aliens. The two creatures are no more than 3 feet tall and created from blocks of soapstone through the extremely laborious process of 'pecking' with a harder rock. One of the most interesting finds of the Moon-Eyed People isn't displayed in a museum behind glass; it's actually just over the North Carolina state line at Fort Mountain in Georgia. An 850-foot wall, varying in height from two feet to six feet, spans the top of the ridge. Some Cherokee legends say the origin of the wall is from a war the moon-eyed people fought and lost against nearby Creek Nation.
Of course, anything this strange has multiple legends associated with its origin. Also on display are the 'fairy tears' which tie the story not with the Moon-Eyed People but The Little People whose fallen tears turned to cross-shaped stones when hitting the ground.
Some believe the structures on display are indeed a sculpture representing this bizarre crypto-human race with bright blue eyes and white hair. And with anything this strange, you also have a dose of realism as well. Some believe the legend and sculptures to be representations of the Melungeons, descendants of lost Welsh explorers who eventually landed in modern-day Alabama by 1170 A.D. Stories even link these Welsh to fighting a war with the Cherokee, and it was them who built the stone forts found throughout southern Appalachia.
The strangest part about the Moon-Eyed People is that there are concrete finds related to their existence. Tiny Welsh explorers who hated the sun? An off-breed of nocturnal humans who lived in the mountains? Aliens? Or a representation of two great opposites - night and day, male and female, good and evil? For many, the story of who or what the Moon-Eyed People are will forever remain a mystery, and sometimes, it's that mystery that makes the story.
To dig a bit deeper,
WRAL Tar Heel Traveler Scott Mason traveled to Cherokee and spoke to Stalcup herself on the strange findings.
I’ve always found this story and many other Cherokee legends SO fascinating! Who or what do you think the Moon-Eyed people are?
For more North Carolina legends a bit more paranormal and a less with actual evidence, you might’ve never known these
eight places are haunted.