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Belated Round-up!

So, a coupla things…

Yesterday, I learned that one of the colloquial names for lady’s slipper orchids is “whippoorwill shoes.”


I also learned that the highway I live just off of, which is a Generic Number, actually does have a name. In the maps, it is “Devil’s Stomping Ground Road.”*

Needless to say, this made me absurdly happy.

Hidden Almanac 3 went up yesterday, and it has been approved for the iTunes store!

Also, if you’re up in the Upper Peninsula next month, I have a gallery show at Gallery Boheme in Calumet, Michigan. It’ll be up through the month of October, and the opening is on the 4th. I’ll be there! It’s a bunch of originals, some limited edition prints, a few pieces that never made it onto the blog (SHEEEEEEP!) and should be generally nifty.

(Did I mention Book 9 of Dragonbreath is out? Case of the Toxic Mutants? I did, right? I was traveling, so maybe not…)


*Probably related to the Devil’s Tromping Ground, which is a thing somewhere in this county, I think over by Siler City. It is supposedly a permanently bare circle where the Devil goes to pace when he has some thinking to do. In person it is apparently not all that bare and not all that impressive, despite the best efforts of ghost-shows to jazz it up with camera filters.

Legend has it that chickens will not eat grain out of this enchanted circle, but I don’t know anyone who’s tried.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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If no one plants grain in the place, then no chicken will ever eat grain that was grown there.

Ah, the Devil's Tromping Ground. A classic from my childhood.

If you place branches on the path, when you go back they'll be gone; if you remove branches from the path, the next time THEY WILL BE BACK!


Devil's Stomping Ground is right up there with Booger Hill Road, Nowhere Road, and Plum Nelly Road (as in "it's plum nelly [nearly] all the way to ...") all of which are local to me.

Bailey White references the chickens-won't-eat-here thing in one of her stories. Do you read her? I have a feeling you'd like her stuff.

(Booger Hill is so called because it was reputed to be a place wherein horses would invariably startle. It is now the site of an annual drive-thru Live Nativity show that ends with a chicken mull, which is a party featuring a dish made from chicken, saltine crackers and milk. I have never had the nerve to try it, but I did a magazine story about the live nativity and interviewed the owner of the camel. His name is Niles and he has lovely eyelashes. The camel, not the owner.)

Seconding the recommendation of Bailey White! She is awesome.

I hope the Devil's stomping doesn't keep you up at nights. I just know that sort of thing would make my dogs bark a lot...

It's probably why Gir barks a lot on the KUEC podcast.

No, that's because Gir is a beagle. No other reason is necessary.

Beagles bark a lot because they are receptive of things we cannot see. And if we could see them we'd bark a lot.

Sounds like you are in Manly Wade Wellman territory - he has a batch of stories about various places regularly infested by the Devil. Still - probably better to have him do his pondering in some well-known place, rather than risk running into him just wherever - he might be annoyed at being interrupted if he was deep in thought.

"the Devil’s Tromping Ground ... is supposedly a permanently bare circle where the Devil goes to pace when he has some thinking to do. In person it is apparently not all that bare and not all that impressive..."

Well, ever since everything went wrong, ol' Satan hasn't had much thinkin' t'do, 'cause we're doin' more evil than he could ever ask for.

Maybe he's moved on to using a different location. i'd move if some one built a big ol' highway nearby or film crews started showing up and using the place.

I'd always heard it as the "Devil's Stomping Ground." I recall that we once went to where it supposedly is, although given that this was more than 30 years ago, I suspect it wasn't exactly the clearly marked tourist trap one might envision. (I seem to recall there was a sign, but mostly I recall a lot of random paths in the pines, and a lot of people's garbage along the road.)

Hmm. Unfortunately, I don't have the Malcolm Fowler book where he talks about NC ghost stories, including the details on the Devil's Stomping Ground. I remember hearing some of the tapes from the Harnett County Library collection of his recorded stories -- rather interesting stuff, if you can still find it.

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