Phasmo-Fanatics Paranormal Investigation Report: The Devils Tramping Ground (Bear Creek, NC)

Updated: Jan 1

Brief Overview

Located in the center of North Carolina is a barren circle, approximately 40 feet in diameter, with historic value going as far back as before settlers reached the shores of the Americas. Nothing grows in this circle and there are many stories tied to its location. Many people have attempted to uncover the reasons for such a circle to exist over the last hundred plus years. Shrouded in mystery, this site has been named the Devils Tramping Ground and is in line with the many other devil related areas in the Carolinas.

The earliest settlers were god fearing folk and arrived in the Carolinas in the late 1500s. These quakers, as they were called, named a lot of areas in the Carolinas after the devil due to their ominous existence. The exact history of the quakers is not the focus point of this report nor is it a field of expertise for me. I only say this to help explain why there are so many locations that are attributed to the Christian Devil in the Carolinas and could also be the same reason that the Devils Tramping Ground received its historic name.

There is no other location called the Devils Tramping Ground is the United States. The lore and history tied to this location is both baffling and riddled with holes. Throughout our investigation, we wanted to determine which of the stories tied to the location was true or at least rule out some of the possibilities. The lore behind the site has been described very differently over the years. The explanations range from the devil to divine feminism.

The most notable story tied to the Devils Tramping Ground is the devil itself. And is obviously why the site is named after the devil. The way the story goes, in the middle of the night, the devil will walk down his path to the circle. The devil will walk in circles throughout the night contemplating the destruction of humanity. This story has been embellished over the years to commercialize the area and to try and help explain the unexplainable existence of this circle.

The second most notable lore behind the site is that it is a Native American site. Some have even gone as far as to tie the site to the lost Roanoke Colony. There are many explanations of the area that call it an ancient burial ground, ceremonial site, or location of a large battle. The third most notable explanation of the barren circle is tied to Magdalene Energy. This explanation has also gotten the site named the Chatham County Vortex in certain circles. I am not going to explain what the theory of Magdalene Energy but it is worth noting that some people believe that the site is the location of divine feminine energy. Throughout all of my research these three explanations seemed the most promising but I also read some explanations that attribute the site to alien activity.

After all of the research conducted, it was time to actually investigate the site. The plan I put in place required a lot of equipment. The original plan was to set up the TOC (tactical operations center) outside of the circle with my laptop, webcam, wifi puck and stream microphone. I was going to place wifi security cameras on the trees outside of the circle looking in and I was going to place a wired microphone in the center of the circle to help capture any EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). We also brought a spirit box, EMF (electronic magnetic frequency) reader, thermal optics, night vision optics, and dowsing rods. We planned to live stream the entire investigation.

Immediately upon arriving to the site, we began to run into issues with our electronics and connectivity. The wifi puck could not hold a signal and all of our electronics would not operate correctly if at all. We quickly switched gears and decided to continue the investigation with a cell phone live and to use the working equipment that we had. Our TOC was located approximately 100 feet from the outer edge of the circle. We put up a canopy tent on the outside of the entrance gate to not upset the land owners. Once we were ready, we made our first trip to the circle.

We made five trips from the TOC to the center of the site throughout the entire night.

First Contact: Exiting the heated tent into frigid cold, the first unique thing we find is a Jesus photo glued to the gate at the entrance of the trail to the site. This photo doesn't hold much value but I believe is worth mentioning. As we walk up the trail to the circle, the darkness encompasses everything around us and it is difficult to see much of anything. The site seemed very unremarkable at first glance. We inspected the trees surrounding the circle and found the trees to be carved with crosses, painted throughout and a lot of nails hammered into the trees. Remnants of past abuse was riddled throughout the entire site.

The first unique experience was small EVP within our headsets. We wore electronic ear phones as an attempt to hear EVP within the area. My co-investigator Stefan began hearing static discharge in his headset after only being in the circle for a few minutes. The static is not heard on any recording devices until we bring the EMF reader out later on. The EMF reader had sporadic responses throughout the night but we did determine that it was able to identify small amounts of activity in the center of the circle. We further investigated the EMF to rule out other electronics and determined that it was reading small levels of EMF in the air.

We scanned the area with our thermal optics and did not find anything remarkable. We pulled out the spirit box and attempted to communicate with any spirits in the area. Our primary means of communication during the investigation seemed to not be fruitful so we decided to attempt the dowsing rods. Before the investigation, I believed the dowsing rods were more of a joke than a plausible means of communication with spirits but I was quickly proven wrong. We were able to communicate with spirits all night with yes and no questions using the dowsing rods. The spirits were also able to control the rods and move them in directions that we asked it to. On our first walk in the circle the questions and answers are as follows:

- Is there anyone or anything paranormal here with us now? No Answer

- If you're here with us right now, please move the rods together. Yes

(see bottom of report for all questions and answers)

After the first two questions I was a little spooked so I handed over the rods to Stefan. The feeling I experienced while using the dowsing rods for the first time is a hard one to explain. While holding the rods steady, I could feel the spirit take control of the rods and move them in the directions it was asked to move it. The initial experience was so surreal that I needed to step away for a moment. Stefan continued the questioning. The main takeaways from the questioning after Stefan took over was that the spirit we were talking to was a Native American tribal leader, the site is a Native American Burial and Ceremonial site, the devil was not there and that we were safe for the night. During this round of questioning we did ask questions we knew the answers to to get the spirits response as a test to its validity.

After seeing Stefan effectively communicate with the spirit, I decided to try again. We swapped the phone and rods. Stefan began getting static in his headset again just like before. From the extensive questioning and communication, Stefan was visibly shaken and felt like he couldn't control the shaking of his body. He was not scared but the experience did take a physical tole on him. We began to ask more questions with me holding the rods.

After this first encounter we determined that the dowsing rods will be the priority means of communicating with whatever spirits exist within the circle. The first encounter had us shaken and intrigued to learn more. Our friendly spirit had assured us of safety throughout the night so we were determined to collect as much information as possible. Following the first encounter, we decided to put the dowsing rods to the test by finding ways for us to not hold them and see how they react. We attempted to place them in the ground but the ground hindered any movement at all due to the way the rods are constructed. We strapped the rods to a tree and got zero communication. Later we found out it was because the spirits cannot leave the circle.

Second Encounter

We left the TOC for our second encounter and began examining the area with thermal optics. We didn't see anything besides wildlife. We then placed the EMF reader on the ground in the middle of the circle and immediately detected EMF. We tested the EMF reader with electronics around it to determine where we need to be to set of the reader. We found that our electronics only set if off if they were next to the reader. The EMF continued to go off while electronics were not near it. After placing the EMF reader we began more questions. Stefan started it off.

During this set of questioning we attempted to put the rods in the ground but the ground hindered any movement of the rods. We learned that there was more than one spirit with us and wanted to communicate to it in different ways. We discussed with the spirit about communicating through the spirit box. Our first attempt with the spirit box was uneventful even though the entity said it could speak through it. During this encounter we prioritized attempting to communicate to the spirit by other means than the dowsing rods but were unsuccessful.

As we were leaving to go back to the TOC, we found the EMF reader had turned off during our questioning. We turned it back on and it immediately started going off. As the reader was going off I could hear static in my electronic headset. We determined that we were detecting EMF in the area and were able to hear disturbances.

Third Encounter

For our third attempt in the circle, we decided to continue our means of communication but the EMF reader was a topic of discussion. We decided to record all audio inside of the circle while we were investigating in an attempt to capture EVP. We did not capture any EVP in those recordings. This time I began with holding the dowsing rods and Stefan asked the questions.

The tone of this questioning was significantly different than the previous encounters. Unlike the previous attempts of communication, this time I had chills throughout my body during questioning and after. I was overcome with a bad feeling. The spirit we spoke to did not seem to want to communicate with us and it was not happy that we were there. During the questioning, there were many questions that were left unanswered and the questions that were answered gave off a very different vibe than the previous attempts at communication.

The spirit we spoke to this time was not the same one as before. We gathered this based on the answers it gave. There was confirmation that the spirits were not demonic in nature. This portion of the investigation did not last as long as the previous two encounters because we did not want to anger the spirits any further so we went back to the TOC.

Fourth Encounter

We began our fourth attempt to communicate with the spirits using the spirit box. This time we did have a response through the spirit box but not in the way we expected. During use, the spirit box stated "focus more clearly". Of all the sound coming from the spirit box, this was the only noise we could easily tell what was being said. The words seemed to have come from a commercial on the radio. Speculation would say that it was only part of a commercial as the box cycled through stations but it is unique how much that statement could hold meaning during this investigation.

We used the dowsing rods again but we did not communicate for as long as before. The feeling of dread still hung over our head from the previous encounter and the spirit seemed less inclined to continue to talk to us. We did determine that it was the spirit from our first encounter but that he was not alone. After a few questions of reassurance that he was still there, we went back to the TOC.

Fifth Encounter

We planned our final encounter to be during the witching hour, 3 a.m. After some rest in the heat of the tent, we walked back out to the center of the circle at the witching hour. The first noticeable issue was that the majority of our electronics were malfunctioning once we entered the circle. Items we had left in the circle had not moved from the previous encounter. We were getting a continuous EMF reading was we walked around the circle and we made sure it was not reading our own equipment.

We approached this final encounter with the objective of getting the answers to the stories that surround the area. We asked very direct questions and we received very direct answers. During our questioning, we attempted to have the spirit point us in directions that it wanted us to look. This, at first seems to be confusing to both us and the spirit. Stefan at one point thought he saw something. Beyond finding out that the devil doesn't go to this spot, that there is not a devil and that the afterlife is good; I found this encounter to be mundane.

Further investigation of the recording showed me something else entirely however. During our fifth and final encounter, we directed the spirit to communicate in the recording device. Upon further investigation of this recording, there are subtle sounds that were recorded as we questioned the spirit. Words cannot be made out but the sound happens at the same time as a response from the spirit and it is distinctly different than the surrounding area or any other sounds recorded.


The investigation of the Devils Tramping ground ended up being very fruitful. We were able to determine that the site is an old Native American site that was a burial, ceremonial and battle site. Perhaps it was all of these at different points in time. The elimination of the possibility of the "devil" having anything to do with the site was reassuring and also caused us to to do more research after the investigation.

We think we may have been communicating mostly with a Croatan Chief name Manteo. A lot of the questions and responses point us to this chieftain but we certainly could have been speaking with a different spirit. Chief Manteo fits the criteria for not being killed in battle, being a leader of a tribe, he spoke English, befriended the settlers, and even accidentally killed his own villagers in a raid with the English. The last explaining his guilt that the spirit admitted to.

Now you might ask, why is there so much backing the "devil" at this location. Our logical explanation is that many visitors of the site are not respectful of the area when they are there. This could in turn anger the Native American Spirits that are there and then the bad omens and ill happenings are the result. Our ability to approach this investigation with a completely open mind help us not disrespect the site and therefore we were welcomed there.

We believe we spoke to two separate spirits and were in the presence of many. The most communicative one being who we think is Chief Manteo. Our research and investigation help explain the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony with their integration into the Croatan Tribe which is why it was carved into the tree at Roanoke. This was not at all the outcome we expected and are truly grateful to have experienced it.

The EVP or sounds found on the recording have been analyzed and nothing remarkable has come from the analysis. The conclusion for the sound is that the sound is the spirit responding to us. Its a similar static rustle that both Stefan and I heard that went along with the EMF we found in the area. The sound helps further confirm our EMF and EVP theory.

The lack of a devil is something to ponder on. Trying to not think of the devil in a Christian manner is difficult but with it being tied to religion, there is a logical thought process that there is no actual devil. The easy answer of the devil not being at the site makes sense but for the spirit to say that there is no devil...well that is something worth thinking about.

Further reassuring our experience was real, Stefan and I experience what we can only describe as a hangover the next day. Not only did we sleep into the afternoon, once we awoke, we were unable to do anything constructive. We both felt completely drained of energy and sat on the couch until we went to bed later that night. It is good I chose not to drive back home that same day. I may not have made it safely. The hangover lasted nearly a week for both of us but each day we regained more of our energy back. The thought behind this hangover is one that other paranormal investigators experience. Communicating with spirits is tasking on us because the spirits actually use your energy to communicate. Based on how I felt for a week after this investigation, I agree.

Further investigation: I will continue to investigate all of the footage and recordings that we got from this investigation and any updates will be added to this report. I will also add links to the video that I will post to YouTube of the investigation.

Be sure not to miss the conversation on the Phasmo-Fanatics Podcast.

Questions and Answers Through Dowsing Rods

First Encounter


- Is there anyone or anything paranormal here with us now? No Answer

- If you're here with us right now, please move the rods together. Yes


- If there are any spirits here, move the rods together towards each other? No answer

- If there are any spirits here, point the rods towards each other. No answer

- If you want us here move the rods together, if you don't move the rods away from each other. It wants us here.

- Can you move the rods back to the front for us? Yes

- Am I a man or a woman? Man

- If I am over 20 years old, move the rods back towards each other. Yes

- Are you over 100 years old? Yes

- Do you want to cause us harm? No

- If you're a man, move the rods towards each other. If you're a woman move them away. Man

- Is this a Native American burial ground? Yes

- Are you enjoying speaking with us right now? Yes

- Will yo promise the you will not follow us? Yes

- Is the devil here? No

- Are you the only being here, not counting me and Stefan? No Answer

- Have you ever been upset with the people that have come here? Yes

- Do you know the name of the man in front of me? Yes

- Is his name Bob? No

- Is his name Eric? Yes

- Do you know my name? Yes

- Is my name David? No

- Is my name Stefan? Yes

- Do you just happen to know everybody's name that comes here? Yes

- Do you know everything that is going on in the world at any time? No

- Are you a Native American? Yes

- Do you know what happened to the Roanoke Colony? Yes

- Do you want to answer this question of is it too much? Yes

- Did the settlers starve to death? No

- Did the settlers integrate with the natives of the land? Yes

- Do you think that me and Eric are good people? Yes

- Were you a good person in your past life? No

- Do you feel any guilt for what happened in your past life? Yes

- Was there a battle here? Yes

- Were you a warrior? Yes

- Do you respect other warriors? Do you feel a commonality with other warriors/braves? Yes

- Eric and I are warriors. Is this something that gives us common ground? Yes

- Is it ok if people on the device Eric is holding ask you questions? Yes


- Were you killed in battle? No

- Is this also a ceremonial site? Yes

- Were you a leader of a tribe that was here, or a leader of any tribe? Yes

While I held the rods and Stefan asked the entity questions, I zoned out and was visibly affected by the experience. I do not remember the questions or answers while I was holding the rods.

- Are you the cause of the extreme cold I am feeling right now? No

- Is there any other spirits that come to this site and try to communicate with people? Yes

- Is there any other spirits that we should be worried about? Spirits that could try to cause us harm? Yes

- Can you protect us from the other entities and keep us safe while we are here today? No

- Do these bad spirits come every night? No

- Should we be worried about tonight? No

- Are we safe tonight? Yes

- Is it ok if we take a break? Yes

Second Encounter


- Am I speaking to the entity that I spoke to before? Yes

- Are you alone? No

- Is there any other entities with you now? Yes

- Do the entities with you mean us any harm? No

- Are they also Native Americans of your tribe? No

- Are they all Native Americans too? Yes

- Is it ok if we put the rods in the ground? Yes

- Can you hear us now? Yes

- Are you able to communicate with the rods stuck in the ground? No

- Can you not answer questions with the rods in the ground because you answer questions through me? No

- If the ground too stiff to move the rods? No

- Are you not allowed to communicate unless I'm holding them? No

- Are you with us now? Yes

- Are you able to communicate outside of the circle? No

- Are you able to leave the circle at all? No

- Are you able to communicate through the spirit box? No Answer

- If you don't know what a spirit box is, please bring the rods together? Brought rods together.

- Do you think you can communicate through the spirit box? Yes

- Can you hear us now? Yes

- If we were to put an object in the circle, would you be able to move it? Yes

- Does the object have to be really light weight for you to move it? Like a plastic sack? Yes

Third Encounter


- Is this the same entity we have been communicating with tonight? No answer

- Is there any entity here? No answer

- Is there any entity here? No answer

- Is there any entity with us now? No answer

- Is there any entity with us now? No answer

- Is there anything here? where are you? No answer

- If there is anything here. move the rods in any direction. Rods moved outwards

- Is the entity we were speaking to, is he still here? No

- Do you wish harm upon me or Stefan? Yes

- Are there more than one of you? Yes

- Do you want us here? No

- Are you demons? No

- Do you not want us here because we are not Natives of this land? No answer

- Are we able to talk to the man we were speaking to before? Will he come back so we can talk to him? No

- Do you think that we are good people? No answer

- Do you think that we are good people? No

- We were told that we were safe tonight. Is that true? No

- Do you know who we are? No

- Can you hear us now? Yes

- Do you want to talk to us at all? No

Fourth Encounter


- Is there anybody with me now? No answer

- If anyone wants to communicate with us move the rods together. Rods moved together.

- Is the person that wants to communicate, the same person from the beginning of the night? Yes

- Is this the Native American man that is over 100 years old from before? Yes

- Is the person we spoke to last a friend of yours? No

- Do you consider him a bad person? No answer

- Was the person that we were talking to before, who you said is not your friend. Do you know him well? No answer

- Is it ok if I ask you another question? No answer

- Are you still here with us? Yes

- Do yo still want to communicate with us? Yes

- Are we still safe here? No

- Do you mean that we are going to be harmed physically? No

- Move the rods together if you don't want us here. Rods moved apart.

Fifth Encounter


- Is there anyone with us right now? No answer

- Is there any entity here now? Yes

- Is this the entity that I spoke to at the beginning of the night? Yes

- Would you like to communicate with us now? Yes

- Is my name Bob? No answer

- Is my name Bob? No

- Are you willing to talk to me (eric)? Yes

- Does the devil come to this spot? To this circle? No

- Is there a devil? No

- Is there magdalene energy here at this circle? No answer

- Is this spot a ceremonial burial ground for Native Americans? Yes

- Is the afterlife good or bad compared to your previous life? Good

- Is there a way you can talk to us other than using the rods? Yes

- Can you speak into the microphone that is recording in the center of the circle? Yes

- Do you want us to leave? No

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