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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Devil of a Day

Posted October 31, 2007 8:41 a.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2007 8:53 a.m. EDT

Happy Halloween! I hope your treats are sweet and your tricks are playful and pleasing.

I'm sure we will see plenty of ghosts, goblins and devilish figures knocking on our front doors for candy tonight. Have you noticed how many North Carolina names include the word "devil?" I counted at least 26 geographical names mentioning "devil" across the state. My source is the North Carolina Gazetteer by UNC's William Powell.

It seems the Devil resides mostly in the mountains. Devil's Garden on the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its rocky terrain full of rattlesnakes and copperheads. A sinister looking rock formation south of Asheville in Transylvania County is called the Devil's Courthouse. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park includes both the Devil's Tater Patch and the Devil's Race Patch.

The Piedmont has its own devilish retreat. Devil's Tramping Ground near Siler City is a circular path where the Devil allegedly walks each night hatching his latest plots of evil.

The Coastal Plain offers refuge to Satan along the Roanoke River in Martin County. A bend in the river is called Devil's Gut.

Dare County has a devilish destination along the Outer Banks. Kill Devil Hills got its name from some homemade rum strong enough to slay the devil.

Today's question: how strong is your knowledge of Halloween history? The Buncombe County Government website has an excellent trivia quiz. I didn't do too well. I barely passed. How about you?

Here's the link: http://www.buncombecounty.org/news_Detail.asp?newsID=4962