I admire my friend Rabbit.
He was kind enough to invite me to post on this blog. My desire is to inhabit a separate territory; my own section of pasture. In order to be a good, complimentary neighbor, I need only to stay away from Rabbit's strengths--"research" and "good writing" come to mind. It's a relief, really, to not take on such responsibilities.
My own niche will be a parochial overview of what the English charmingly call "high strangeness." Essentially, various anomalies have been visited upon the region and its inhabitants: ghosts, mysterious lights, a shower of blood. I will try as best I can to draft a psychogeographic map of Chatham's paranormal terrain, avoiding only the canonical and clichéd.
I need your help. Folklore, superstition, and rumor will be gratefully received and included in the topography. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
In honoring Rabbit's role as iconoclast, my first goal is to expose that appalling fraud known as the Devil's Tramping Ground. Noteworthy only in its lameness, let us agree to never mention it again.
If we allow the conceit that Old Nick has appeared in Chatham, he certainly doesn't waste his time kicking empty FunYun bags out of a crappy little circle of land outside Siler City. No; if anything, he would come visit us only to lay down, rubbing his temples, temporarily overwhelmed by the manifest ascendancy of his agenda worldwide. After recovering, he might indulge himself to polish, with long, deliberate strokes, the ready rifle of our Civil War Memorial. The "Our Confederate Heroes" epitaph must surely be the kind of subterfuge that would make his eyelids flutter, if only for a moment.
It cannot be doubted, if we stipulate his existence, that he merrily led the blasphemous parade on several occasions to the various lynching trees in town, up to the corner of Midway and Hillsboro, or down old Lockville Road, hooting on his pipe triumphantly.
But the Devil's Tramping Ground is dull, varnished with stupid. Away with it. We can do better. We have done better. Allow me, in the posts that follow, to demonstrate.