The world’s most famous mountains have been featured on TV, in movies, and sometimes even in song. They inspire people to test their limits of endurance and tenacity, occasionally breaking them completely in the process. Mountains are fascinating, dominating, and—as the following stories prove—often downright eerie.
The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee–North Carolina border. The adjacent Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the US, with millions enjoying the hiking trails, plant and animal life, and simply getting away from the bustle of the city life and immersing themselves completely in nature.
These mountains also have several tales surrounding them, and some of them are quite creepy. Should you decide to hike along the Norton Creek Trail, you might find yourself running into Spearfinger. If you do, you should hide your kids as best you can; legend has it that this old witch has a penchant for cutting out little children’s livers with her one long, spearlike finger and having them for dinner. Another version of the tale has it that Spearfinger can take on the appearance of whatever is around her. Sometimes, she takes on the form of a particular rock formation on the east side of Whiteside Mountain, known as the Devil’s Courthouse. By doing this, she can spring her nasty self upon unsuspecting folk while they are out hiking and enjoying the fresh air.
According to legend, the witch used to always have flies swarming about her, because of a horrible stench that followed her wherever she went. Locals came to realize that hearing the hum of flies nearby could mean that Spearfinger was on their trail. When children disappeared on their way to picking fruit, the witch would be blamed. Spearfinger was said to appear to the kids as an old lady, asking them to spend some time with her. One particularly gruesome tale has it that a little girl allowed the witch to play with her hair, enjoying it so much that she fell asleep in the witch’s lap. The witch fatally stabbed the girl with her long, sharp finger, removed her liver, and ate it raw.
Eventually, local warriors were able to trap the witch and slay her by shooting deadly arrows into the hand she’d used to kill so many. But it is believed that her spirit lives on in the rocks that are strewn around the pit where she died.