Clarissa Johal: June 2021

Friday, June 11, 2021

Frightening Friday - The Devil's Tramping Ground of #NorthCarolina #haunted

Photo by Jason Horne
The Devil's Tramping Ground is a camping spot located 10-miles from Siler City in western Chatham County, North Carolina. A circle 40-feet in diameter, the "tramping ground" has been the subject of legends and lore pre-dating the American Revolution. The lore alleges the Devil walks in circles on certain nights, thinking of ways to bring evil into the world. Despite being within a forest, only wiry grass grows inside this circle, and no plant life of any kind grow on the path leading to it. Locals have been unsuccessful in trying to transplant the wiry grass to other soil types. 

It is rumoured that objects left overnight within the ring disappear, animals won't go near the area and those who spend the night within the circle experience strange events. Numerous theories have arisen which try and explain the phenomena. One theory states the circle was originally a Native American meeting ground, another theory states the area is part of Croatan, named for a fallen tribal chief who may be buried there. In both stories, the tribal gods purportedly preserved the barren circle as a memorial to their followers' loyalty. 

Scientific explanations exist as well. Soil samples show the circle contains higher sodium, copper, zinc and pH levels than the soil from a few yards away. However, the difference isn't enough to make the circle soil toxic to plant life. Another interesting observation is that at certain points within the circle, a compass will move by about five degrees. Only soils with a high iron content would cause this to happen, which the soil does not have. 

The Devil's Tramping Ground remains a mystery...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

#FolkloreThursday - Brown Mountain Lights of #NorthCarolina #unexplainedphenomena

My husband and youngest are looking into university apartments around Boone, North Carolina. I've done a couple of writing retreats in the vicinity; the mountains are both mysterious and beautiful. Because of that, I'm going to venture into unexplained phenomena "in that general area." Today, I'm exploring the Brown Mountain Lights of Morganton, North Carolina.

For hundreds of years, people have seen ghostly lights moving throughout the Brown Mountain in the Linville Gorge area near Morganton, North Carolina. Witnesses have reported the Brown Mountain lights as being white, red, yellow, orange and blue. They've described the lights as large balls of fire, or even small as candle lights; floating near the ground before rising high into the sky. This unexplained phenomenon has baffled scientists, government researchers, and residents alike. 

Local folklore suggests the lights are paranormal in nature, citing tales of tragedy for early settlers and Native Americans. According to Cherokee legend, a great battle was fought in 1200 A.D. between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians. The mysterious lights are the women left behind, still searching for the men who died in battle. Another legend says the lights are the ghostly echoes of lights that appeared during a search for a murdered woman in the 19th century.

Local paranormal investigator Joshua Warren camped frequently at Brown Mountain as a kid. On one such camping trip, he claims to have seen a ball of light rise through the trees and ascend into the sky. Another local story recounts that Morganton resident Tommie Hunter actually touched the lights. He claims to have looked over the Hwy.181 overlook to see a hovering ball of light. Tommie said it felt like he had stuck his finger in a light socket when he touched it. Six other people were with him, and all corroborated his story. 

Scientists suggest natural gasses have caused the phenomena, or even car or train lights (others have debunked the suggestion of car/train lights). While there are many theories, including those of UFOs, no one truly knows the cause, and no evidence has been collected. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tangled Tuesday - Hoarding Butterflies #etsygifts #etsyjewelry #beading

Today I want to give a shout-out to one of my artistic friends! 

If you like beautiful beaded earrings, necklaces and chains, please hop over and check out Hoarding Butterflies on Etsy. She uses beading as therapy for anxiety, which is awesome! Art is a wonderful tool for that. ❤️

She shared her two of her favorite pieces to showcase in my blog.

The one above is inspired by Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Shadow and Bone was recently adapted into a show via Netflix. One of the main characters, Alina, is a sun summoner.

The second is butterfly inspired & the colors are gorgeous. I can see this necklace looking fabulous  with a lavender or white summer dress, or even jeans and a t-shirt. 

Check out some of her other pieces - there are a lot to choose from. My personal favorite are these green heart earrings you can find right HERE. In fact, I think I’ll treat myself right now.😉

If you have a special occasion to buy for (or want to treat yourself) 

Hoarding Butterflies is the perfect choice for a unique, one of a kind gift!

Monday, June 7, 2021

#MeatlessMonday - Spinach Calzones #vegetarian

Hello readers! The past few months I've been working super-hard but done little writing. Such is life, gotta pay the bills. 😜 In retrospect, I wasted valuable time and energy trying to make something work out. Have you ever felt like that? If so, I'm sending you a hug. Anyway, it's time to move onward & upward from a very frustrating and negative space and "cleanse" myself with some writing. 

I'm going to start the week by sharing one of my favorite "go to's" when I'm feeling pressed for time but still want something satisfying for dinner. If you want to make your own pizza dough and sauce, go for it!

Spinach Calzone

1/2 ball of pre-made pizza dough 

Pizza sauce (jarred)

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 cup ricotta

1/2 cup shredded cheddar & mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1/8 cup sliced olives

Garlic pepper 

On a surface coated with olive oil, roll out pizza dough to about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix together chopped spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta, mushrooms, olives, and cheeses. 

Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough. Spread spinach mixture evenly on half of the pizza. Fold dough over the mixture and pinch edges to seal. (It will look "stuffed" but the spinach will cook down.) 

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic pepper. Cut three 1/2 inch slashes on top to vent. 

Place calzone on an oiled baking sheet or pizza slab and bake at 450-degrees for 15 minutes or until the top is browned. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.