There are numerous supernatural legends originating in the Great Smoky Mountains. And there are many places in the park that can send a chill down your spine if you’re in wrong place at the wrong time.
Probably the spookiest area in the Smokies is on Lake Fontana along the Norton Creek Trail. There are supposedly over 200 known cemeteries remaining inside the GSMNP and the greatest concentration of these are on the north shore of Lake Fontana.
There’s nothing like being on a long, lonely hike in the deep woods near Fontana and becoming immersed in crumbling pioneer ruins and dark, foreboding cemeteries.
One story from the north shore area centers around a settler who was killed in the woods there while looking for his daughter who had disappeared. Over the years many hikers lost on the trails there have told stories of witnessing a ghostly light that led them safely out of the woods. Presumably it was the ghost of the old settler helping spare others from the same tragic fate of his long lost daughter.
Undoubtedly the scariest story from the area however is that of an old Cherokee legend known as “Spearfinger.” Said to prowl the area along the Norton Creek Trail, Spearfinger was an old witch who had one long finger that was made out of obsidian and deadly sharp. She would disguise herself as an old grandmother and would lure wandering children away from their villages. Once she had them under her spell she would use her long finger to cut out their livers, which were a much coveted delicacy for her.
So, the next time you’re in the area take a late afternoon hike on the scariest trail in the Great Smoky Mountains and if you’re really feeling brave spend the night at one of the backcountry camping sites in the vicinity. Just keep a sharp eye out for Spearfinger lurking in the shadows…..