The Norton Creek Trail is located in the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. It starts at the north shore of Fontana Lake at Lakeview Drive. This area has the most concentrated amount of ruins and cemeteries in the whole mountain range. The trail takes you past these and you can even camp in the ruins, if you’re brave enough. It’s quite the haunted area.
This creature was murdering Cherokee children way before the settlers invaded America. She’s a thing out of your worst nightmare. Spearfinger has been called a witch and even an ogre by those who know her tale. Cherokee legend says that she was a woman whose skin was made of stone. She had one finger that was either bone or stone. It was pointed and as sharp as a knife.
The Cherokee called her U`tlun’ta, which translates as Spear-finger. She would use this finger as a deadly weapon to steal the livers of her unsuspecting victims. This was all her diet consisted of, stolen livers. The legend states that she could take a persons liver, painlessly, and without them knowing it. They would continue on their way, only to perish without understanding why.Spearfinger was also a shape shifter, she could change her appearance to that of any villager, but she preferred to look like a frail old woman. This is the disguise she used to lure away young children, because young livers were her favorite. She would entice the children to come closer, using her weak appearance to draw them in. Often she would look like someone familiar to them. Once in her grasp, she would lull them to sleep with a song and steal their livers.
The villagers decided to try and get rid of her for good. They dug a pit and filled it with sharpened spikes, before covering it up to conceal it. When she returned to the village she looked like an elderly woman from a nearby village. The villagers weren’t fooled and they began shooting arrows at her, which only bounced off of her stony skin. She chased after them, slicing with her deadly finger. They led her right towards the pit. Not seeing their plan, she fell into the pit, crushing the stakes with the weight of her stone body. They caused her no harm and she only laughed at them, while trying to attack them with that finger.
She was still trapped though so they continued shooting arrows that kept bouncing off of her. Nothing was working, when two celestial birds flew down and tried to help. The first was a titmouse who kept singing the word “un,” which means heart. Taking this cue, the villagers started shooting at Spearfinger’s heart. Being made of stone this did nothing. The villagers assumed the bird was lying, so they cut out it’s tongue and it flew into the heavens never to return. The second bird was a chickadee. This bird came down and landed on the creatures hand. When the villagers took the cue this time and shot at her hand, they got results. For her heart was not in her chest, but located in the palm of her hand. This was the downfall of Spearfinger.
This may have been a story told to children to keep them from wandering off in the woods alone. But if you are hiking this trail and you hear a woman singing or the crash of thunder when there is no storm, you might not want to take that chance.
It’s said that a man was killed in these woods while he was searching for his missing daughter. (Perhaps taken by Spearfinger?) Lost hikers have reported seeing a mysterious light that helped them find their way back. This light is believed to be the ghost of that settler who lost his daughter and his life in those woods. Doing his good deed beyond the grave, this caring father tries his best to prevent anyone from sharing the fate of he and his daughter.
It’s nice to know that there are friendly ghosts out there, but the other things that lurk in the dark might not be so harmless. Happy travels!