Pittsboro’s Ghost The Legend of Chatham Jack

Pittsboro Real Estate Expert Eric Andrews tells the tale of “Chatham Jack” and discusses local ghost legends and haunted houses.

Speaker 1:           Are there haunted houses in Pittsboro?

Speaker 2:           I don’t know of any haunted houses in Pittsboro. We do have some old, old historic homes. There’s some haunted legends in Chatham County. There’s the story of Chatham Jack, which is a pretty neat story, and there’s Devil’s Tramping Ground, which is-

Speaker 1:           What’s Chatham Jack?

Speaker 2:           Chatham Jack is a controversial story. After the Civil War, a local businessman and gambler had a young African American child that, there was no longer slavery and he was the son, allegedly he’s the son of a freed slave, but he was a paid servant to this guy, Chatham Jack. I don’t know if he was, but he certainly wasn’t paid justifiable wages. But he helped out Chatham Jack, and Chatham Jack was a gambler and a drinker and would sometimes drink too much and gamble too much, and allegedly the story goes that Chatham Jack gave this young man, I don’t know if it was 20, 50 or 100 dollars, and he said, “Look, I’m going gambling tonight. I’m going to be drinking. No matter how much I ask you for this money, don’t give it to me, because I can’t lose this money.” So the young man said, “Okay.”

Sure enough, Chatham Jack gets drunk, loses all his money, needs the $20 from the young man. Goes over and asks him for it, and he says, “No, I’m not going to give it to you.” And this is horrible, Chatham Jack beats the young man to death, but still he’s loyal to Chatham Jack and won’t give him the money. And so there’s a story about that young man. I believe his name was Aaron, and he haunts, I’m not going to tell you where he haunts, but I’ve known people that have found him on, or say they found him on an Ouija board. I don’t believe in Ouija boards, whatever, but that’s the story of Chatham Jack. Horrible, horrible story. And then Devil’s Tramping Ground we know about, which the Devil paces around in a circle and decides what evil he’s going to do to the world, and no grass grows underneath where he does the circle. My kids and I have gone out and visited that site. It’s pretty neat.