Adventures on Joe Barr Road
J O E B A R R R D
| B A T H, N C |
Located in North Carolina's oldest city and original state capital--Bath--sits a stretch of dirt road nestled between rows of corn, soybeans, tobacco, and other common indigenous crops. The history behind the Joe Barr Rd is not something that can be found on google or in textbooks--in fact, the very road itself can not even be located on a map. Friends of mine that have a vacation home situated on the Pamlico River a couple miles away first brought me to the Joe Barr Rd circa 2008. Pictured below is their daughter, and my best friend, Kelsey, who brought me out for my fourth trip back in July of 2015. Although it's an absolutely majestic sight to behold in the late afternoon/early evening light, once the sun goes down, a completely different feeling arises--an ominous feeling--the kind that gives you goosebumps and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
If you know anything about the area of Bath, you'll know it was once home to the famous 18th century maraduer of the seas--Blackbeard. Gaining a royal pardon, he settled in Bath in 1718 before being captured and executed by Virginia forces later that year. The town of Bath has changed little since its colonial days--and it's quite obvious as soon as you arrive into town. I can almost envision the hundreds of slaves that once inhabited the plantation (owned by Joe Barr) tending to the fields--sweat dripping down their brows while they vigorously wield a scythe. The images that flood my mind are haunting, much like the feeling that takes over my body.
According to my friends, legend has it that one of the slaves hung themselves from an oak tree tucked along the perimeter's edge. They say some nights you can even hear the cries of agony from the family upon discovery. Although they have never seen an apparition, they, like me, have often sensed an "otherworldly" presence when visiting the property at nighttime. I've even had times where my shutter on my camera would fail for no reason--other times, no trouble at all. Logic tries to convince me it's something to do with the magnetic force, but my gut tells me otherwise.
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