Munchkinland (Burlington, NC)
Every area has its own myths and urban legends. Alamance County has its fair share. There's the ghost of a teenager who threw herself ...
Every area has its own myths and urban legends. Alamance County has its fair share. There's the ghost of a teenager who threw herself off the roof of Williams High School after being stood up on Prom Night. Depending on who's telling the story, Burlington's Goat Island is home to either a half-man, half-goat abomination or a seven-foot-tall Bigfoot-like creature named Chris Chris. But the one that stood tall over all others is the myth of the old Glencoe Mill Village.
There was a dark road in Burlington that had tiny, rundown houses lining its sides. Munckinland, the elders called it. If you dared come to a stop on that road and honk your horn, angry little people would come running out of the houses, throwing rocks and bottles at your car. If you didn't drive away soon enough, they would start rocking your car. While this wasn't an overly terrifying urban legend, it was bothersome enough to keep me from driving my less-than-reliable car down that road late at night.
But here's the rub: the urban legend had a small bit of truth to it. The Times-News recently published an article about the Glencoe Mill Village and Munckinland. According to the article, in the '40s and '50s there was a family with five children, three of which had birth defects. Two of the children couldn't walk and were often cared for by their brother, the 4'8" Pete Massey:
"So each day when he left for school, after his parents had gone to work in the mill, Pete Massey put his brother and sister on the porch, as instructed. There they sat, all day, every day, unable to leave the porch. Passersby called them names, mocked them, and threw things at them. So, Pete — the dutiful brother — left piles of rocks for his siblings to hurl back at their tormentors."
Today, Glencoe Mill Village is a historic district. The mill houses have been restored and painted vibrant colors. There is now a textile museum near the old mill. But the only little people running around are the children of the mill houses' homeowners.
At least during the daytime.
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What To Know Before You GoGPS Coordinates: (36.139544, -79.427635)
Location: Glencoe Mill Village, Glencoe Street, Burlington, North Carolina