BOONE, N.C. (WNCT) — Everyone gather ’round. It’s time for the tale of the moon-eyed people.

Deep in the mountains of Southern Appalachia, running from Alabama to North Carolina, are strange stone structures. These structures are very old, with some of them being man-made. No one knows exactly who made them, but there is one peculiar theory.

According to Cherokee legend, there is a group of small people who live in the Appalachian Mountains. They live underground and only emerge at moonlight. These beings are called the moon-eyed people.

The Cherokee described this race as having pale, white skin and beards. They were unable to see in the sun, for their eyes were very sensitive. They were said to be the ones who built the ancient structures along Appalachia.

There are many tales around the world of small, human-like folks. Gnomes, who came from European countries, and fairies as well. But these weren’t tales found overseas in North America at the time.

Some have theorized the moon-eyed people were actually settlers who had come to the new world before Columbus, which would explain the pale eyes and skin. This is mainly a reference to the Welsh legend of Prince Madoc, though. It’s said that Welsh Prince Madoc left his homeland in 1170 with a few of his people, landing in Alabama.

However, there is no evidence of this. The story of the moon-eyed people was told around campfires long before any English settlers arrived in what is now the U.S.

Other stories

Carolina haunts: The ghost ship at the Outer Banks

Carolina Haunts: The Maco Light

Carolina Haunts: The weeping arch of New Bern

Carolina Haunts: The curse of Bath and George Whitefield

Carolina Haunts: The girl in the rum barrel

ENC Oddity: The mysterious graveyard at Greenville Mall

Information was used from North Carolina Ghosts, Only in Your State, Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide,