Buckingham Mountain: Race Against The Devil

The DVPA visited Buckingham Mountain to debunk the 'Race the Devil' urban legend. We had first heard of the legend in the book Weird PA and then began receiving many e-mails about it after 6ABC did a news special on the gravity hill in the area. Our two videos below will show Nick and former member Logan explaining the legend, 'running the race' and exploring the outside of the church and the cemetery.

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The Legend
Story courtesy of Weird Pennsylvania
There's an empty church on Buckingham Mountain where it is said you can race the devil. The race begins alongside Mount Gilead Church and ends in the graveyard behind it. The rules of the race vary on who is telling the legend. You never see your demonic opponent, but you can tell by the wind if you've won the race. If you feel a gust of wind before the end of the race, it's the devil going past you and you lose. If you feel a gust of wind after the race, it's the devil coming in behind you and you've won. If you feel no wind at all, the devil was ahead the whole time.

Some people say winning the race brings one year of good luck and losing brings a year of bad luck. Some even say that losing brings death and cite a local folk story as proof.

Years ago, a local student died at a party from internal burns after a botched trick. The boy was trying to breath fire and instead of exhaling, he inhaled and the flames burned his lungs. Many locals insist that this happened a day after the boy raced the devil and lost.

The legend itself could have many origins. Some claim it to be an old folk story told by Albert Large, an old hermit who lived in the area in the 1800s. It's also being said that a lot of black magic was performed inside the church and that is why the God cursed the church.

DVPA Video Part 1

DVPA Video Part 2