Buckingham Mountain

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Buckingham Mountain
Buckingham Mountain.JPG
Buckingham Mountain
Elevation 520 ft (160 m)
Location Bucks County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Range Piedmont Plateau

Buckingham Mountain (Lenape: Pepacating [1]) is located in Buckingham Township in Central Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is the second most elevated land in all of Bucks County at 520 feet.


On top of Buckingham Mountain lies the Mount Gilead African Methodist Episcopal, built in 1835, and rebuilt in 1852 out of stone. It was founded by runaway slaves and was considered to be one of the more prominent refuges for runaway slaves in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Race against the devil[edit]

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 depending 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 breathe 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 said that a lot of black magic was performed inside the church and that is why God cursed the church.[2]

The Delaware Valley Paranormal Association did a short documentary on the 'Race Against the Devil' legend.

It is also known as Gravity Hill, for there is a superstition that cars roll uphill there.


  1. ^ "Indian Place Names in Bucks County". Lenape Nation - A Tribal Community. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  2. ^ This story is from the book Weird Pennsylvania written by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°18′57″N 75°02′28″W / 40.31583°N 75.04111°W / 40.31583; -75.04111